25 April–31 May, 2015
Opening: 25 April, 7pm
Tsar Osvoboditel 10, fl. 5
Hours: Friday–Sunday 4–7pm
In April, the air is crystal clear, the sky—light and blue. Rain gushes on the streets. People are getting busy. Stars are still hinting at other universes. The TV is running in the back of the apartment. Some surreal soap is on, then the news. Hot summer is coming.
SWIMMING POOL is thrilled to present its inaugural exhibition Balconia with Stefania Batoeva, Yves Scherer and Emanuel Röhss. For this first show the artists traverse the real to denote new possibilities.
The premises of the space—a terrace with a pool on the top of a modernist building in the center of Sofia—define the horizon. When you look around you see the rooftops of Sofia, a rough and visually eclectic city. Back on the roof, the exhibition operates within a dated domestic setting—infused with fragmented memories.
“Balconia” refers to a vacation spent at home. It means travelling slow, travelling inwards, not swapping geographies but re-defining one’s perspective of the world from one’s own balcony. It is a desire to transform that does not lead to consumerism but envisions new realities.
In her recent work Stefania Batoeva composes dense painterly scenarios on the verge of figuration. For Balconia, Batoeva expands on a new exploration of a fictional “Club Caligula.” Her loosely placed characters travel to this new work carried by a depiction of euphoria. Her paintings thus become heterotopias full of emancipatory potential as zones of regaining freedom. Within the capitalistic economy of our days emotions could be considered as a saleable product—but still a dangerous one as it hides un-calculability.
Emanuel Röhss presents objects derived from the living environments in ludicrous residential neighbourhoods in the Hollywood Hills. He has appropriated elements from ornamented exterior forms and carved stone figures to create new synthetic sculptures. These recent works are superimposed with a collection of artefacts borrowed directly from the last inhabitant of the apartment that now hosts Balconia. Röhss enters the position of a collector of tastes, connecting localities of aesthetic schemes, both private and directed at the public.
Yves Scherer enters Balconia with a sculptural facsimile of Emma Watson. It belongs to a series of works based on allegedly leaked nude photographs of the actress, virally circulating the Internet, which are in fact the actress’s head pasted onto a sexualized body. A second work on display is a low-res recording of a friend of Scherer’s smoking. The video throws back to the reality show running on the forgotten TV screen in the living room. The homely setting of the exhibition space is duplicated as fictional residents ghost through on a parallel level—possibly the ones of Club Caligula docked at Batoeva’s paintings?
Balconia is curated by Viktoria Draganova.
Stefania Batoeva (b. 1981, Sofia, Bulgaria) is based in London. Recent solo exhibitions: Club Caligula (with Ilja Karilampi, Leslie Kulesh and Isaac Lythgoe), Supplement, London (2015), Angela Is Sliding, Galeria Nicodim, Bucharest (2014), Paul, Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv (2014), and Still No Masterplan, Almanac Projects, London (2013).
Emanuel Röhss (b. 1985, Gothenburg, Sweden) is in transit. Recent solo exhibitions: Boutique Litigation, T293, Rome (2015), Soft Jazz, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm (2014), Knut Ljngfeldt, Project Native Informant, London (2014) and WEY, Museo de la Ciudad, Queretaro, Mexico (2013).
Yves Scherer (b. 1987, Solothurn, Switzerland) is based in London and Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions: Closer, Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin and Coney Island, S.A.L.T.S., Basel (both 2014); SKYLINE, SSZ Sued, Cologne (2013); Evolution & Comfort, Almanac Projects, London (2013) and Nail Care, Times Bar, Berlin (2012).
With the support of The Swedish Arts Grants Committee and Stolichna programa “Kultura.”
SWIMMING POOL is a non-profit space for art in Sofia. It hosts exhibitions and offers residences. Built in 1939, the premises consist of several rooms and terraces with a swimming pool. The empty, tiled pool is available as a blue cube for artistic and curatorial projects as well as readings, screenings and performances.