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Stela Vasileva

Shifting Colors, 2021

site-spesific light installation


Light can be a powerful artistic medium. Even the slightest manipulation of light may alter perceptions, subvert meanings, create and erase spaces. In her installations, artist Stela Vasileva employs the added value of such basic properties of light as reflection, refraction and diffraction, to create spaces of magical experience. This is the feeling that Vasileva wants to convey to the pedestrians strolling under the domes of Independence square.

The installation consists of colored sections on the glass surface of the central dome. The colours and reflections change by the minute and by the hour, depending on the angle of the sun rays and the position of the observer. 

Thus what might look as a static intervention in space turns out to be a dynamic installation based entirely on movement. The colors vary as the light changes and the Earth turns, as well as depending on the movements of the observer. The main axis of movement - from east to west, from the ancient ruins to the gates of the subway and back - accentuates a journey in time: from the past -  unfathomable, yet branded in our collective mind as a national and touristic symbol - to the present.

Colors are a peculiar feature of the physical world: they are essential to the way it functions and we perceive it, yet they do not have material existence. They are that part of the light spectrum that reaches our eyes after light is reflected on a particular surface. Elusive and subjective, they bring us closer both to the essence of the past and cultural heritage, as well as to the present spectacle of social media, where essence is relative.


Stela Vasileva (b.1983) lives and works in Sofia. She graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia with a major in Mural Painting. Stela Vasileva works in the area of the object, the installation and the drawing. She explores the form, the objects in space, with the main attempt to unload the objects of any superfluous elements, while also putting it out of the context of its concrete (ordinary) environment. In doing so, she often erases the boundaries of real space. 

She won the Gaudenz B. Ruf Award (2010), Nominations for the BAZA Award for Contemporary Art (2013-2015) as well as various residences including KulturKontakt, Vienna, Austria (2012), Krinzinger Projekte, Petomihalyfa, Hungary – Vienna (2012), Cité Internationale des arts Paris, France (2014). Stela Vasileva participated in numerous group exhibitions and projects some of which: “The Pric/ze is Right” - NEXT Balkan: Bulgarian Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Sеrbia (2021); ‘‘History Between‘‘, Regional History Museum – Sofia, (2020); ‘‘State of Apparition’’ Aether Gallery, Hague, Holland (2019); Shifting Layers / Young Art at the Museum, Sofia City Art Gallery (2017); Process in Progress, Bäckerstrasse4 - plattform für junge kunst, Vienna, AT (2015); ViennaContemporary, Focus Bulgaria, Vienna, AT (2015) and others. Among her solo appearances are: “Signs of Sound”, +359 Gallery, Sofia and The Cultural Center – Palace Balchik (2018/2017); ”Tunnel”, underpass of metro station Vardar (urban environment intervention, 2017); and more.

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