Natalia Jordanova is an interdisciplinary visual artist born in 1991 in Sofia, Bulgaria, who currently works between Amsterdam and Sofia. Her education includes a master programme at the Dirty Art department of Sandberg Institute in The Netherlands (2020); BA Fine Arts from Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (2018), BA Photography from the National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts in Bulgaria (2013) and Erasmus exchange programme at Central Saint Martins in London (2017).
Her most recent presentations include a duo show at POST, Arnhem, a solo show at Rosa Stern, Munich and a Virtual Reality residency “Authentic Spaces” in Zeitz, Germany. In 2020 she participated in Unfair Temporary Museum in Amsterdam; group exhibition at the Sofia City Art Gallery for BAZA Award for contemporary art; solo presentation at Art Rotterdam 2020, where she received a nomination for the NN Art Award; collaborative performance, developed for and shown at De School, Amsterdam. She took part in FINALE, a group exhibition at Structura Gallery in Sofia, after participating in a group show curated by Jeanette Bisschops and Manique Hendricks, called Untouched Intimacies, 2019.
Her work has been exhibited internationally, including presentations at Sofia Art Week 2019, Magma Festival at Kanal Centre Pompidou, Brussels (2019), THE COMMON INN at Het Nieuwe Institute, Rotterdam (2019), Untouched Intimacies at NEVERNEVERLAND, Amsterdam (2019), The Nudist on the Late Shift, The Hague (2018), SUPERVUE, Liège, Belgium (2018), W139, Amsterdam (2017), Lockers, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017), The Old Police Station, London (2016), (De)Quantify Me!, TENT, Rotterdam (2016), the fridge, Sofia (2016), Institute for Performance and Theory project, Haspel Art Centre, Sofia (2014), Trans–Ideology Short Film Festival, Berlin (2012).
As part of an ever-developing quest for possible worlds, Natalia's artistic practice is a subjective synthesis and material proposition of what defines the present moment. Through her interdisciplinary approach and deployment of various practices, she builds context-aware installations. They translate materialities and study the sculptural possibilities in the exchangeability of the flat and 3-dimensional.
Her work engages with the shift between digital and physical and weaves together narratives of past accumulations and future speculations. Through a historical, sociological and scientific framework, her practice asks what is to be human today in the interplay between natural and artificial beings, human and non-human agents. It investigates the condition defined by the relationship with technology, image and language mediation and the new understanding of materiality in the network-dominated age. Further, how recent progress alters emotionality and will affect human-to-human and human-to-machine communication in the foreseeable future.
In the Face of Change (Slips, Lapses and Other Errors), 2021.
- Material: acrylic drawing on clean PVC sheet, oil on canvas, aluminium, wood board, galvanised wire rope, bolts
- Width: 122.00 cm Height: 158.00 cm Depth: 4.00 cm
Bursting Bubbles: Another Truth, 2020.
- Material: aluminium, acrylic sheet, burned wood, polyester sheet, steel, plywood, glass, 3D print, refurbished iPhones, epoxy resin
- Sizes: dimensions variable
- Description: "Bursting Bubbles: Another Truth" is the third stage of an installation, first titled "Simultaneous Truths" followed by "Flat Bubbles".
For the duration of one year, the work has developed and transformed from one exhibition to another, mimicking the way technology uses models, systems, and elements of nature to solve complex human problems.
As an ecosystem of images and signs, it evolves within the context and between places—a feedback loop between the natural and the artificial technologically-fabulated reality.
THE KEY (VR in the age of virtual reproduction), 2020.
- Description: The Key is a virtual reality world. Its starting point and conceptual
propulsions is a large-format process camera and the photographic image as a building block. In times when virtual reproduction substitutes mechanical reproduction, the camera as a weighty obsolete piece of technology loses its initial function
to become a character.
The world consists of architectural ‘islands’ which are recreated
by stitching significant amounts of photographic images, made
systematically in such a way as to reconstruct the actual place in a digital environment. They function as ruins – the remains of a destroyed or dilapidated construction. The familiar becomes inscrutable, recasting the architectural locality as unknown.
Repetition builds tension and emphasises spatial disorientation.
An unfamiliar, indistinguishable voice, further abstracted by the
delay, is following you along. The use of glossolalia, the invented
quasi-language, echoes and points towards the undefined space.
Unlike traditional storytelling, the viewer is left to wander, explore
and relate to the surroundings in their way of looking. Wherever
you look, that’s where you move towards is both an analogy of this relation and a navigation principle. Moving through this space is neither a process of becoming, not transforming.
It is the experience that shows, rather than tells, a story about the authenticity of space and the relevance of physical borders.
*The Key is the name of Virtual Reality work and an installation, initially developed during the THISISFAKE residency, which took place at Nudel factory in Zeitz, Germany, in September 2020.
Flat Bubbles, 2020.
- Material: дигитални изображения, текст, 3D принт
- Sizes: dimensions variable
- Description: Flat Bubbles is an image-object, space as a landscape, a possibly infinite ocean, flattened interior of a crystal ball, unwrapped underbelly of a forest, interior of a cell.
It is a surface-oriented sculpture which resulted from a collaboration with AI algorithm. It is a text –an idea– translated into an image, by removing human subjectivity. A thought becomes an idea, then forms into language, becomes a text, and its syllables, words and sentences are translated and build its visual grammar. The image is composed of 1892 micro-images and depending on the distance, achieves a different level of abstraction. A square is a pixel and a node in the narrative structure. Getting closer doesn’t deliver resolution but another form of remoteness, woven in the translation between human and machine interaction.
In addition, the essay is a text which wanders around autobiographical memories, research findings and collective imagination regarding the language-image relationship. It is displayed in such a way to become an image itself and serves as a key for possible multiple readings.
I see my practice as an evolutionary process. From bodies to animals, machines and environments, it moves between scales of magnification and timeframes, to explore what is to be human today, from my situated position of the present. Flat Bubbles is the second stage of an installation called Simultaneous Truths, to be followed by Bursting Bubbles: Another Truth. For the duration of this year, it is a work that develops and transforms from one exhibition to another, and it evolves in the context, image or places within which it is shown. Its form, in the end, is just a possibility.
Museum of Non-Human Ethics, 2018.
- Material: Acrylic sheet, polyester, polystyrene, plexiglass, porcelain plaster, cables, aluminium profiles, 3D print, styrofoam balls, CC TV camera
- Sizes: dimensions variable
- Description: Museum of Non-Human Ethics after The Fifth Law is the name of video work and sculptural installation. Thе doubled signification results in a coded reference riddle. Within a sculptural installation, objects appear as artifacts from the near future, which humanity is currently constructing. An avatar welcomes you both into a real and digital context, leaving open the question of what space we are confronted with and what it means to preserve materiality in the future. The sculptures ' materiality and empirical data are kept by translated into their digital versions in the film. They become part of the image circulation, bypassing physical distance concerning the body in presence. The museum, as proposed, is placing us in a speculative scenario in which ethics are assigned to non-human, human-created entities. Whether or not they possess rights is not a question of 2084 but today.
It is problematic to understand the idea of claiming responsibility of non-human entities since we don’t assign consciousness to those. Even not being fully described and explained, consciousness has never been given to animals either. This anthropocentric belief hence becomes the premise of considering rights and ethics intrinsic only to humans. The question remains – how do we understand those principles in times of accelerated change and redefinition of what it means to be human today?