Category Archives: Installations

The project of Stela Vasileva, Signs of Sound is a multimedia installation that functions in-line with the architectural environment where it is exhibited. The first part of the project was created for the concert Stone Hall in the Balchik Palace for the Music Campus Balchik event. The installation consists of nine mirror double-sided panels, bent in the form of various sound waves. Besides being a plastic object, when placed near the musicians, they capture and reflect the vibrations of their instruments, and the mirror panels materialize not only the sound but also the play of light in the architectural environment of display. The second part of Signs of Sound will be developed for the space of the Water Tower in Lozenets /Gallery + 359/. Music specially created for the site will sound within this project and the three-dimensional ‘sound waves’ will be displayed and illuminated in a new way corresponding to the cylindrical spiral movement of spectators in the tower.
The possibility of encoding the features of today’s world in sound and producing unknown harmony was one of the highlights of Dokumenta 14. They varied from an attempt to recreate the modern technocratic development of the socium in a musical work by reading drawings and other visual data with electromagnetic pen, creating musical instruments or sound devices from discarded objects that had sealed in sounds the stories of the objects to analysis of the noise in its multitude of forms destroying established codes, discourses, habits, aesthetics and morality. Projects that had made their mark on modern art history could also be seen in the Athens Conservatoire. One such project was that of Pauline Oliveros who in the 1970s explored the essence of hardware and software related to musical technology in order to address the nature of the time factor in a musical work through the natural characteristics of the technical equipment and its configuration.

In Signs of Sound, the visual artist Stella Vassileva in collaboration with Stefan Hadzhiev /violoncello/, Milen Apostolov /composer, conductor, musician/, Dobrin Petkov /architect, dj/, Elena Ganova /viola/, Ivan Staykov /violin/, Atanas Iliev /clarinet/, Juliana Voykova-Nieman /set designer, lighting / and Iri Nieman /lighting/ work with three-dimensional mirror sculptures, music and light on the idea of wave as an information medium. The basic physical property of the various types of waves is that they most often transfer energy, but there are occasions when the wave itself is the transfer of matter through a perfect vacuum. The elegant philosophy of this scientific definition is at the heart of the aesthetics of the Signs of Sound project. Its essence is not merely to present visually a reflection of a chart from physics accompanied by music and light, which in itself is a simple description of different types of waves, but to reason on the hidden connection of the elements of the world, on how they can become one sculptural object, light and music installed within a particular architectural environment.

In Philosophy of New Music, published in 1949, Theodor Adorno connects music and painting marking the continuity between Debussy and Stravinsky: “the separate colourful complexes of Debussy are still connected to each other … the sound is not interrupted but continues to vibrate beyond its boundary. Through such infusion, something like tangible infinity is formed …” Likewise, in impressionistic paintings, whose technique music has adopted dynamic impact and light effects are achieved through collocated patches of colour. “… Stravinsky embraced Debussy’s concept of spatial two-dimensional music, and “giving space to music is more of a testimony to a pseudomorphosis of music with painting in the deepest essence of its abdication.” “Stravinsky sharply juxtaposes the spatial complexes of the individual parts, and the final product of the dynamics is layered like marble blocks.” These are just some of the characteristics of Stravinsky’s revolutionary contribution to music, which is comparable to the transition from impressionism to cubism in painting.

The concept of the Signs of Sound team in the Water Tower in Lozenets is every musician to play their part at a different level in the building. This separation of performers who have no visual contact with each other corresponds to the division and presentation of the sculpted ‘wave’ as individual segments that will not be conceivable as a whole, as the human eye cannot penetrate the architectural barriers, but will be united by the sounds of the individual instruments and the play of light. The ultimate result is an integrated multimedia installation that follows its own rhythm, evolving in time and space without a beginning and an end encoded in the harmony of music.
text: Irina Batkova

The multimedia installation follows its own rhythm, evolving in time and space without a beginning and an end encoded in the harmony of music.
Stela Vasileva in collaboration with :
Milen Apostolov /composer, conductor, musician/
Stefan Hadjiev /violoncello/
Dobrin Petkov /architect, dj/
Elena Ganova /viola/
Ivan Staykov /violin/
Svetlin Krachev /violin/
Atanas Iliev /clarinet/
Youliana Voikova-Najman /set designer, lighting/
Jiri Najman /lighting/

Signs of Sound, 2018, installation view, 9 pieces plastic panels with mirror coating, plexiglas, dimensions variable, +359 Gallery (WaterTower), Sofia
Photos by Yana Lozeva and Stela Vasileva
With courtesy of +359 Gallery

UNTITLED (space and waste), series of photographs, large-scale installation, styrofoam

Waste from human activity, more justly put labour human activity, stored in a basement for future usage, probably. The styrofoam is naturally beautiful in the natural darkness – a pragmatic combination, artificial as genesis and economical as quality (people store waste in basement for probable benefit). But anyway, the racionality of the situation can not destroy the darkness as internally natural quality of the basement, neither the geometrical perfection as internally natural quality of the styrophoam waste (or the ethical beauty of sadness from the chaotic piling of unneeded elements as internally natural quality of the styrophoam waste). On the contrary, this internal naturality conquers casuality, and everything one could see is just a good material for contemplation – nothing less and nothing more – good enough to fill many man-hours. This is the beginning of the work. From here on it develops in two general directions – function and space.
The styrofoam elements, for whom until now we’ve been aware to be a functional waste, cease to be such. Put out of the economical logics (people store waste in basement for probable benefit), the styrofoam elements unfold a completely abstract, perfect, unfunctional, unhuman geometry of the circle. Human function has been substituted for unhuman perfection.
The dimensional oppsition is also shocking as contrast – the densed clustering in a small, dark space, familiar as an element of everyday existence, has been substituted for a monumental spatiality. The enormousness of the installation, physically monumental by itself, creates through its form an additional, abstract monumentality – mentally continued, the open catenaries describe a progression of circles much larger than the physical form of the ordered styrofoam elements. The dense triviality has been substituted for a cogitative monumental abstraction.

UNTITLED (light and waste)
series of mirror coated boxes, styrofoam elements
Styrofoam elements, waste of human activity, have been aestheticised to abstraction. The work can once again be viewed as function and space. The functional qualities of the styrofoam elements have been removed through an aesthetical concentration on form. The lack of story-telling is synchronised with the abstractiveness of the constructed space. Apart of being visually abstract, it is also physically abstract, unreal, illusionary. The infinity of the kaleidoscope progression creates an unhuman perfection that opposes the finite, comprehensible dimensional clarity and prosiness of the styrofoam element.

The two presented works of Stela Vassileva continue her interest for aesthetisation of human living and labour – an artistic direction consecutively developed in several of her latest projects.

text: Leda Ekimova






5 BOXES (space and shape)

The boxes, presented in this show are conceived before and apart from the texts and all of their knowledge and terms gathered from the internet. This actually bonds them even better and introduces the viewer to a particular state of predetermination, state where one remains a mere reflection of another self. These reflective voids retain the function of an inner light. As it slides over the form, this hidden light emerges from the deepest, endless darkness. It produces shape, and consequently image, one and the same and permanently different.
Several highlighted phrases from the text (based on Wikipedia), attached serve as a “legend”, which could serve, if necessary, for a more literal reading of the effects that can be monitored in the discrete objects of the exhibition.
The other text is an interview with Nicola Tesla, the Bulgarian translation of which was also recently published in the internet. The presentation of these two texts in reference to the work of Stela Vasileva can be interpreted widely. As it may seem, again, in a very eloquently gracious way things look the way you see them only because of the qualities of light listed here. But let’s stop using text explaining all that, when we don’t need to.
Text: Yovo Panchev

Installation View

Untitled (5 BOXES), 2015, solo exhibition, wood, glass, one-way mirror,
cardboard, LED light, 50 x 50 x 20 cm each, The Fridge, Sofia

As A Soup

In his writing A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) Edmund Burke describes the physical and physiological aspects of aesthetic influence and perception of sublime and beautiful setting the two concepts in opposition. In the chapter Of Colour, to exemplify the beautiful, he describes a transparent receptacle full of limpid coloured motionless liquid and light passing through it. In order for the sense of beautiful to be complete the sides of the receptacle should be smoothly curved so as the passing light could reveal the gradual changes in colour shades. On the contrary, to manifest the sublime the liquid isn’t clear and still. The light is not smoothly passing through and doesn’t uncover the gentle changes of colour. Something like a colourful soup on a flat screen? Or maybe more: a boiling soup of light. Nevertheless Stela Vasileva’s work leans towards the sublime!
Leda Ekimova

As A Soup 02

As A Soup 01

As A Soup, 2011, installation view, Pistolet Gallery, Sofia


Especially for the drawer of 0gms Stela Vasileva presents the work “Field”. In it, she uses light as a specific material to create space. Contrary to the principle of creating sculpture, where a definite form is shaped, in this particular case the artist deals with the idea of creating a continuous plane. Field is a work that obliterates the boundaries of the real exhibition space, on the spot. Finitude is transformed into infinity, and the darkness of the drawer is replaced by bright light which, however, creates a feeling of emptiness where images are absent. Vladiya Mihailova



04 Field


03 Field

Field, 2011, mirror, LED light, dimensions variable, installation view, solo exhibition, 0gms drawer at ICA, Sofiа, Bulgariа

Labour as an eternity

In the exhibition Formal, labour, machine and worker are all seen outside their usual social context, outside the history of the human technological progress which is full of oppositional and imperfect concepts of the social-labour constructs. The author clears off both the object and herself from all possible accretions and, having remained unburdened, allows herself the intellectual luxury of “formal” observation of her object, of contemplating it without studying it, of using it for imaginary hypnotic constructions of infinite mirror reflections, of discovering it as an almost supernatural phenomenon which would only allow for an aesthetic rapture and languor with the sensation of eternity.
Untitled, 2010, an installation of found objects which Stela Vasileva came across in a powder-coating workshop and brought into the gallery, appears as some weird natural landscape. Dust, as if being sand carried across by winds for centuries, creates an untouched, desert-like and even cosmic picture. Unnecessary metal elements seem to have undergone natural erosion, with their own shape and function having lost meaning amidst the accumulated dust. No, this is not technological scrap: this is nature itself. Leda Ekimova

Untitled 05

Untitled 03




Untitled, 2010, found objects, metal, wood, dust, dimensions variable, installation view, solo exhibition “Formal”, Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia