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