SPRING / SUMMER, AUTUMN / WINTER
June 6 – 29
opening: 6 June 2019 / 6 p.m.
Contemporary Space, 23 Marko Balabanov Str., Varna
The idea of this presentation is simple and sophisticated at the same time, just like a TV soap opera. At first glance everything is clear. But it gets to be quite complicated at the second one and so with all the rest “glances”. Usually it is quite clear who loves whom, isn’t it? It is the same in our case. Mariela loves her mother Mrs. Donka Gemisheva, we love Mariela … But then the plot thickens as it is supposed to be with the initial partially written scenario.
The first move in the plot comes around when Mariela Gemisheva, the wellknown fashion designer, the avant-garde one, as she is often referred to with either positive or negative connotations, is representing something ordinary in an ordinary way rather than on some roof or in a construction site.
The second is due to the fact that the photographs have not been made by the author (although nobody seems to be surprised in the time after Walter Benjamin’s and Marshal McLuhan’s definitions of the mediators in art), but by the seemingly anonymous photographers in a Kodak photo lab in the city of Kazanlak as part of their daily routine.
The third happens because Mrs. Donka Gemisheva, although not an artist or a designer, a photographer nor a person of any profession usually associated with representation, is actually the initiating subject of the whole event with her courage as a photo model as well as its object with her attitude for clothing. What is usually referred to as “feminine desire” in her case is wisely oriented not towards just anybody, no matter of what sex, but rather towards wrapping, veiling and transforming her own body.
I trust you do realize how important clothing is in our life. Indeed, I do not see very often people who disregard so much this social symbol and a sign of aesthetic sense, which is clothing, so that they do not use it at all.
The fourth movement of the plot consists in the mystery of the personal theater of a Donna who presumably is mobile, i.e. transformative. But not because she takes on various roles. Rather because her own nature is as polyphonic as there are clothes created in this world in order to satisfy her appetite for diversity. In spite of the currently fashionable cultural/medical discussion about the Multiple Personal Disorder, we are encountering here the cherished image of wholeness constructed through multiplicity by a person who found a way to express it with so much elegance and inventiveness. May be the daughter, an artist and a fashion designer, Mariela, so anxious for cultural provocation, has been enchanted by this quite literal interpretation of the “feminine masquerade” (or a masquerade of femininity, we are missing words when trying to describe feminine intellectualism). That’s the specific way we women are trying to hide the lack of the phallus that was so “symbolically castrated” away from us and for which we crave (?). The masquerade of femininity is what characterizes and defines a woman, as Judith Butler says in America.
The fifth thread unveils when the plot needs a new and fresh character.
It consists in the possibility for us to modestly contend forces with Mrs. Gemisheva by standing in front of a mirror. I myself did it after I checked out if my stockings are not running, my pants have no holes and my jacket – stains. I checked out some other things as well but we are not going to talk about them just now. Try it, exercise the “female gaze”, look at the feminine with the eyes of a woman, with the eyes of culture – it’s fun. Jackets and shirts, vests, blouses, T-shirts, camisoles and under shirts, coats, ponchos, cloaks, capes, pants, bell-bottom skirts and plated skirts, tight skirts and straight skirts, loose skirts and ribbed skirts, laces, frills, embroideries, knitting, the space of “I always want more” of the woman.