Imitations of Reality, 2007, bronze and wood, variable dimensions
When describing the work of Bora Petkova the words transformation and metamorphose can't be left out of the description. This process of transformation mainly represents the change of an object, idea or concept throughout the manipulation of different media and expressions. It's specific relation with the environment fulfills a big part in this process. Objects, for example can dominate the way spaces are organized or being experienced by people. Bora Petkova investigates how invisible changes can manipulate the movement and thoughts of people. For her art is not an object, but an energy that is being created. It is the presence of an idea that's performed and executed. Like a witness that something has taken place.
The work 'Imitations of Reality' (2007) is a more earlier work of Bora Petkova. It was created in a period when she was interested in industrial materials and objects, like cardboard boxes or packages, polystyrene, foamed polyethylene, nylon and others. Their geometric and simplistic shapes on the one hand, but also their temporally and everyday use on the other, interested her. When we look at the work we see bronze sculptural forms that are arranged like stems and beams on three low pedestals. To become these shapes Bora Petkova used water pipe insulations. She transformed ordinary objects into sculptures; combining highly classical techniques and craftsmanship (like bronze casting) with temporary, daily objects and materials. As she transformed them, they became esthetical and charming to look at. While the objects underwent their metamorphosis they were given a certain firmness and durability, their temporality was exchanged for a more steady nature. Petkova is interested in these oppositions, like positive and negative, inside and outside, cheap and a highly esteemed, temporary and enduring.
Bora Petkova was born in Varna, Bulgaria in 1979. She studied sculpture at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia. Until 2009 she was known for her site specific works and spatial installations in Bulgaria, mainly in Sofia. From 2010 onwards a big part of her works consisted of public space projects. She followed artist in residency programs in the Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Italy and the Lichtenberg Studios in Berlin, Germany. Gradually she gained international knowledge.
Text: Lisa van Gerven