0 FOR BLACK, 1 FOR WHITE
Nina Kovacheva, Valentin Stefanoff
Nina Kovacheva and Valentin Stefanoff have been living and working together for a few decades, creating both individual and collaborative works. Art critics often talk about them as if they are three artists – Nina, Valentin, and Nina-and-Valentin (or ninavale). The “three” of them work with construction and destruction in their sublime interchangeability, whether they choose to explore closed spaces and home trivia or, alternatively, to place the living in an indifferent natural setting. The exhibition includes some of their video works but the emphasis falls on large-scale photographic images. This is the first time most of the series are exhibited in Bulgaria, after the Lentos Museum in Linz, the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, the New Synagogue in Berlin, MoMA in St Etienne, etc.
Nina Kovacheva (1960, Sofia) and Valentin Stefanov (1959, Sofia) graduated from the National Academy of Arts in 1985. In the late 1980s they created graphics, paintings, drawings and art objects. In 1994 they exhibited their first collaborative installation, The Used One, as part of the exhibition Searching for the Reflection (Old Plovdiv).
In the second half of the 1990s, while still working on their individual projects, Nina and Valentin created many videos and video installations designed for the facades of museums, public buildings and other public spaces. A notable example is In the Out (2002), created for the 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art in Cetinje, Montenegro, for which the two authors received the UNESCO Annual Prize for the Promotion of The Arts. In 2004 they presented their installation Au-delà du Visible for the Night of the Museums in Paris.
Their collaborative works have been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, at the Zendai Museum of Modenr Art in Shanghai, at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strassbourg,at the Gu Zong Museum of Fine Art in Beijing, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, at the National Gallery of Macedonia, at the Jeju Museum in South Korea, at Zone Chelsea in New York, etc. Through the years, they have had a number of presentations and have taken part in many conferences and round tables in France, the USA, China, Taiwan, Slovenia, Serbia, Greece, Great Britain, and Poland.