Borjana Ventzislavova, And the sky clears up (specter-whisk), 2019. Inkjet on cotton paper, mounted on MDF, framed, 40 × 60 cm

And the sky clears up (specter-whisk)

2019. One of a series of inkjet prints on cotton paper, mounted on MDF, framed, 40 × 60 cm

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Borjana Ventzislavova, And the sky clears up (MAGIC RESISTANCE), 2018. Video still

And the sky clears up (MAGIC RESISTANCE)

2018. 4K or HD, color, stereo, 23′

Five protagonists perform artistic-magical rituals at various locations in Vienna, most of which refer to concrete historical events and locations from the Nazi past but play as well an important role today. Applying different artistic-magical processes, the work seeks to act against the current right-wing populist spirits in the Western Hemisphere. And the Sky Clears Up (MAGIC RESISTANCE) sees itself as a visual plea: In individual ceremonies originating from neither dogmatic norms nor official religions but representing abstracted artistic interventions, the protagonists appeal to healing, empowerment and solidarity. Both the city of Vienna and Austria as a state are nothing but examples among a host of other places where right-wing sentiments and politics are nowadays shaping the global landscape.

A film by Borjana Ventzislavova
with: Songül Boyraz, Dr. Renée Gadsden, Esra Emine
Demir, Maruša Sagadin, Claudia Slanar
camera: Hannes Böck
sound: Kai Maier-Rothe
text: Ovid Pop
voice over: Susanne Schuda


Borjana Ventzislavova is a Sofia born artist. She gained MA in visual media arts at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria.

Borjana is an cross-disciplinary artist who works in the fields of film/video, installation, photography, performative and media art. In her works she analysis stereotypical roles and models of representations and the impact of political and social structures and control mechanisms on our existence. Her work addresses issues of mobility and crossing of socio-geographical and cultural borders and deal with the complex process of communication and translation. Focusing on documentary and narrative structures and constructions, she mixes stages and situations, still and moving image, text and sound into cases and stories that test the line between personal and social, examine the interaction between individual and collective in the frame of current events and history. In her concern with the strategies of re-positioning, manipulation and perception, Ventzislavova’s work draws attention to the permeable borders between documentary and fiction.

Her works have been exhibited internationally in solo and group shows as well as at media art and film festivals, including, 21er haus – Museum of contemporary art in Vienna, MAK Vienna, MAK Los Angeles, Lentos Linz, Museum of Modern Art Salzburg, Museum of Modern Art Carinthia, Museum of Modern Art - Esterházy Foundation, MUSA, Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art, Sofia City Art Gallery, National Art Gallery Sofia, Landesgalerie Linz, Essl Museum, k/haus, quartier21, Gallery bäckerstrasse4, Gallerie Ostlicht, Thomas K. Lang Gallery, BCI “Wittgenstein House” in Vienna, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Kurt-Kurt, LS43 in Berlin, Austrian Cultural Forum Washigton DC and London, ICA London, Academia gallery, Sofia, ICA Sofia, Art Today Plovdiv, Hunt gallery, St. Louis, US, Cologne Conference, IDFA, Diagonale, Graz, EMAF, Osnabrück, transmediale, Berlin, filmwinter, Stuttgart, Rencontres Internationales, Berwick Film and Media Arts Fest., Moscow Int. Filmfest., Int. Short Film Fest. Istanbul, Split Film Fest., etc.

She received the promotion award by the City of Vienna 2017, the Austrian State Scholarship for Fine Art 2013, numerous grants and awards for projects, Start Scholarship for Fine Art 2009, winner of Top Ten Nonfiction Award at Cologne Conference 2006, Otto Prutscher Fonds Award 2006, Susmannstiftung Award 2005, recognitions at Art in Motion 2002, Los Angeles, Ars Electronica, 2002, Linz, CYNETart 2001, Dresden. She was artist in residence in London (ACF), Rom (BKA), Newcastle (ISIS Arts), Berkeley (CEC Artslink), Los Angeles (MAK Schindler), Chicago (BKA), Athens (Snehta), Banff Center (BKA) and in 2019 NYC (BKA).

Her works are part of private and public colletions among Foto collection of BKA, Vienna, Collection of the city of Vienna, MUSA, Collection of National Art Gallery, Sofia, 21er Haus / Belvedere, Vienna, LENTOS Linz, Essl (Albertina), Estherhazy, Angerlehner Collections in Austria, a.o.

She has been granted honorable Austrian citizenship for her achievements in visual arts.