The 8th of March is a group of women-artists that in the period 1997-2014 organized exhibitions, discussions and conferences. For the first time in the history of Bulgarian art, through its actions, some of the taboo topics, which till then were considered to be priority only for men, were "pronounced aloud".
Its membership is not strictly appointed. It varies depending on the character of each action. This coincides with desires of the members to protect themselves against all sorts of restrictions. Through their mutual collaboration, members of the group are led by their wish to call society's attention to live problems from artistic and social existence of the women in the present world. They do not try to fight, or to ridicule the men's part of the society. Their main idea is to display, by means of visual arts, the point of view of the woman, her feelings, sensations, ambitions and views, as well as her failings. Some of the most active artists during the years were: Adelina Popnedeleva, Alla Georgieva, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Tania Abadjieva, Monica Romenska, Elena Panayotova, Dimitrina Sevova, Silvia Lazarova, Boryana Rossa, Daniela Kostova, Mariela Gemisheva, and Nina Kovacheva. Erato’s Version, Shipka 6 Gallery, Sofia, 1997; Caprice, ATA Center for contemporary art, Sofia, curator Adelina Popnedeleva, 1998; Obsession, Central Mineral Baths, Sofia, 1999; Dressing/Undressing, Center for contemporary art “Bania Starinna”, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, 1999; Mirror, Mirror..., City Art Gallery, Russe, Bulgaria, 2000; Subjects and Shadows, ATA Center for Contemporary Art, Sofia, 2000; Bulgaria, NY: Bulgarian and American Women Artists Collaborate, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, 2000; SHOP-ART. Women on the market, underpass “Saint Sofia”, Sofia, 2001; Changing of Places, international women exchange project and exhibition at ATA center for contemporary art, Sofia, 2000-2001; The Girls and the Sea, Bulart Gallery, Varna, 2002; Women’s video from Bulgaria, Janko Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel, 2003; Reflections Multiplied, Sofia City Art Gallery, 2006; The 8th of March Group. A Brief History of Art in the Last 25 Years in Texts and Images, Rakursi Art Gallery, Sofia, 2014.
Maria Vassileva (b. 1961 in Sofia, lives and works in Sofia) graduated in Art History from the National Art Academy, M.A. (1984). PhD in Art History (2007). Acts as curator, art historian and art critic. She specialized at the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1998), at the Institute of the History of Art at the University in Rochester, the USA (1999), at the Central European University in Budapest (2002), at the International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York (2002). One of the founders of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. Curator of the “8th of March” Group. Former chief curator at the Sofia City Art Gallery (1998-2015), where she established the collection of “Contemporary art and photography” in 2006. 2016-2017 Chief curator at the National Gallery in Sofia. Since 2010 she manages the “Edmond Demirdjian” foundation, established to support young artists. Maria Vassileva initiated several programs and awards for young artists, “Meeting Point” and the BAZA Award for Contemporary Art among them. Curated a number of solo and group exhibitions with Bulgarian and international artists. Published several books on modern and contemporary art and a number of essays and articles in catalogues, magazines and newspapers. Director and founder of Structura Gallery.
Alla Georgieva (b. 1957 in Kharkov, Ukraine, USSR) lives and works in Bulgaria. Georgieva Graduated from the Academy of Art and Design in Kharkov. She works in painting, drawing, installation, photography, objects, videos, performance, and cartoons (with Chavdar Georgiev). In recent years her interest is also in research of historical and ideological clichés of political debunking myths and stereotypes of mainstream thinking. According to Iliyana Nedkova “In her photo-installations, video and objects, the artist mixes visual elements typical of the “new” Balkan sub cultural movements and the aestheticism and elitism of high-level art. She uses the language of advertising, often draws on grotesque, the farce and the parody to dissect the everyday absurdity in the contemporary Bulgarian society in transition.”
In 1999 Georgieva founded a private Museum dedicated to the representation of women in various fields, including: advertising, souvenir industry, toys, and more. In 2020 Georgieva presented the private museum's collection at the Vera Nedkova House Museum, National Gallery, through the pulpit "Museum of Woman - Alla Georgieva Collection'' -- a collection that has been gathered for over 20 years and continues to be supplemented with new exhibits. Additionally, in 2011 Georgieva curated (together with Nadezhda Dzhakova) the exhibition "Re-production," dedicated to the theme and the problems of contemporary parenthood at Sofia Arsenal, Museum for Contemporary art, Bulgria.
Selected solo and group exhibitions: "Coronavirus in Bulgaria — Diary", National Gallery, Sofia (2021); “The Life is a bed of roses”, Structura gallery, Sofia (2018); XXIII International Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo, Bulgaria, Special Award for contemporary art (2017); “Amor, OI Futuro”, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2016); “Gender-Check / Femininity and Masculinity in Easter European Art”, National Gallery of Art Zaheta, Warsaw, Poland; BIENNALE: 2 of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; "Land of Promise", part of REMAP: KM shared for the 2nd Athens Biennale; "Current Bulgarian scene," Ludwig Museum in Koblenz; "Wasteland", gallery Hattyuhaz, Peja, Hungary; "Hack.Fem.East", Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien, Berlin; "Wild Girls", gallery EXIT ART, New York; Play Sofia, Kunsthalle, Vienna; Cosmopolis / 1, Microcosmos X Macrocosmos ", State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki; "Privatizirungen" / The Post-Communist Condition, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; "The Sphinx will Devour You", Gallery Karsi Sanat, Istanbul; "Blood & Honey / Future's in Balkans", Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Vienna; "Bound (Less) Borders", Museum of the History of Yugoslavia, Belgrade; "Bulgaria, NY", "Elizabeth foundation", New York.
Daniela Kostova (b.1974 in Sofia, Bulgaria) isan interdisciplinary artist who works with photography, installation, performance and video. Her projects address issues of geography and cultural representation, the production and crossing of socio-cultural borders, and the uneasy process of translation and communication. Her work is exhibited at venues such as The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NY), Queens Museum of Art (NY), Kunsthalle Wien (Austria), Institute for Contemporary Art (Sofia), Centre d’art Contemporain (Geneva), Antakya Biennale (Turkey), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, (Torino), Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel) and many others.
In the summer of 2019, Daniela was commissioned by VIG to wrap the well-known Ringturm building in Vienna, Austria. Her piece “Future Dreaming” spread on 4000 sq. meters represents one of the biggest public art displays in Europe. In 2016 she had her first solo show in NYC as A.I.R. Gallery Fellow, and was a resident at the Center for Art and Urbanism (ZK/U), Berlin. In 2011, Daniela won the Unlimited Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Art. In 2009, 2007 and 2006 she received travel grants from NYFA, the American Foundation for Bulgaria and the European Cultural Foundation.
In 2000 Kostova won the International Art Award Onufri in Tirana, Albania. In 2002 she was an ArtsLink Residency fellow at the CIA, Cleveland, Ohio. In 2003 she was granted a Graduate Fellowship from RPI in Troy, NY where she later taught Intermediate Digital Imaging. In addition, Daniela curated the BioArt Initiative – art & science project of the Arts Department and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at RPI. Daniela's work is reviewed in New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Flash Art, Art in America and more. She currently lives in NYC and serves as Director of Curatorial Projects at Radiator Gallery, Artist Mentor at NYFA’s Immigrant Artist Program and Board Member of CEC ArtsLink.
Adelina Popnedeleva (b. 1956 in Sofia, Bulgaria) lives and works in Sofia where she is an artist, filmmaker and curator and holds a PhD in Visual Arts and Theory of Art, National Academy of Arts. She is a Professor in the National Academy of Arts, Sofia.
She took part in international exhibitions like "Synergy '', European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, Second triennial of fibre art, Hangzhou, China;" Save the Dreams. Contemporary Artists from Bulgaria", Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice; The summer Video Portrait Symposium, Bangor University, UK; Art for change, SGHG, Sofia; Why Duchamp?, Museum for contemporary art,Sofia Arsenal; Re-production, Museum for contemporary art, Sofia Arsenal; Shortlist 2008, Gaudenz B. Ruf award for New Bulgarian Art; "Portrait in the moving image", Vandalarom and Jonchoping Lans Museum, Sweden; Aktuelle szene Bulgarien, Ludwig Museum, Koblenz; festival BBI Fribourg, Switzerland; Coffee with Sugar, Seoul; Donumenta, Regensburg, Germany; Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna, Austria; Trieste Contemporanea, Focus Bulgaria, Trieste, Italy ; Visual Immortality, Visarte Gallery, Basel, Switzerland; Women of the World, a global Collection of Art, White Columns, NY, USA; Bulgarian and American Women Artists Collaborate, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, USA; Solitary Pursuits, Elisabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, USA .
She has been awarded an honorary diploma for documentary film, XVIII festival ”Golden rhyton“, Bulgaria 2010 and Gaudenz B. Ruf award for New Bulgarian Art, advanced artists 2008.Membership in AICA, Bulgaria, Union of Bulgarian artists, The 8-th of March group.
Boryana Rossa (b. 1972, Sofia, Bulgaria) is an interdisciplinary artist and curator. She holds PhD and MFA in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer University, Troy, NY and MFA in Mural painting from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia. Rossa is currently an Associate professor in Transmedia at Syracuse University, NY and an artist in residence at Hehly Lab at the Department of Biology in the same university.
Her works are shown at venues such as Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art (MUMOK) Vienna; Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw; 1st Balkan Biennale, Thessaloniki; Kunstwerke and Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; The 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennial For Contemporary Art; Sofia City Art Gallery; Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia; Exit Art, NY, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art (SAMCA), Sofia, 2018 Beijing Media Art Biennial, China; University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland; Coreana Museum, Seoul etc.
In 2004 together with the Russian artist and filmmaker Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa establishes UTRAFUTURO–an international group of artists engaged with issues of technology, science and their social implications. Works by ULTRAFUTURO have been included in the Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP) and shown at FACT, Liverpool; SAT, Montreal.
Since 2012 Rossa has been a director of Sofia Queer Forum, together with the philosopher and activist Stanimir Panayotov.
Her 2014 bio-art project “The Mirror of Faith,” she completed at Hangar, Barcelona was part of the Grid Spinoza program, funded by the European Commission, and was finished in a residency at Welsh’/Hehnley lab at Syracuse University. The project premiered at GARAGE Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2019. Since 2018 in collaboration with biologist Dr. Heidi Hehnley, Rossa is running a lecture/exhibition series Bio-Art Mixer, which brings together artists and scientists to share their research and establish collaborations. The series had been supported by the department of Transmedia and CUSE grant, at Syracuse University.
Rossa’s art has been written about in milestone books such as Global Feminisms, 2007; Transitland Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009, 2009; Gender Check, 2010; ZenD’Art 2010; re.act.feminism, 2014; Sexing the Border: Gender, Art and New Media in Central and Eastern Europe, 2014; Performance Art in Eastern Europe since 1960; 2018 and magazines such as Kunstforum International, Frieze, New Yorker etc.