Juliana Tekova

Juliana Tekova

Promenade, 2020 / 30 x 42 cm (h x w) / ink and acrylic on paper

Disinfection 3, 2020 / 42 x 30 cm (h x w) / ink and acrylic on paper

New rituals 2020, ink and acrylic on paper

New rituals, 2020,30 x 42 cm (h x w), ink and acrylic on paper

”Преминаване 1982-2020”

Facial recognition, 2020, 30 x 42 cm (h x w) ink and acrylic on paper

New Medicine 2020, ink and acrylic on paper

New Medicine 2020, ink and acrylic on paper

Diary of a Pandemic

In the end of January I was busy preparing a joint exhibition with some colleagues. There were some worrying news coming from China. Nothing forewarned us of the abrupt change that occurred with the spread of COVID-19.

Then we were rapidly swept into a new reality. It overwhelmed us and life as we knew it changed profoundly in all its aspects. The imagery and the vocabulary of our everyday changed. Our rituals and habits changed. It started with disinfection and escalated to news about bodies transported by military trucks in Italy. Medical reality overtook the media.

I started making quick drawings, a sort of visual diary of the pandemic, with the feeling that the present moment was pivotal. This series of drawings is unfinished, because it is still unclear which way our lives are going to go. Reality is still transforming before our very eyes every day. This is only part of the huge food for thought, which we will have to come to terms with in the future.    


„The unbridled onward rush into an abyss. From a logical point of view, this abyss is characterized by the final collapse of the antinomies of movement and inertia and the realization of the vision, which has accompanied modernity from the very start, of a frenetic standstill

It stands to reason that modern society will have to pay for the loss of the ability to balance movement and inertia with nuclear or climatic catastrophes, with the diffusion at a furious pace of new diseases, or with new forms of political collapse and the eruption of uncontrolled violence, which can be particularly expected where

the masses excluded from the processes of acceleration and growth take a stand against the acceleration society.

The alternative of a final catastrophe or a radical revolution hardly represents the kind of ending for which one begins to read or write a book. In both cases one is dealing with an extremely disconcerting finale. Yet perhaps it is in precisely this kind of disquiet that a creative contemporary social theory can find an impulse…”

Hartmut Rosa

Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity

“We usually have a misleadingly simple picture of ourselves. On the one hand, we really see and feel each others as individuals, although questioned from a philosophical and neurobiological point of view, and on the other, we think ourselves as tight in our skins, separated from the rest of the world, probably different from everything, moreover, as uninhabited by billions of living beings, nor resembling a centerless state with countless ethnic groups, with many nomads and migrants.

Related to this is a notion that prevailed primarily in the days of the Enlightenment, according to which, if possible, humans should be autonomous beings. From this follows an opinion that perhaps everyone secretly shares and perceives as obvious: that the host is the primary being and the useless and exploiting parasite – the secondary.

However, this difference disputes and at the same time resembles the difference between hunters and prey, but this probably only applies to the ratios between values. Of course, parasites cannot be thought of only as fraudsters, thieves, robbers, invaders, or colonizers; equally, they are hunters, able to kill their prey only if they are in large numbers. “

excerpt from the text “In Parasitopy” by Florian Rötzer, included in the collection “Renaissance of Utopia”

edition of KH – Critique and Humanism

Translated by Nina Nikolova


Juliana Tekova is a Bulgarian artist and scholar. Between 2005 and 2017, she obtained consecutively B.A., M.A. and Doctoral Degree in Fine Arts from the Bulgarian National Academy of Art. Her doctoral dissertation focused on innovations in the language of expression of Bulgarian painters after 1990 and their socio-historical context. In her artistic work Dr. Tekova is constantly looking for visual means of exploring and reflecting upon existential as well as pressing social and political issues – such as women’s rights, the transition from totalitarianism to (pseudo)democracy, protection of the environment, the future fate of humanity. These searches have yielded works of art, publications, workshops, exhibitions presented both at home and in places like Venice, Vienna, London and Paris. Most recently, Dr. Tekova won the award of Geenpeace Bulgaria for her project Breath it, eat it at the Fine Act Labs, Sofia (2018), and curated an exhibition on the topic No-Places of Utopia (2019). Her portfolio can be seen at www.behance.net/tekova and she can be reached at tekova@abv.bg  

Artists #stateofexception

The project is being implemented by

+359 Gallery, Art Project Depot,  in partnership with KX – Critique & Humanism Publishing House.  They will add comments in the form of quotations from books they have published to the images prepared by the artists for the project.