Sofia Pride Arts: It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found

Alina Papazova, Aleksandar Gerginov, Benjamin Fredrickson, Ventsislav Zankov, Iva Vacheva, Kalin Serapionov, Cammie Toloui, Lyuben Domozetski, Mihail Novakov, Stefan Nikolaev, BUTT Magazine, Tom of Finland Foundation

Curator: Reneta Georgieva

28.05 – 09.06.2024

✶ The exhibition is for the age limit of 18+

We all need to hide sometimes. Hiding is a strategy we have found to be effective in taking care of ourselves and meeting the expectations of others. But like children playing hide and seek, we yearn to be found. There’s something thrilling about being in this game and feeling that someone cares about you enough to come and find you, to look behind the curtain.

Born from a quote by Donald Woods Winnicott*, “It is a joy to be hidden, and disaster not to be found”, the exhibition includes a selection of works, presenting them “on the edge of visibility”. In the age of exposure and display, these are contemplations on freedom of expression, hidden meaning, intimate experience, sexual desire, pornographic imagination, our longings, deep desires, the play of overlays. The exhibition works through the senses and through acts of sliding, lifting, touching, peering into the rotunda space of the Water Tower. The viewer is assigned the role of a voyeur. 

The selected works make artistic and conceptual references to passages, borders, divisions, connections, professions, circulations, voice and voicelessness, drawing on materiality and the need to be found. 

The curtain, known as a household object or scenographic element in different contexts, here plays the role of a barrier that disrupts our usual habits of observing visual culture. It is a promise of a hidden meaning. The curtain is both what must be pulled to be seen, but also a comfortable cocoon in which to be hidden from view. It holds the sense of being able to reveal yourself and come closer to what you know you are somewhere deep inside, and allow someone else to see that. At least for a moment. Offering us a safe space of openness, allowing us to be “found”, perhaps for the first time in our adult lives. This process can be really liberating. 

With the support of the Embassy of Finland.