Boyana Aleksova’s installation ‘My Religion’ 2019 consists of a large screen-print and painting on steel, textiles, video and sound. With research into the Renaissance portrayal of Gods, she has tried to recreate worship within a relationship through the God Eros (Cupid).
The painting includes a CMYK screen-printed image of a photograph that Boyana took earlier this year. In the photograph, a young, blindfolded man is lying in a bed of silk, roses and grapefruits, looking into his phone without seeing. By using these symbols, the artist transforms the meaning of desire, femininity and the digital into physical objects. The image is situated in the bottom left corner of the painting. The rest of the metal canvas is painted by using a process the artist discovered after experimentation, which includes rust and watercolour. The image is hung higher than eye-level to recreate the sense of holiness and worship.
The floor space is partially covered with silk fabric, candles and TV screens, while the whole space is filled with sound. All of these elements are used to create an intimate, sensual space. Candles and TV screens portray the same image which is the one of a burning candle. By placing them closely, the artist extends the conversation about the relationship between the digital and the physical.
The entrance to the space is an archway door, made by using the same process of rusting and watercolour. The purpose of this archway is to recreate Christian Orthodox spiritual spaces, which is heavily embedded in Boyana’s background as such. A QR code is situated close to the entrance, which visitors can scan by using their phones. This QR code will then take them onto a YouTube video of a candle, making the visitor a part of the artwork.
'My Selves' (2018) is a documentation installation of an online performance which continued for a few months between 2017 and 2018. In this performance I became 5 different personalities through the social media platform - Instagram, including my personal account. This piece is a commentary on today's social media society and how people take on a different persona online in order to be more likeable or trendy. One of my personalities was Nicole Drew. She is a model and an actress, very full of herself, very ambitious. Victoria Anderson is a book lover. Her aesthetic is a rainy Sunday afternoon, a cup or tea and a book. Jane Smith is a poet who only shared her poems with the world, not her face. She is a fragile soul. Fleur Murphy is a painter, whose main medium is watercolour. She is an artist and that is that.
These personalities were all documented online an details from each of their accounts were displayed in this installation.
'Cry Baby' (2017) is an installation of a series of watercolour paintings, a rose and sweetheart candies. The fragments of this installation are symbols of love and affection, but the rose isn't red - it is black and the candy is broken, which communicated with the abstract portraits of crying people.
'Me, Myself and I' (2017) is a freestanding sculptural installation of three paintings, wood and dry paint. The paintings were created on top of magazine pages, coming out of the commercial and going into a more artistic almost Renaissance portraiture. I used dry acrylic paint to sculpt a frame on top of the wooden surface.