Sounds Like a Whisper (Poetically Political) exhibition to open at Sofia City Art Gallery

A contemporary art exhibition entitled Sounds Like a Whisper (Poetically Political) opens on March 12 at 6pm at Sofia City Art Gallery in Bulgaria’s capital city, and continues until May 26 2024.

The gallery said that the exhibition Sounds Like a Whisper, curated by Galina Dimitrova and Ariel Reichman, presents a selection of 11 artists from eight countries, whose artistic practice can be described as “poetically political”.

“The guiding principle of this practice is that it seeks the poetic (often in distressing realities) and is interested in the state of mind of the political sphere,” the gallery said.

“Rather than didacticism, this form of art offers an experience, as it believes that people can strongly relate to each other, as well as to a cause, through feelings. Thus, it wants to create a feeling in the viewer, rather than a rational observation.”

It looks at subjects not as an “observation from the outside” but rather as “action from within.” In this way it treats acute political issues, allowing for a more subtle, complex, and poetic relationship with the viewer. At the same time, there is a critical relationship towards the subject matter, expressing the artist’s attitude to it.

The exhibition presents works by pioneers in the approach of poetic political art, such as Bas Jan Ader (NL) and Etel Adnan (LB), as well as by contemporary artists who are actively working in this direction: Ella Littwitz (IL), Petrit Halilaj (XK), Sejla Kameric (BH), David Horovitz (US), Ariel Reichman (SA), Natalie Czech (DE), and Driton Selmani (XK), together with the Bulgarian artists Pravdoluib Ivanov and Borjana Ventzislavova.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Tracy Chapman’s “TaIkin’ Bout a Revolution,” in which she sings: “Don’t you know / Talking about a revolution? / It sounds like a whisper.”

Chapman was 16 at the time she wrote the song, and in an interview, she said, “A revolution will happen one way or another. I hope for slow gradual change towards greater fairness. Violence is always a loser for everyone! If austerity and the racial divide continues, if the global poverty levels are allowed to go on, there will be a reckoning. We need to listen to the whispers.”

The gallery said: “We take the metaphor of the whisper to convey our belief that if art has a calling to speak about our critical realm, then in this exhibition, the artists do so not with a megaphone, but with metaphor.

“In a time of noisy cacophony, we need to pay attention and listen to the whispers. We offer the viewer an opportunity to see beyond what is visible on the surface, to tell the narrative in a complex manner, to create emotion and to give hope (for the much-needed change).”

The Sofia Globe staff

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