site-specific sculpture for public space, 2019
curated by Ivana Nencheva and Natalia Lenz, The Fridge
Pavement Fragments are two sculptures by Albena Baeva that examine the visual, historical and cultural context of the pavement stones in the Plovdiv remote neighbourhoods of Proslav and Trakia. A small piece of pavement from each region has been photographed and then turned into a sculpture through the use of photogrammetry. A fragment of the asphalt pavement in Trakia is on show in Proslav and, conversely, a broken tile from Proslav is shown in Trakia.
The work Pavement Fragments is based on research into the problems of both neighbourhoods by the Bulgarian Fund for Women as part of the 2019 project Sense of a city: Inclusive, Safe and Sustainable Plovdiv, part of the program of Plovdiv 2019 – European Capital of Culture.
Eight female artists from Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, and Romania created special art interventions in Proslav and Trakiya that rethink public spaces based on a survey filled out by inhabitants of these two neighborhoods. Valentina Sciarra, Albena Baeva, Iliyana Kancheva, Vasilena Gankovska, Stela Vasileva, Ina Valentinova, Olivia Mihăltianu and Simone Gilges discussed a different phenomenon in the city, such as urban planning, ecology, ethics of the visual environment and, last but not least, the lack of women’s image in public space and its role in society. The chosen approach and locations in both areas are related to the artists ‘ aspirations to express the possible ways of creating an inclusive environment, and at the same time – to recall its functions and collective welfarе.
The documentary analysis the art interventions are based on is a result of the active participation of the two neighborhoods’ inhabitants in the process of rethinking the city. In the summer of 2018, they took part in the so-called “exploratory walks”, an innovative tool for empowering local communities, developed by the international non-governmental organization Womenability, based in Paris. In partnership with the Bulgarian Fund for Women, they added Plovdiv to the other 25 cities over the world where they have conducted such walks. For the first time, however, their method doesn’t only identify local problems but, with the artists’ help, it also offers possible solutions.
photos by Albena Baeva and Gergana Boteva
You can find more information on the project here.