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Scary, dressed in pink

The memories turned out to be something like a lifeline during the pandemic – they kept their heads above the sea from horror, news, viruses, unpredictability. Or as a hiding place in some happy moments.

This is what I think while looking at the exhibition “Pink Hideaway for Memories” by Anna Narcissus Shopova in the artistic space “ther. Anyone who knows Anna – set designer, artist, advertiser, creative person in general, should know that pink is not among the shades in which you will ever see her. Or at least not in this life. And it is from her paintings that pink horror shines in contrast to everything. And it’s so much Anna stylethat I want everyone to stop, stare and listen in that sense as they walk down the street in the winter rain with thunder.

Anna’s artistic soul has expanded, presenting texts from her blog read by her people. Five of Anna’s relatives read her texts, written with thoughts invading from the street, childhood, horror and beauty, night, pink, some other place where everything can be hidden. In general, phantasmagoria, as she says, in an unexpected shape and color.

Anna’s flowing thoughts are perfectly accompanied by her paintings and objects in pink. Like that one a Christmas deer that hardly ever suspected it would acquire a pink-cyclamen whirlwind and be part of an exhibition. But today it is in the right place.

The exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” presents the project “Pink place for memories and phantasmagoria in short forms”, realized with the support of the program “Creative initiatives” of the National Fund “Culture”.

Visual and audio interpretations of 6 stories from the blog

Kaleidoscope of static and moving pictures and sound. Inhabiting a common space… for some time.Visualized by 1 person. Read by other 5 who meet them for the first time.

And here are a few more thoughts from Anna on a few questions:

Anna Shopova in her “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Gergana Kostova)

– How did this happen? A pink place for memories and phantasmagoria in short forms?– The lyrics sometimes start in my head, most often with the first sentence. Then, when I sit down to write, if I’m lucky and I haven’t forgotten what happened before, I try to imagine the continuation of the story. I watch what is happening or what is lurking around me. People, animals, situations, some of which later “enter” history. So, the universe does not speak to me…

Some of the things my sister tells me. We talk to her a lot and laugh a lot, often in the past. She is a little bigger than me and I perceive her as a guardian of the memories of our family, which is a colorful mixture of comic-dramatic images. He is also the main character in some of the funniest stories.

She tells me childish nonsense or moments she attended – for example, when my grandmother was trying to plan our future rebirth. When I write, these sentences and memories are mixed with my everyday encounters and phantasmagoria. Everything that first settles in my head is then organized so that he can invent the story that began with the first sentence.

I called the exhibition “A hiding place for memories” because of all the real events that are “hidden” in the texts.

Anna Shopova tells stories in the exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Ivalena Hristova-Nena)

“And why in pink?”– Some time ago I started to fantasize about a “pink place” through the prism of scenography. What is this space, what can happen in it. When I started thinking about the project, I thought about this idea again and decided to try to develop it.

Pink looks cheerful and light in color. I don’t feel it as such. I think that in some contexts pink enhances the density of moods that we most often experience alone – sadness, fear, insecurity. The scary thing, dressed in pink, I perceive as even scarier.

The cruel in pink is even more cruel, and the pink sad is much sadder. On the other hand, pink can be very funny. I started to like it and this ambiguity of what turns into what when it’s pink.

Anna Shopova tells stories in the exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Ivalena Hristova-Nena)

– Was the effect of mixing picture, sound and text sought? Or so it came to you?– It happened gradually. I thought about what would be interesting to me and what to challenge. To learn something. In the process of work, ideas began to develop and change, new ones appeared.

My friends and sister helped me a lot, and so did Voyn Voinov from Æther. With your confidence, with your look. I really like this space and I am grateful that the exhibition took place right here!

– And you decided to challenge in all directions? Because you were just a little bit of drawing or just telling stories?– I learned a lot about myself while thinking and working on the project. I told myself that I would try to do both this and that… Since I have been working on scenography, I have been interested in the transformation of space in a given context.

In this case, my idea was to aim for a kaleidoscope. Moving and still pictures, text and sound together inhabit one space.

Anna Shopova tells stories in the exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Ivalena Hristova-Nena)

– Can we say that the memories came to life?– I do not know. Mine did not die, but in the process of work they were compacted with new ones that I remembered. Memories are not the only thing in the stories.

There are also fabrications, but for me it is very interesting how these recalled moments appear inside them, as if out of nowhere.

Anna Shopova tells stories in the exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Ivalena Hristova-Nena)

– Do you think that during the pandemic we live more on memories and we need them more than any other time?– In some moments it is so. When I am left alone, I think of many past things. At the same time, I have unexpected meetings of a new kind. For example, when we were recording the stories, something very interesting happened to me.

During the reading, everyone put something of themselves into the story, although our idea was not to direct the reading. To be rather devoid of emotion, as coming from an observer. That is why the readers had not “rehearsed” with the texts before. They came, sat down and read.

The composer Mira Iskarova, who is also one of the voices (the others are: Adelina Tomova, Ivalena Hristova, Vladislav Damyanov and Delyan Iliev), first made the recordings and then mastered them. In the end, this mixture of voices and intonations ensued, in fact, because everyone read through their own experience. This is felt very strongly when you listen only to the titles read by different people one after the other. We became closer once again by mixing our “stories”.

In a strange way, the pandemic “brought” me new projects to think about. I don’t have time to despair. In the background, however, are the sadness and anxiety of what is happening and what is affecting us all. “We know we’re all crazy, but we don’t know how much.” – I often say this to my friend Anna when we talk about the strange funny-scary times we live in.

Interview with Gergana Kostova

Anna Shopova tells stories in the exhibition “Pink hiding place for memories” (Photo: Ivalena Hristova-Nena)

You can browse the Pink Memory Hideout online at: