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at KO-OP and Swimming Pool

Opening at KO-OP: 12 July (Thuesday), 19h Exhibition on view until 02.08.2022

Opening at Swimming Pool: 27 July (Wednesday), 19h Exhibition on view until 04.09.2022

A tour with the artist on both venues, starting at KO-OP, on 28 July (Thursday), 18.30-20.30h

Daria Pugachova has been in Sofia since the end of March. She left Ukraine because of the war and came to Bulgaria to continue to work as an artist. Across both spaces, KO-OP and Swimming Pool, you can see two projects — the one she finalised just before the beginning of the war in Ukraine; and, the other one she realised in Sofia after the war started.

Microcosmos at KO-OP

Microcosmos is a documentary project about life in the post-Soviet neighbourhood Polovky in Poltava, Ukraine, at the end of 2021. The artist explores the neighbourhood as an astronaut. She talks with the Polovky residents about their dreams, life and memories of their childhood in these yards. After the encounters, the artist performs at the stadium and symbolically launches their dreams into space.

"The yard is a model of the universe. People are like planets in it; each has its orbit.

Microcosmos form and intertwine, and stars are born and go out. And every city in Ukraine has its courtyard — its microcosmos.

Tell me about your yard; tell me about your dream. We will launch it into the sky.

I am a part of the cosmos, just like you."

Sky of War at Swimming Pool

The sky of war is a sky of threat, or this is what the sky became in Ukraine with the beginning of the war.

Already in Sofia as a resident at Radar Sofia, and as a reaction to the unfolding of the military actions, Daria Pugachova performed I Will Close The Sky So You Could Breathe. At Swimming Pool, we see a documentation of the performance that took place at the beginning of June at Borisova Gradina in Sofia. The performance was initially planned to invite people to join in and together create a symbol of unity, overcoming differences and protecting the Ukrainian sky and people. However, it happened as a solitary action with no support by others — only as an explication of the artist's own will. Perhaps, it reflects the situation in Ukraine and Bulgaria even more. Perhaps, it should have come to this.

And then, there is another sky: at the space, you will find images of the sky taken by those who stayed in Ukraine. Since the beginning of the war the artist has started to collect these, as emanations of the spirit of freedom and unity of the Ukrainian people.

“We continue to look at the sky and believe in our victory.”

Daria Pugachova (1990) is an artist, performer and art activist born in Rivne, Ukraine. She studied architecture at the Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture. From 2013 to 2019, she played drums in the band Panivalkova. Before the war, she lived and worked in Kyiv, performing in public spaces. In her projects, Daria uses participatory practices to unite communities and integrate art into daily life. She explores the themes of the transformation of place and society through the direct presence of the artist. At the end of March, Daria was invited as a resident at Radar Sofia.

The performance "I Will Close the Sky So You Could Breathe" was produced by Radar Sofia, and was part of the New Stages Southeast festival organised by Goethe Institut.

КO-OP and Swimming Pool are financially supported by the National Cultural Fund.


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