June 26th – August 28th 2020

SARIEV gallery, Plovdiv

Phase I
Bignia Wehrli | Marta Djourina | L

Organization by Boyan Manchev, Vesselina Sarieva

This Viewing Room is an introduction to Magia Naturalis and a meeting with the creators of this experimental environment, as well as the artists presented in Phase I:

Is nature an artist? Is creation peculiar to stars, metals, fire? What does the stone imagine? What does the cloud want? 

Moving away from poeticising that has been divested of its creative power, Magia Naturalis will take on these questions, in all seriousness and on the level of their eccentricity, in order to elevate them to an experimental dimension: a dimension of the possibility of (creative) subjectivity beyond the bounds of the human. Magia Naturaliswill therefore open up an experimental space of reflection where simulated possibilities of the unimaginable (forthcoming) nature and the unimaginable (forthcoming) art will be investigated. It is not a question about nature conceived as an ungraspable origin duly furnished as a museum herbarium – it is about nature as an ever forthcoming unimaginable force, as an art of what is yet to come.  

The concept of magia naturalis, natural magic, has been developed by Renaissance humanists and expresses the heretic notion of creative acts produced by natural forces and of nature itself as a creator. This concept is at the very heart of alchemy and astrology, while giving impetus to the development of natural sciences. The magical power of nature: uncanny figures, unimaginable forces, non-human desires. 

Magia Naturalis, a meeting ground of complicities, coincidences and clashes, explores nature as force by way of fantastic philosophical acts and unexpected transformations of artistic media. It operates not so much with objects, acts or relations, as with a scope of intensities where ephemeral constellations and stark powerful lines flash forth. In this respect, the exhibition raises the question of cooperation: the agents, the subjects, the forces. The forces that animate concepts and (art) works. 

Natural magic: an experimental possibility for creative intervention into the space-time coordinates of a singular system of relations, which sustains it on the level of a delicate, yet intensive meta-stability. 

Phase I of Magia Naturalis will be presenting artworks by Bignia Wehrli, Marta Djourina and L, sharing the space of Boyan Manchev’s philosophical laboratory, along with a poem in progress by Vesselina Sarieva. The works exhibited will act both autonomously and heteronomously: as autonomous agents, yet also as symptomsin a process of multifold stimulation of the reflexive domain of creation along the line of experiment and investigation. 

The common space of this encounter is founded on the shared desire for transformation of forms and the invention of new forms; of new techniques for their emergence. Suspended in time, it is a space that looks forward to the future: a trace of light of a matter yet to be. 

Text by Boyan Manchev and Vesselina Sarieva