Updated: Aug 22
Works by Boryana Rusenova-Ina
On view June 30 - August 19, 2023
Dale Brock and the Visiting Angels Gallery
"My current project You Speak English Too Well is grounded in my formative experiences of learning English as a second language in post-communist Bulgaria. Back then writing was drawing and drawing was writing, and now they both have also become painting. I find the intersection between language and identity, and how the former signifies the latter, to be a constant source of curiosity. Most recently, this has been embodied in my young, bi-lingual children and their attempts at drawing out words. The impulse to assign meaning to their scribbles is a precursor to written language and language is another form of cultural capital. I see their marks as an expression of something that is not yet learned but in the process of becoming so. To preserve this state of flux, I copied their scribbles and early writings in a series of trompe l’oeil paintings titled This Is the Way to Macke a Hart. For me copying is a generative act; I copied to remind myself of the power of their uncontrived marks and of what comes before we become fully “set” into a sense of self and place. The shapes of mountains in the paintings are based on surveillance camera footage of Mt. Rushmore Memorial when the camera displaces the figures of the four presidents to randomly capture the edges of the mountain. Referencing Mt. Rushmore as only rocks and sky brings back associations to its previous history as a landscape not yet inscribed by a national ethos. Pairing these seemingly unrelated subjects together creates a space, both material and figurative, in which we can ruminate on the influence of a powerful symbol of national capital against a child’s developing awareness of self."