Boryana Rossa

Boryana Rossa’s work scrutinizes contemporary practices of gender-emancipatory performance in which the body becomes the central medium and enters into a relationship with the audience via a live or mediatized setting. Rossa’s work encompasses photography, video, electronic arts and performance, often showing the artist’s own body as the primary subject of exploration. Since 2004, Rossa has collaborated with Russian artist Oleg Mavromatti, with whom she founded the ULTRAFUTURO collective. In many of her works, the body is subjected to pain and violence; this harkens back to the performance art tradition of the 1960s and 1970s, a context in which the immediacy of the body could only be felt through pain, thus being integrated into a process of subjectivization, thus postulating woman’s role as a fully perceived subject vis-á-vis the historically male-defined objectivization of the female body. For Rossa, “Wounds and bruises are not always the result of violence; sometimes they are the marks of love…. Pain (including the physical) is a part of human existence—it is part of the life of both men and women; it is part of the act of creation.”[1] In this respect, body language and emotional outbursts are essential elements of Rossa’s performative gestures, with notions of hysteria also coming into play. The latter, however, are not meant to denote a pathological disorder, but much rather employ a critically feminist interpretation of Lacan in order to refer to woman's body language or to pre-oedipal semiotics, which could also be applied to sexually transgressive behavior.   

Regarding the focus on gendered body language or gender as performance per se, Rossa concentrates on identity formations in the wake of both post-Cold War political transformations and the increasing onslaught of capitalism in global politics and technological development.



[1] Charlotta Kotik, “Post-Totalitarian Art: Eastern and Central Europe,” in Global Feminisms. New Directions in Contemporary Art, ed. Maura Reilly, Linda Nochlin (New York: Merell, 2007),154.

1972, Sofia / BG


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