Boryana Rossa

A Garden of One’s Own


Bulgaria is known as an „agricultural” country. Between 1944-1990
Bulgaria was one of the major exporters of fruits and vegetables in
the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). However if you
now go to any of the Bulgarian markets or small shops you will have to
buy fruits and vegetables from Turkey, Greece, Italy, Peru and even
Sweden, even the ones that are traditional to Bulgaria like tomatoes,
cucambers, cellary etc. Very little of the production especially in
the big cities comes from local producers.

„A Garden of One’s Own” is a long term research project, a small
balcony garden and an installation display that aims to raise
questions about the current Bulgarian economic situation and its
relationship with global economy. This project also addresses the new
biotechnologycal advances applied in the global food production that
also partly caused this particular twist in the local agriculture and

Boryana Rossa collects seeds from the foreign fruits and vegetables
sold on the Bulgarian market and plants them in pots. By that she
creates a peculiar „bootleg” of this foreign agricultural production
that create a beautiful „gardenly” spirit on the balcony of the
artist’s apartment. The installation consists of documentation photos
and texts from the process and an educational display that immitates
fashion butique.

Boryana Rossa is a Bulgarian interdisciplinary artist, curator and
writer who works in the fields of electronic arts, film, video,
performance and photography. She holds master degrees from the
National Academy of Arts, Sofia, department of Public arts and from
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, department of Electronic
Arts. Most of Rossa’s works have a feminist perspective and have been
shown internationally at venues such as steirischer herbst, Graz; The
8-th International Biennial, Cairo; National Gallery of Fine Arts,
Sofia; 1st Balkan Biennale, Thesaloniki; Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2-nd
International Art Biennial of Buenos Aires , The 1st and 2nd Moscow
Biennial and Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the
Brooklyn Museum, NY.

In 2004 together with the Russian artist Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa
establishes UTRAFUTURO–an international group of artists that engages
with issues of technology and science and their social, political and
ethic implications. Performances of Rossa and Mavromatti have been
included in the retrospective show Renegades—25 Years of Performance
Art at Exit Art, 2006 and in prestigious international exhibitions of
art and technology like the Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP);
Foundation for Art and Creative Technologies (FACT), Liverpool;
Society for Art and Technology (SAT), Montreal.

In 2007 Rossa was a curator of the Bioart Initiative, a unique program
of collaboration between the Center for Biotechnology and
Interdisciplinary Studies (CBTIS) and the Electronic Arts department
of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, that gives an opportunity of
close collaboration between artists and scientists. Rossa holds the
prestigious award Essential Reading for Art Writers of the Institute
of Contemporary Art (ICA, Sofia) for 2008. She works under the name
Boryana Dragoeva until 2004.