Residency Unlimited


Talks | Mar 14 2023 6:30-8:00pm

RU Talk: Marta Djourina in conversation with Gregory Volk

Marta Djourina, "Glowing Attraction", 2019-2021, direct exposure with bioluminescent algae on analogue photo paper, unique work, 76 x 52 cm.

Tuesday March 14, 2023 | 6:30-8:00pm

Location: Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street (main green church doors), Brooklyn NY 11231 (map)

Click here to view the online brochure for this program

In her conversation with art writer and freelance curator Gregory Volk, Bulgarian artist Marta Djourina will discuss how her analogue photographic process is marked by experimentation and the exploration of the essence of light. In her use of color and black and white photographic paper, light becomes a subject matter, a tool and an object of investigation. Performative movements, objects or a combination of these elements and self-made film negatives, are traced with different light sources and recorded on the flat surface. They take place in the darkroom, the temporality of which is translated into a painterly gesture and a dynamic color composition. They can result in intimate small formats as well as monumental works up to 6 meters high. Whilst some works focus on the physicality of traces of light, others deal with the visualization and fixation of something more ephemeral.

Djourina’s experimental approach has also involved collaborating with non-human beings, including a pigeon which wore a pinhole camera. With projects such as “Glowing Attraction” and “Foxfire”, Djourina works with light emanating from living organisms. In his text for the online exhibition Contact Gregory Volk comments that "Marta Djourina’s vividly colored works, which at first resemble abstract photographs, are made by an unusual process— direct exposure of analog photography paper to bioluminescent fungi, bioluminescent algae, sunlight, and seawater. She makes these works, but so too do organisms and elemental forces…”

Djourina will also present her current project “Touchpoint”. “Touchpoint” charts movement in the image to touch in the image by applying a historical technique drawn from the medical field to capture the physical proximity and the touch of a finger on photographic paper.

Click below to see images from the program

RU Talk: Marta Djourina in conversation with Gregory Volk



Marta Djourina (b. Sofia) studied at the UDK (Berlin University of the Arts) and at the Glasgow School of Art. She is the recipient of the 2021 BAZA Award for Contemporary Art resulting in a two month residency at Residency Unlimited. Her work is shown internationally, and is currently featured in the group exhibition Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now, curated by Lauren Richman, at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University (on view until July 2nd, 2023). Recent shows include the Berlinische Galerie - Museum of Modern Art, Sofia Arsenal - Museum of contemporary Art, FeldbuschWiesnerRudolph (Berlin), 3:e Väningen (Gothenburg), Mark Müller (Zurich), CAN (Neuchâtel). Click here to read Marta's full bio.

Gregory Volk is a New York-based art writer, freelance curator, and former associate professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media and the Department of Painting + Printmaking at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2021 he was invited as US juror by Residency Unlimited and Structura Gallery in Sofia to select the 2021 BAZA Awardee for Contemporary Art. For Structura and Radiator Gallery in Long Island City, he also curated the online (and ongoing) exhibition Contact which includes works from three of Marta Djourina’s recent series.

This program benefits from the support of The Trust for Mutual Understanding.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.