ÆTHER Art Space, ul Kynaz Boris 39, Sofia Bulgaria

On show May 3 - 26, 2019

“We Would Sit Together” 2019

The sculptures stand as a still life Momento Mori. Taking the form of a dining room scene, Ida Sophia’s work connects us with a familiar memory of sitting at a table with someone, about to share a meal. At closer inspection, there is no table, nor chairs to sit upon; only a reminiscent shape of their former presence, moulded from draped fabric. 

In veiling the object, it ceases to become a distraction for the soul who needs to disestablish itself from earthly ties and make the journey to the other realm. The act of this ritual is about remembering the departed. We - those left behind - bear the burden of memory in order to allow the departed to be relinquished from it and thus, we become aids in their transition. Memory is a thing that explicitly belongs to the living. It is in the ritual that we remember that we too shall die and in response, we must get on with living. 

Objects used and once belonging to individuals tend to retain their energy after death, it is both nostalgia at work and a mysterious faculty. This process of concealment, therefore, is both mourning ritual and a superstitious act. We honour the dead and simultaneously, ward them off. 

Beneath the sculptures, Ida uses negative space as a visual representation of our departeds presence, thus, becoming a palpable effigy of their absence from life. In the context of our memory, these sculptures are but representations and can no longer be sat at, the table can not be eaten from. However, the memory of this table exchange with a departed soul evokes a sense of contemplation for the viewer. Considering space in this way reflects the Japanese concept of ‘MA’; “more than simply a void: it is a rich space that possesses incalculable energy” [Akiko Fukai]. The “MA” of an object is the essence of it, such as the space between two violin strings. The motivation to draw focus to this space, causes the viewer to see the shape of a familiar memory and inadvertently fill it from their own experience.