Domus Aurea

Sofia Art Weekend at Æther & Swimming Pool, Sofia

28 – 30 September 2017


Over a weekend, two art spaces in Sofia – Æther and Swimming Pool – turn into a “golden house”, our domus aurea, where you are invited to enter.

With Domus Aurea we initiate a conceptual collaboration that searches for difference and resonances between two recently founded art spaces. It is an attempt to establish a dialogue while underlining the importance of differences and the specific characteristic of each of us.

Each space invites to an exhibition and events with a joint choreography. Domus Aurea is organized as the first Sofia Art Weekend with the intention to grow over the following years.


Domus Aurea, or the “Golden House” was the name of a palace built by Emperor Nero in the heart of the ancient Rome. Its interior was truly marvelous: The rooms were covered in dazzling polished marble. There were pools on the floors and fountains splashing in the corridors. Frescoed walls, stuccoed ceilings, semi-precious stones and ivory veneers, above all – golden leafing was part of to the extravagant decoration.

A fantasy of lavishness.

After Nero’s death the house was completely obliterated, all worthy materials were stolen away. Only in the Renaissance, Pinturicchio, Raphael and Michelangelo would crawl  in the undergrounds to study the frescoes, utterly affected by its lucid forms.

Splendor wafted from the far past.

Can we award ourselves, our bodies, our homes with amplitude after we’ve dumped our dreams in a world where all has been spent, we save on everything, and we don’t expect anything. What about all that richness we carry on the inside that makes our bodies gleaming, our minds shining?

Our homes, our golden homes.

The way we think about our homes shows our relationship toward ourselves, which is also our attitude towards the world. This is, eventually, our attitude towards the truth.


Æther proposes a site-specific installation,  Aura, by Simeon Simeonov, and a twenty-four hour performance by Voin de Voin. Both works are, in a sense, a collective experience looked at as a social experiment. Placed in the middle of the gallery space, Aura is a pneumatic membrane, which slowly expands to gradually engulf the entire gallery space.
Voin de Voin’s performance is a ritual of elevation towards the sacred, and the idea of ​​recognizing and seeing man as a being of light. The performer’s body becomes his “golden house,” his refuge.
Curated by Pavlina Krasteva and Voin de Voin.

Ivan Spasov: Heavenly Blue Morning, Noon and the Pathway Behind Noon at Swimming Pool is an exploration of the oeuvre of composer and conductor Ivan Spasov (1934-1996). Spasov was among the instigators of a Bulgarian Avant-garde in modern classical music. In his compositions the traditional folklore theme, its ornamentation, its sounding and rhythm, became subject of interpretation by the means of vanguard techniques. His vocal-orchestral works from 1980s and 1990s are marked by a deeply felt spirituality.
The exhibition includes selected scores, texts as well as documentary material. It is accompanied by a discussion and a performative concert of rarely played musical pieces and songs on the rooftop terrace.
Curated by Viktoria Draganova and Pavel Naydenov.

We thank to LINDA and Snejanka Mihailova for sharing this project with us at its very beginning.

  • 21617505_1460613380674676_1726664979320480007_n