Desislava Petkova and Silvia Cherneva: Parachute


Desislava Petkova and Silvia Cherneva

08-07-2021 until 10-09-2021

Location: gallery Gallery’s sculpture park Ploshtadka, Elisaveta Bagryana str., Sofia, across from the Registry Agency.


An enormous pink balloon appeared as if out of nowhere between the apartment blocks. Gently dancing in the wind, it opens its mouth, inviting us in. Once inside, every movement we make changes where we are: inside the belly of a whale, high in the sky in a zeppelin, 20,000 feet underwater in a submarine. It is all possible and all real; we are both here and there all at the same time.

The pink balloon is part of Parachute, a project by the architects Desislava Petkova and Silvia Cherneva.
In Parachute, Desislava designed the intervention in public space, and Silvia created the video miniatures inspired by the quirkiness of the balloon. These miniatures explore the appearances and playfulness of the balloon in public space. Sometimes as a documentary, sometimes as a choreography, these miniatures encourage the viewer to invent their own stories.

Desislava uses a theatrical approach to interventions in urban space. She uses sensory theatre to explore a range of perceptions and an unconstrained interconnection between space and thought. Silvia, besides an architect, is also a choreographer and a video maker, who juxtapose in her work the static architecture with the living environment.

Desislava describes Parachute as “materialized ether that conveys the idea of the importance of the environment even to the smallest among us.” The intervention provokes us to ask numerous questions. How do we approach the unknown? What environment do we need to feel safe enough to explore the new? What is the role of public space in the formation of personality?

Parachute will be shown on the childrens’ playground where Desislava grew up. There, the children from the neighbouring blocks play every evening, even today. The square itself does not look particularly inviting. There are no colourful slides, sandpits, toys or benches. This appears to be yet another neglected space between apartment blocks, typical for Sofia’s city landscape. In the evening, however, the atmosphere changes. Children come out of the apartment blocks nearby. They ride their bikes and play until darkness falls; in the belly of the whale, in a zeppelin or in a submarine.

You are invited to enter the Parachute on 8 and 9 of July, between 6 pm and 8 pm. The video miniatures are accessible via a QR code, which will be available at Ploshtadka until 10 September.

Desislava Petkova studied Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna and has a Masters from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, with a focus on urban space, urban culture and city planning.
Silvia Cherneva is an architect and choreographer. She has a BA in Architecture from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Contemporary Dance from the London Contemporary Dance School.

Ploshtadka (Bulgarian for playground, a landing site or a construction site) is the new virtual sculpture park of gallery Gallery. It is located along Elisaveta Bagryana Street, directly across from the Registry Agency. Parachute is the first intervention in an urban environment with which we will discover our new space.

Ploshtadka will show digital sculptures visible only to visitors’ mobile devices through augmented reality. It is a natural continuation of our digital exhibition space and the permanent collection of gallery Gallery.

The Parachute project is supported by the National Culture Fund.