Personal statement


As a historian of photography I am tempted to question any concept of photography as a stable medium. I explore the complexity of photography in historical cross-references, such as using digital projection in wet plate collodion process or bringing the common optical imperfections of XVI and XVII century as astigmatism and comatic aberration of the lens into contemporary digital photography. I explore the concept of photographic transparency by working with self-modified lenses and question the concept of the frame by various techniques of exposure. When I do experiments with camera design, optical phenomena and chemical processes, I feel the delicacy of the photographic and the freedom in its vast range. By such modifications of photographic instruments I focus on the rich and artistic, but yet unstudied potential of the medium to transform reality into diverse light expressions and create visual meditations on the essence of light.

Short biographical note

Lilyana Karadjova is a Bulgarian photographer, art historian and philosopher. She is an assistant professor of photography in New Bulgarian University and lecturer in National Academy of Art, Sofia, lectures on theory and history of photography, photography and art, photography in graphic design. She has delivered numerous workshops on alternative photographic processes and since 2015 has constructed hundreds of cameras with her students. She is a visiting professor in Naples Academy of Fine Arts, Brera Academy, Milano, Abat Oliba CEU University, Barcelona and University of Notre Dame du Lac.

In the field of criticism Lilyana Karadjova has worked as an art columnist in the national Novinar daily (2008-2016) and has frequently contributed to the magazines L'Europeo, Art and Critique, Culture newspaper, Bulletin of UBA.




Selected exhibitions:




01.11.2023 - 14.01.2024 - Personal Reality, group exhibition, Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Bulgaria

23.03 - 14.04.2023, Metamorphosis of the Horizon, personal exhibition, curator: Massimo Scaringella, KOU Gallery, Rome, Italy

22.10 - 26.11.2022 - Invisible Streets, personal exhibition in collaboration with Dimitar Stoyanovich, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

12.05 - 28.06.2022 - Life as an Experiment, Photography as Life, group exhibition, Sofia Arsenal - Museum of Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Bulgaria. curator: Katerina Gadjeva

2022 - Camera Obscura, curatorial project, group exhibition with students of photography in New Bulgarian University, Bookstore-Gallery "NBU in the Center", Sofia, Bulgaria

2021 - Light Maskspersonal exhibition, National Autumn Exhibitions 2021, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2021 - Small Crimespersonal exhibition, National Autumn Exhibitions 2021, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2021 - "Horizon of Events"group exhibition, One Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

four prints of the series "Horizon of Events"

2020 - "Alternative Photography in Bulgaria", curatorial project, group exhibition 

part of "Tree of Life, Genealogies of Bulgarian Contemporary Art", One Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria


2020 - "Homage to Masters of Photography", curatorial project, collective exhibition of students of New Bulgarian University, Serdica Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2018 - 2020 - "Film's Not Dead", collective project with BA "Photography" of NBU, The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate, Sofia, Bulgaria

2019 -"Street Ivats Voyvoda" - Curatorial project, Museum House Andrey Nikolov, National Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2019 - "The Game", collective exhibition, Gallery LoosenArt, Rome. Italy

2019 - "The Border of the Photographic", curatorial project, collective exhibition, Gallery Academy, National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria

2019 - "Urban Lights", collective exhibition, Gallery LoosenArt, Rome, Italy

2019 - "Bulgarian Participation, collective exhibition, La Biennale di Roma",

LuxArt, Rom, Italy

2018/2019 - "Freedom Here - and - Now" - Exhibition by Lilyana Karadjova and Dimitar Stoyanovich, Sofia Arsenal - Museum for Contemporary Art, National Gallery, Bulgaria

2018 - "Photographic Original and Art Practices", curatorial project, collective exhibition,MA "Photography", NAA, The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate, Sofia, Bulgaria

2018 - Collective exhibition "Light and Time", Art Alley Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2017 - Collective exhibition "Photographic Original and Art Practices", 2017, MA "Photography", NAA, The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate, Sofia, Bulgaria

2016 - “Frame Capsules”, Monev Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2015 - Black spots / Light thoughts, solo exhibition in a group project, the fridge gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2014 - International Triennial of Graphic Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria. Collective exhibition. Single work, selection.”Deep Sea Secrets”, cyanotype print

2013 - Photography in NAA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria

2013 - Jeux de la Francophonie, Collective exhibition, Acropolis, Nice, France

2012 - “Camera Obscura”, Universitad de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

2012 - “New Wave Photography”, The Crypt Gallery, London, UK

2012 - “New Wave Photography”, Pawilon Wyspianskiego Gallery, Krakow, Poland

2011 -  Dream Machine, solo exhibition, International Meetings of Photography, Balabanov House, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2011 - “Video mapping”, DA Fest, video, National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria

2011 - “Smooth Art”, Grosse Pointe Art Center, Detroit, USA

2011 - “Photo of the year - Canon”, National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2010 - Postidentity, solo exhibition, The Academy Gallery, National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria