(NINA Kovacheva & Valentin Stefanoff): born 1960 and born 1959 in Sofia, Bulgaria. They both graduated from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia in 1985. Since 1995 Nina and Valentin live in Paris, France. Nina and Valentin have lived and worked together for several decades. During this time, they have created both individual and joint works. Often, art critics speak of them as three artists: Nina, Valentin, and Nina & Valentin or ninavale.
While the first half of nineties, they participated in exhibitions, biennales, travel about various projects and residence programs in USA, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria etc. In 1994 they created their first common installation “The Used One”. The second half of nineties, the medium used by ninavale, concentrate mainly on video and video installations. In the first years of the Millennium they focus more and more on their common projects. At that period was created videos as: “Wet Contact”, 2001 / “I am the Best” (video version), 2002 / “Currency”, 2003 / “One, Several, Many Odyssey”, 2003 / “3,39 %”, 2004 / “Let’s have some fun”, 2004 / “How Near So Far”, 2005 / “Desire and Resistance Determine the Motion”, 2007 / “Two days'distance”, 2007–2009. An important point in their common career are the video installations they created for facades of museums, public buildings and other public spaces as: “In the Out”, 2002 was shown at the 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art, Cetinje, Montenegro. For the video installation “In the Out”, Nina and Valentin were awarded the Annual Award of UNESCO: The 2002 UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts.In 2004 they created “Au-delà du Visible” for the “Nuit Blanche”, Paris. After “Nuit Blanche”, with the kind support of the city of Paris, the installation was shown during the months of November and December 2004. After adaptation to the specific architectural environment of different buildings and spaces, the installation was on display also in: The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania, 2005 / 4th Biennale of Contemporary Art, Quebec, Canada, 2008 / Zendai MoMA, Shanghai, China, 2008 / Facade of the Bulgarian Embassy in Paris, 2008 / The National Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2010. Other video installations: “Phases of Accumulation and Extraction in a Limited Space”, 2005 / “Play for Two Hands and Black”, 2006 created respectively for the facades of the National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, and the National Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, subsequently adapted and displayed in the Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art, Strasbourg, France / Zendai, MoMA, Shanghai, China, Li Centre, Beijing / the Museum for Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan / The old Post, V. Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Cu29 Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. During the same period they created the installations: “I am The Best” (six channel video installation) 2002/2010 / “The Stranger in us”, 2005 / “The other – no other than the self?” (Three channel video installation), 2010 / In 2012, ninavale created the site-specific installation “Physics and Metaphisics of the Dark Spot” for the space of Arosita Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria. Ninavale’s works was shown as well in many group exhibitions as (selection): “Crossing Time International”, Dartington, UK, 2002 / “Die Beherrschung der Natur”, Kunsthalle, Hannover, Germany, 2002 / “Sound and Image”, Inner Space Multimedia Art Poznan, Poland, 2002 / “Return Nature II”, Nanjing Shenghua Arts Centre, China 2003 / “Export – Import”, City Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2003 / “Cosmopolis I, Macedonian Museum of Modern Art, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2004 / “Two Asias, Two Europes”, Shanghai Doloun Museum of Modern Art, China 2005 / Apollonia Art Centre, Strasbourg, France, 2005 / Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, France, 2007 / “Face” ZONE: Chelsea Center for the Arts, New York, NY, USA, 2007 / “Mediations”, National Museum, Poznan, Poland, 2007 / “European Attitude”, Zendai Museum for Modern Art, Shanghai, China, 2008 / “Aesthetic and Environment – Human as Art”, MOCA, Taipei, Taiwan, 2009 / “Close Encounter”, Jeju Museum of Art, South Korea, 2009 / “A Theory of the Present”, Gaia Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey, 2017 / “Distinction”, Guo Zhong Art Museum, Beijing, China, 2017. Using the name “ninavale” their double solo exhibitions include: “Currency”, Galerie Mabel Semmler, Paris, France, 2003 / “Vidéo Retrospectif”, Maillon – Wacken, Strasbourg, France, 2004 / “Au-delà de ce qui est visible”, MNAC, Bucharest, Romania, 2005 / “Phases of Accumulation and Extraction in a Limited Space”, National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2005 / “Surplus Enjoyment”, MoCA Taipei, Taiwan, 2010 / “Physics and Metaphysics of the Dark Spot, Arosita Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2012 / “The Temptations of ninavale” I, National Gallery of Macedonia, Skopje, Macedonia, 2017 / “The Temptations of ninavale” II, Sofia Arsenal – Museum for Contemporary Art, Bulgaria, 2018 / “H2O / 2H2O”, Plus 359 Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2019 / “Paradise is Temporarily Closed. GOD”, Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria. During these years Nina and Valentin had as well many presentations and participations in round-table conferences in France, Bulgaria, USA, China, Taiwan, Slovenia, Serbia, Greece, Holland and other countries. Throughout the entire period, apart from their common appearance, Nina and Valentin continue to exhibit as well individually.
NINA Kovacheva in her personal works, cover the fields of photography, drawing, painting, objects and video. Some of the exhibitions of NINA Kovacheva includes as: Family Matter, DomMuseum, Vienna, Austria, 2019 / VULGATA. 77 zeitgenössische Zugriffe auf die Bibel, Dommuseum Mainz, Germany / Intriguing Uncertainties, Parkview Museum, Singapore 2018 / Aging Pride, Belvedere Museum, Vienna, Austria 2017 / Forms of Coexistence, Structura Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2017/ Gold and Niles, galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna, Austria, 2016 / Intrigantes Incertitudes, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain de Saint Étienne, France 2016 / The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Musee d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Saint Étienne, France, 2015 / Reliqte, reloaded, Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria, 2015 / The Naked Man, Lentos Kunstmuseum, Linz, Austria, 2012 / The Crying Game, Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna, Austria and other. In Austria NINA Kovacheva is represented by Galerie Heike Curtze, Vienna.
Valentin Stefanoff: Between the late 1980s and the early 1990s, Stefanoff focused on printmaking. With his first participation in The International Print Biennial Varna, he was awarded the First Prize. After 1995, Stefanoff's focus shifted to installations, videos, photographs, and objects. He works with materials such as plexiglass, wax, glass, and metal. His works often rely on the interplay between ghostly transparency and physical density contingent on the shadows thrown over the objects. Sound and text are also a key component of his art. Some of the exhibitions of Valentin Stefanoff includes as: 0 for Black 1 for White, Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria, 2018 / Le Musée à 30 ans, Musee d’Art Moderne et Contemporaine de Saint Etienne, France, 2017 / Art for Change 1985-2015, Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria, 2015 / Reliqte, reloaded, Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten, Graz, Austria, 2015 / Why Duchamp? From object to museum and back, Sofia Arsenal Museum of Conteporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria, 2012 / Methods for self education, Threshold artspace, Horsecross collection, UK, 2008 / Open – Closed ,The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Belgrade, 2000.