Which are the components defining “identity” today?  Are they: “belonging” to a place (city, country) or to someone, “continuity” – of history, “roots”, “persistency”? Or  are these formerly stable values becoming flexible/ constantly transformable in the nomad way of life today, shaped by mobile homes, temporary relationships, periods of transition and history interruptions, restlessness and continiuous search/ research?

Initial situation:
During its transitional period after the political reversal, in the past 15 years Sofia has gone through a rapid change on every level: Due to the redistribution of nationalized housing, the change of character of the neighborhoods, the infrastructural development, the economic differentiation, the gradual disappearance of the middle class, the constant moving of businesses,   the once cohesive city has been fractured into self-sustaining zones, such as: on the one hand Mladost (Youth), Liulin, Nadezda (Hope), Drouzba (Friendship), Hladilnika (Fridge), build in the 70ies, on the other hand: Boyana, Dragalevtsi that have turned from villages into well-off quarters. Each of them is determined by the economical and social level of their inhabitansts. This fragmentation of the city and the lack of orientation prepared the ground for a diversification of identification aspects. The absence of continuity also led to an interruption of the bonds with the own cultural values and to the uncritical copying of western models.
Together with the “moving” city, many artists left the country to study or to work abroad. In the recent years, though, a coming back is ascertained, either as an emotional feeling of belonging, or in a physical way. This fact is also demonstrated in the projects we received, proposed either by Bulgarian artists living abroad, or by those who returned to Bulgaria. Thus, diversification of identity is setted both in their personality and in their artistic self-determination.
Concerning the contemporary performing, visual, new media arts, their distinctive feature is the diversity of “marks”, the attempt of creating their own ones, as well as the lot of energy, enthusiasm and the struggle to make one’s impact on the established structures.
Most of the existing artistic communities are dependent on program subsidies and not on the market, a fact that determines their temporary, non-persistant character. There are already strong attempts to break through the closing into confined circles and to initiate collaborations and exchanges with other artists on national and international level.

Curatorial statement
The choice of the suggested program, is based on the intention to present projects, in which the artists contextualize the theme of the diverse identity, constantly re-defining itself.
The accents in the selected projects are themes like the relations of the artists to the urban environment, their reference to private and public space, and the active engaging of the visitors. The hybrid feature of the projects is demonstrated in their inderdisciplinarity and co-authorship: different artistic practices, such as: media art, net-art, installations, performances, interventions etc. merge to create an unique expression.  The artists are questioning the stereotypes of the completed form and set on the idea of the „game“: the interaction of the visitors is an important issue of the artistic appoach. The visibility of the process of research  and creation is another component of the selected projects.

Sofia has turned into a point of attraction for foreign artists with a nomadic lifestyle.  Their attention is focused by the possibility of participating in the developing of the artistic and cultural framework, the forthcoming EU-membership, the affordable economic environment for work development and production. Such artists have also submitted projects for the MOBILE STUDIOS platform. Comparing them to those of the Bulgarian artists, we found out that the projects are dealing more with universal categories, like: urbanity, mobility, networking and pursue an universal artistic language by a diversity of approaches.

We expect that MOBILE STUDIOS SOFIA will become a point of departurte for establishing of new artistic positions and for encouraging the reflexion and debate on our own relations to culture.

context

contact

info@brainstoreproject.com

download

sofia.pdf

keywords

mobility | networks | media art | performance | fashion | design | science | urban interventions | communication | cultural policies | cooperation | talk | internet | netart

people

Neli Mitewa | Mila Odazhieva | Kyd Campbell | Petko Dourmana | Peter Anders | Greta Gancheva | Willy Prager | Stefan A. Shtereff | Galia Dimitrova | Margarita Dorovska | Yana Kostova

publications

Urban Cycles Catalogue

links

Brainstoreproject | InterSpace Sofia | Odavision | Eskimo | Cult.BG | Radiocult | The Upgrade!

institutions

Brainstoreproject | InterSpace Sofia | Goethe Institut Sofia

subscribe to newsletter

impressum

©2006 Public Art Lab | All rights reserved