281111: Sofia City Art Gallery Contact Sofia

Sofia City Art Gallery Contact Sofia 22.10.11 – 27.11.11 Cultural desert with international supplies Regarding its cultural production, Sofia’s infrastructure does not meet the expectations of today’s Bulgarian art scene. Similar to other southern- and eastern European countries all activities are dependent on the initiative of artists and curators who operate cultural projects with the help of international sponsors. The Institute of Contemporary Art Sofia (ICA), is an important platform for Bulgarian and international artists, which, under the leadership of Iara Bobnova, offers critical insight into official cultural policies. The Sofia Arsenal Museum of Contemporary Art (Samca), which opened its gates in June, does not live up to its name - visitors are disappointed by the lack of content and disorientation. In September, the Museum for Socialist Art opened, with an unreflective collection of totalitarian art. Critical discourse has definitely not yet arrived in this museum – as a location for history it has degenerated to location denying present day politics. In contrast, the exhibition “Contact Sofia” is an excellent example on how one can deal with contemporary art history in the context of a complex political background. The exhibition provides a differentiated view by attempting to reconstruct art history in Eastern, Central and Southern Europe with works created before and after the Turnaround in 1989 . Clever juxtapositions make conceptual and activist artistic elective affinities as well as the different socio-political conditions under which they were produced visible. The works shown span the years from 1961 to 2004. The audience in Sofia is rarely offered such a concentrated selection of conceptual and performative art, showing works by Pawel Althamer, Peter Weibel, Marina Grzinic & Aina Smid, Carola Dertnig, VALIE EXPORT, Natalia LL, Sanja Ivekovic, Sejla Kameric, Roman Ondac, Tanja Ostojic or Mladen Stilinovic or Geta Bratescu. Compared to its neighbouring countries, the contemporary art scene in Bulgaria only started to develop in the mid 1980’s. The topos of artists such as Luchezar Boyadjiev, Ivan Moudov and Boryana Rossa was primarily mediatised public space, whose political and ethical conditions underlies different groups and which includes a considerable amount of conflict potential. Luchezar Boyadijiev created a personal map of his hometown Sofia “Home/Town” (1998) and thereby created a kind of psychological mapping. Sofia’s art terrain is familiar to Walter Seidl, author of numerous artmagazine articles, and Maria Vassileva, the curator of the Sofia Art Gallery, who organized this exhibition together. Ivan Moudov’s performance “Traffic Control” (2001) is on the cover of the exhibition catalogue and concentrates on the process of cultural translation. Dressed in the uniform of a Bulgarian police officer, Ivan Moudov directs the traffic at a crossing in Graz. It didn’t take longer than 10 minutes before the police stopped the illegal action. By Ursula Maria Probst Sofia City Art Gallery 1000 Sofia 1, Gen. Gurko Street Tel: 00358 2 9872181 http://sghg.bg/ Opening hours: Tue – Sat 10 – 19 hours, Sun 11 – 18 hours

Sofia City Art Gallery
1000 Sofia, 1, Gen. Gurko Street
Tel: 00359 2 9872181
Öffnungszeiten: Di-Sa 10 - 19, So 11 - 18 h

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