This walking long durational performance is a continuation of my urban art research which is taking part in different cities across the world. Aside to the East and West of Sofia I am also proposing for the Sofia Underground a presentation of this research and its until now last installment: the East by Northeast project (below).
For the East and West of Sofia I intend to walk across the whole city of Sofia, either from its western suburbs Lyulin to its south-east suburbs Mladost or vice versa. I intend to begin and end the walk not exactly in the respective suburbian areas but slightly further from the center, the beginning and end being determined by the Sofia’s administrative borders.
Both large residential complexes Lyulin and Mladost are significant for eras in which they were built and later developed. Lyulin is carrying the stigma and dystopian „eastern“ beauty of the infamously known socialist real estates which are recently bringing attention of so many „alternative tourists“ and artists across the whole former Eastern Bloc. Mladost inherited the same post-USSR setting of residential blocks yet nowadays it speaks not only of its socialist past but also of its capitalist („west“) present. The district experienced a rapid development with its Business Park Sofia, scientific zones, newly built modern buildings or cycling routes which turned it into a the business center of the city.
For the walk I also intend to pass around the main festival venue, the National Palace of Culture which too is a monumental and symbolic part of the Sofia’s landscape and Bulgaria’s history. My walk through the festival centre would not only make the performance more visible for the audience but also make the walk conceptually richer. I wish to articulate the significance of the city center as without the center there would be no suburbs. Also Sofia’s historical core displays urban structures and monuments far older than its peripheral districts and by that speaks with a bigger depth of the Sofia’s/Bulgaria’s east-west ambiguity.
Practically speaking I propose to announce the walk publicly and make it accessible for anyone interested in joining. It may be divided into two parts with the (lunch) break at the National Palace of Culture.
Curating performance art
My last proposition is a talk which might or might not be concluded with a common discussion. The talk would focus on the presentation of my curatorial/organisational activities. The length could range from apx 20min to 1h+, depending on your timeframe and interest.
Since 2012 I am active as an „independent“ (performance) art curator and organiser. I have organised (performance) art events and festivals in various European countries, both in the „West“ as well as in the „East“ Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Belarus, Romania and am actively collaborating with festivals in Latvia and Ukraine).
When organising the notion of internationality, the presence of artists from various countries is essential for me. For example one of the main goals of Performensk, festival of performative arts in Minsk, is to connect the so-called „West“ (Europe) and the „East“ (Europe), especially Russian speaking countries with limited access to the Schengen Area (such as Russia, Belarus or Ukraine).
Those are the projects which are coming up next and in which I am actively involved:
Wärmflasche, Vernéřovice, Czech Republic (being relocated from Berlin) / DEC 2018
Performance Crossings, Prague, Czech Republic, / MAY 2019
(Carbonarium, Kyiv, Ukraine / JUN 2019, tbc)
Performensk, Minsk, Belarus / SEP 2019
Out of those projects especially (but not only) Performance Crossings in Prague which I co-organise is also interested in networking processes and collaboration with other festivals. The intention of Performance Crossings, and its hosting venue, the Cross Attic is a creation of the network of performance art festivals, events, venues and institutions. We shall launch an open call for joining the network during December 2018 and would be very happy to engage in a partnership with the Sofia Underground as well.
Choreodynamics: Five Infrastructural Movements for a Burning Social Body
Bianca Hisse is a Brazilian artist based in Tromsø, Norway. She obtained an MA in Contemporary Art from Kunstakademiet i Tromsø and a BA in Body Arts from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo. Often analysing how societies are choreographed, her pieces employ movement and text in order to dissect various physical agreements and disagreements found in the contemporary scenario. She has recently performed at UK Young Artists (Nottingham) and she has presented and developed projects with Centro Cultural São Paulo (CCSP), SESC São Paulo, Praksis Oslo and Kunstnernes Hus, Galleri Snerk, Kulta Scenekunsthus, and others. / www.biancahisse.com
“Nashta versia” (‘our version’) is an audio-visual and text-speech research group exploring the fields of translation and legalization, fusion kitchen and art for the popoli. “Nashta versia” exists back from the past reincarnations of its members with blue pharaonic blood running in their veins, but they don’t insist this to be announced in public.
In the context of SOFIA UNDERGROUND 2019 the group will present their version in radio broadcast service with host Mr. Kuchev, guest Mr. Eastern Question and the technicians from the operating room.
Console operator: Pumpkin Temp
Catering: johny chep
Television engineer: rejekHz
Radio host: Mr. Kuchev
Guest: Mr. Eastern Question (bramolo)
© NASHTA.VERSIA MUSIC GROUP™ ℗: https://soundcloud.com/nashta-versia
Daliah Ziper is an artist filmmaker based in Frankfurt, Germany. She finalized her studies in film and art at the University of the Arts Berlin (2017) and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London (2011). Her multidisciplinary projects are embedded into long-term research, reflecting on places and human conditions through the still and moving image. The works have been screened and exhibited at film festivals, art fairs, museums and galleries. Through film funds and artist residencies, Daliah Ziper was able to research, produce, exhibit and publish in Germany and abroad, collaborating with institutions and individuals on a long-term basis.
Hotel Kummer (2017), video, 8’57”
Hotel Kummer is an artistic approach and reflection on the global trafficking of women. The video is based on police material filmed in brothels in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Congruently, footage from environments in Łódź , Poland, create an inbetween of places that narrate the labour with the female body. Places that show what forced prostitution was and is. The video Hotel Kummer turns places into protagonists and narrators of this (hi)story, so that a narrative of the past as well as of the presence can be told – the traces document an absence and presence at the same time.
Born 1994, Brazilian
Traces of Diogenes, performance, ~40 min
The artist will read a manifesto. In English.
Cyberactivism, manifesto performance in video conference.
Words that guide:
Forms of connection / Body and decolonization.
Тhe members of the ER art collective are: Anguelina Rangelova – text and cultural worker, Juliana Saiska- theater director – performer, Nia Pushkarova – visual artist and organizer of Water tower art fest, and Ralitza Petrova - film director.
We are 4 women working in different disciplines of art and have come together with the aim of dealing with problematic issues concerning understanding of men and women as a emergency help. With the hope of clearing misconceptions form both end and coming to peaceful realization of one’s identity and presence in modern world.
In search of G-spot (working title)
IN SEARCH OF THE G-SPOT is an investigation into that intangible spot of intimacy and happiness, deeply hidden behind stereotypes and superstitions, social roles and expectations, internal prohibitions and external punishments.
ER art collective are 4 female artists working in different disciplines of art, who come together with the aim of addressing problematic issues concerning the understanding of men and women as a form of emergency help.
By deconstructing and reimagining accepted social stereotypes through absurd narratives, we hope to clear misconceptions from both ends and come to a peaceful realisation of our shared identity and presence in the modern world.
Thus, making the separate roles of the performers, interacting with each other and constructing the whole, by uniting layers of psychological and social paradigms, representative of the chaotic and sometimes under defined and undervalued role of the woman in our societies.
The members of ER art collective are: Anguelina Rangelova – writer and cultural worker, Nia Pushkarova visual artist and organiser of Water tower art fest, Ralitza Petrova – filmmaker and video artist, and Juliana Saiska- theater director and performer.
In 2010, she started a collaboration with Barbara Friedman under the name of Red Bind. Their common work has been presented, exhibited and discussed in numerous international festivals, universities, galleries, museums and in situ, in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania.
Since 2016, Gilivanka Kedzior has been developing a more personal body of works in which videos, installation and performances question incommunicability and the strength of paradoxes.
Her video work has been screened among others at the British Film Institute, London, United Kingdom; Defibrillator Gallery, Chicago, USA; In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation, Warsaw, Poland; Universidad de la Rioja, Logrono, Spain; SAZMANAB Platform for Contemporary Arts, Tehran, Iran; Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow, Russia; MACA Junin – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Argentino, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at the CAM – Casoria Contemporary Art Museum, Naples, Italy, which also integrated one into its permanent collection.
Her performance art practice analyzes the inability/difficulty in communicating of the enduring body and its
subdivision through time, echoing a constant reflection on woman condition. She thus confronts all authorities with their determinings of behaviors by using the body as a tool of resistance.
In 2018, her work has been presented in Canada, USA, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Hong Kong and Indonesia.
“I Don’t Have a Door”, Says the Stone
video documentation of performance art (4’23’’) (2016)
“I sometimes wish my body was made of stones.
Solid and immutable, it would resist to all tests and
would appear indestructible.
Only the wind and thunderstorm would have a hold on it;
only time would witness its erosion.”
video documentation of performance art (1’45”) (2016)
“In Iran, it is common to say that truth never reveals itself directly,
but always appears veiled.”
I have relatively little time since I discovered one day and I was caught by the world of performance art. This was in the summer of 2016 in Madrid, Spain … Since then I have participated in several workshops, meetings and festivals of this wonderful and until that time three years ago, unknown to me: Madrid, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Valencia and Valladolid in Spain and outside the Spanish borders in: Armenia (Colombia), Bergen (Norway), Berlin (Germany), Mexico City (Mexico), Nicosia (Cyprus), Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia), Venice (Italy)…
POETS OF THE EAST
I am a person eager to know the world, a world that is too big to be left alone with the known. Participating in Sofia Underground 2019 gives me the opportunity to know Eastern Europe with a certain degree of depth, beyond simple tourism … In my performance I want to show my trip from Spain to Bulgaria where I will find something new for me, and for that , after much research, I will essentially use an artistic manifestation as simple and powerful as a poem …
MADHAVI GORE (b.1976)
Was raised and schooled in Dubai, U.A.E, and currently lives in Goa, India, where she practices as a visual artist making painterly-sculptures, cinematic-drawings, and performative-installations. She is also engaged in art writing and pedagogy. Madhavi co-founded the HH Art Spaces in Goa, an artist-led curatorial initiative to foster cross-disciplinary collaborations. She has performed at Kolkata International Performance Art Festival KIPAF, 2015; Teertha International Performance Art Platform 2016, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Tarq Gallery, Mumbai, 2016, during the ‘Feedback Loop’ exhibition; the New Art Exchange in Nottingham in 2017 during the ‘Bhairav: Here, There and Everywhere’ exhibition. Madhavi has an MA in Comparative Cultural Studies from the Ohio State University (2004), a BA History/Fine Art St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai (1996), M. S. University, Baroda (1998), and the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore, U.S.A (2001).
Her performance is an act of soft Self-portraiture that engages drawing, some sound, and word/text. The artist is concerned with Self-image remembered over time through memory flash, dreamtime, symbols of identity, and the difficulty of operating outside the world of socially and politically conditioned codes.
K2 is improvisation performance without scripts and algorithm. Everything is possible to happen, but we do not want it,there is a moment of restraint. We are faced with every opportunity that appears and wants to unfold to the end. This is something like transgression of transgression. Keeping restless and restraining the peace appear as the emergence of additional freedoms. The opposition of peace is stronger than the movement of the movement, but the movement is always reduced for some reason, the movement is legitimized in the viomi, the corrupted, while the invisible can not be movement because there is no sense to register it. The real investigation is to create waves, fluidity, clouds that are images of the invisible movement. The boundaries between East and West are a private case standing proudly on top of K2. This is not nihilism, but a conscious comeback from escape, which turns the stage into an experimental site and cube of time. Constant crashing and building the Cube of Time is a means of expression, not an essence. The difference between the means of expression and the essence is one of many conceptual moments of K2. Virtualization of space, turning it into a pure new form of existence without unnecessary overexposure, is a strong and monolithic heterotopia to be studied. K2 explores the heterotopia of the conflict. K2 is a point, a gradient, and a paradox.
Poullo Oconne, a physicist by education. Drawing and Theater are my passions and, of course, philosophy. My interests are mainly focused on conceptualism, surrealism, hyperrealism and multi-man art. I’ve been practicing modern theater and performance since 1996 theoretically, without putting on my works. In recent years, I have had the courage and courage to do and set up things that have known me for a long time. I have several solo exhibitions of oils, graphics, assemblies, photography: UBA, NDK, Etud, Underground Gallery. Cycles that have become of great significance to me are Lost Horizon and Arc Burning. “Bleach” (performance), “K2″ (performance), “Finishage” (multi-media performance), and the project gained great interest in the audience “Meta-I-Tale” ( hepatitis of the common language). These projects were created in collaboration with Silvia Borisova, Miroslava Zahova, Konstantin Kuchev, Kristian Enchev, Mihail Dimov, Ira Stoyanova. The Paradigmy Forms project, which became a festal format and was first exhibited in the Underground Gallery in 2018, becomes an independent core that will be challenging and subject to development in the future.
Konstantin Kuchev is a musician and composer. He graduated in pop and jazz singing at the National Academy of Music “Pancho Vladigerov”. He participates in the Balkan Beats, StatvoRim, Strawberry Finns, and the Here and Now Theater. Creator and leader of the “Find Your Voice” course, a chamber musician from Kamdjalov Musical Laboratory, actor and musician at New-Improvised Musical. He is conducting creative music lessons for children with whom he performs concerts with their improvisations “The Moon Walk” (2013-2017), and in 2017 he writes with them the improvisation album “Who lives in the microphone”. In 2018, along with singer Zora Koleva, he recorded the duet album “Tulle”, which won a prize for the Cultural Fund of Musician. He participated as a violinist in the Bulgarian tour of the singer and multi-instrumentalist Aune Sulle (Ghana) and as a back vocalist for the concert of Lisa Gerrard in the National Palace of Culture. As a guest lecturer, he is a member of the Children’s Music Academy of Dorothea Lyutskanova, Summer Guitar Academy of “Izkustvo do men” Associataion, “Fines” Children’s Dance School, Fusion Academy Private School, Sofia Initial Progressive School, Day Center at the “World of Maria” Foundation,”Louis Braille” High School,”Siyaini” Education Center.
In a review written by the Polish art critic Małgorzata Kaźmierczak, she describes Léann Herlihy’s performance practice as “avoiding banal narration”, continuing to describe me as “an artist, which we all have full belief in”.
Léann Herlihy is a performance artist based in Ireland. Her practice attends to the intersection of invisible power structures; addressing the position of the female body as a focal point of repressed histories and political desires. Herlihy’s performances are raw, as she pares back her gestures to pure bodily instinct and improvisation. In her work, clothing is regarded as an object rather than a consecrated costume – simultaneously concealing and exposing the performance artist. Enigmatic in form, she often accentuates these objects in relation to her body, exploring their history as she sieves through their multiple readings. The use of endurance in Herlihy’s practice
highlights the exaggerated protraction of time, all of which becomes enhanced by the symbiotic relationship with the audience; where the very act of their continued observation, in itself becomes a ritualised behaviour.
Where is the East?, 15-20 minutes
Discusses the idea of eastern collectivism versus western individualism in regards to a society driven on power.
Flogging a Dead Horse, 4 hours
The idiom, ‘to flog a dead horse’, is presented in a situation when a particular effort is found to be a waste of time and will ultimately not result in any fruitful outcome. Wherein, by beating a horse which is already dead, does not cause the horse to feel pain nor to resurrect and commence work again.
This rather vulgar phrase, has become a recurrent punch-line in political congregations and social meetings. This can be seen as either a blameless lack of hope for the future or a persistence that the idiosyncrasies of the past will always hold power.
Flogging a dead horse will be a durational public performance, where Herlihy will try to find resolution to this predicament in conjunction with the witnesses.
Léann Herlihy is an Irish performance artist based in Warsaw, Poland. Largely influenced by the ancestry accounts of State repression, Herlihy often reflects on historical moments of collective resistance, excavating how these precedents may hold resonance in our current social and political experiences.
« Interested by the multiplicity of languages that the architectural do- main calls for, I seek by practice to meet the places that this area offers to the public, and more places that resist it. With regard to isolated events in society, and particularly those which favor the emergence of an ideo- logy, i retain a relation to discontinuous time. Making these videogra- phies involves the balance that it hopes to be preserved in society despite a globalization that operates in violence, by violence, regardless of the degree of civilization.»
Schemes urbains Belgique, 2016-2017
A reflection about the adaptability of humans during the meeting between east and west, south and north on an industrial stage:
The violence of globalization having already operated, what about their adaptability?
During a seasonal cycle, from summer to summer, five people interact with the landscape of an industrial island: at the meeting of two rivers, where nature and architecture create a memory since 1939, referencing the international exhibition of water technology.
The team, Bruno Duchâtelet, Francesca Saraullo, Nasrine Kheltent, Salomé Piatyz- seck, Yaozheng Tan are artists plasticians and performers who are originary from Europe and China who are working together around documents, realities, fictions in a curratorial exhibition.
Paul Regan was born in Dublin, Ireland. He holds an MA in Visual Arts Practices IADT, 2011. With a background in painting, then installation; the artist has focused on performance since premiering his “Talhiya Lapse” project in Manifesta 11 in Zurich in 2016. This went on to be developed at various European events including Documenta 14, The Venice Biennale and Art Basel Miami. The visual imagery and symbolism associated with notions of “the sacred” within religious ideologies is a major area of consideration in his image-making work. Through media of print, installation and live performance; he experiments with Western and Eastern traditions of representation of the divine, the visual psychology of personal faith, ecclesiastical insignia [iconography] and the visual form in ritual. Working with religious elements raises compelling issues; one of the most significant is faith — or indeed — blind faith, an extension in defining the concept. In exploring this extraordinary conviction, he confronts how ideals in representation have become the accepted visualizations of historical supernatural narratives [e.g. based on scriptures which originated in the Middle East]. Recently, approaching embodied Islam from the perspective of a male “western” artist using participatory live art actions and interventions to encourage critique and exploration of what is often considered too sacred or sensitive to critique raises questions pertaining to the crossovers between expression and belief; non-belief and sacrilege, gender equality, authority and autonomy.
The human and the machine participate equally in creating ever-shifting railway soundscapes. These soundscapes can disclose sonic interpretations of motion, histories, and landscapes. As they dissolve into a musical composition, listeners are invited to create their own intimate imagery, visual forms, and narratives.
One of the main developments leading to World War I was the strategic partnership between Germany and Ottoman Empire for building Berlin-Baghdad Railway and Hijaz Railway lines. The railway lines had significant impact between the Europe and Middle East politically, culturally, sociologically and in many other ways.
Poles Re-Mediated is a work by Sair Sinan Kestelli, created in 2017 for the event series, ‘After the Widly Improbable’, curated by Adania Shibli and organized by Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) Berlin. The event was centered around Berlin–Baghdad and Hijaz railways exploring the impact of the railways from multiple disciplines, sociology, culture studies, politics, arts and even botanics. It was composed for the big auditorium of HKW with a custom-designed 10 + 2 speaker system and performed in September 2017.
The work will be performed at one of the stations of Berlin-Baghdad Railway line, Sofia, at the opening night of Sofia Underground Performance Art Festival 2019.
The sound artist Sair Sinan Kestelli combines his engineering background with sound design and sonic arts studies. His practice focuses on electronic music composition, performance and new digital musical instrument design. His work was part of the record Anthology of Turkish Experimental Music: 1961–2014 (2016) released by Sub Rosa Records. He performed at various international music events, like Musica Viva Festival, Desonanz Festival, and Steim Instrument Lab. He collaborated with different choreographers, such as Taldans, Ayşe Orhon, Gizem Bilgen and Sezen Tonguz.
Sair Sinan Kestelli is currently a PhD candidate at Istanbul Technical University, Centre for Advanced Studies in Music (MIAM) and also part of the electronic music duo mondual.
Event Series: https://www.hkw.de/en/programm/projekte/2017/why_are_we_here_now/why_are_we_here_now_adania_shibli/after_the_wildly_improbable_adania_shibli.ph
Born behind an “iron curtain” of cold love, raised in the heart of pre- and post- communist Bulgaria, having spent seven years of his formative youth in Germany (near the ruins of the Berlin Wall), Sevnseal comes as an artistic guise seeking the potential of sound to upfront boundaries of human consciousness; to defy darkness with mystic of the spirit and devotion of the heart; to unlock hidden doors of shock and desire; to explore space and depth within the acoustics of dystopian industrial landscapes and abandoned architectural landmarks of the Eastern Block.
Never been a fan of big publicity, the man behind the Sevenseal guise still prefers staying down there in those melancholy underground chambers where the old ones say you could only become one with your spirit as the lights and shadows become another screen.
Working together since 2012, the two artists have materialized a series of solo exhibitions, exploring the paradigm of life exploitation: “If Then What After” (2019, Baden, AT), “What Past? What Future?”(2017, Linz, AT), “When atoms collide and disturb entropy” (2017, Craiova, RO), “Return to Spaceship Earth” (2017, Bucharest, RO), “Depression, Uncertainty and other symptoms of Mortality” (2016, Lodz, Poland), “Clinical Architectures for a Compositionist Future (Part II)” (2016, Iasi, Romania), “Constellations of Desires” (2016, Iasi, Romania), “(No)Future” (2015, Eckernforde, Germany), “No Hope For a Future” (2015, Iasi, Romania), “Metropia” (2014, Iasi, Romania).
Their works have been present in numerous collective exhibitions from which the most noteworthy are: “Go, Stop, Stay” (2019, Debrecen, HU), “Baywatch” (2018, Berlin, DE), “Alternative Facts” (2018, Stuttgart, DE), “Odessa Biennial” (2017, Odessa, Ukraine), “Between Democracies 1989-2014”, (2015, Johannesburg, South Africa), “Appearance & Essence”, 1st Timisoara Art Encounters Biennale (2015, Timisoara, Romania), “Visualcontainer TV” (2015, Marseille, France).
An artistic duo established at the 2014 Sofia Underground festival, as an imrovised performance. The artists behind it are Valko Chobanov and Aleksandra Laskova. Very rarely can you enjoy their DJ perfomance in public, but in 2019 they are preparing a special B2B session celebrating a 5-year anniversary of the duo and presenting music selection that teleports the senses in the heart of the East.
About Aleksandra Laskova:
Dj/ VJ artist
Sound, light, space and crowd serve the collective as raw materials to manipulate spectatorship, relating to the manipulation in their immediate environment. They intersect cultural inspirations, symbolization and appropriation, welding Patronizing Exoticism, Post-Orientalism, and Psychotrap.
In a WACKELKONTAKT show the audience confronts a brutal audiovisual flood and has to decide whether to struggle or let the body immerse in the experience.
In their versatile performance, the group presents a sequence of songs, images and actions based both on quotes of twentieth-century philosophy idols ranked as a hypsterized bible and on Mediterranean pop songs that deal with the basic ingredients of life itself, integrating individual depression with a global political questioning of the right to exist.
Tomer Damsky – vocals, synths / Marco Milevski – drums, electronics / Eyal Lally Bitton – visuals, electronics / Dana Tkatch – performance
!!! The show is not recommended for people with photosensitivity.