The democratic process of opening up of Bulgaria after 1989 as well as the economic conditions of life and the lack of adequate education caused the exodus of a large part of the creative intelligentsia. Both historically and geographically the nearest attractive destination in the developed Western European world turned out to be Vienna, now seen as an gravitational center for many artists. The access to education, the well developed art system and the possibilities for integration were the decisive factor when choosing a new “homeland”. Today numerous artists of Bulgarian origin live and work successfully in Vienna. It is this vibrant and current reality that provided motivation for the exhibition.
Most of the participating artists graduated institutions for higher artistic education in Bulgaria and afterwards continued their studies in the art schools of Austria. The exhibition showcases 18 of them: Adriana Czernin (special participation), Plamen Dejanoff (special participation), Mara Mattuschka (special participation), Svetozara Aleksandrova, Borjana Ventzislavova, Vasilena Gankovska, Irina Georgieva, Nestor Kovachev, Lazar Lyutakov, Michail Michailov, Alexandar Peev, Maximilian Pramatarov, Krasimira Stikar, Kamen Stoyanov, Kosta Tonev, Iv Toshain, Desislava Unger and Sevda Chkoutova.
Parallel to their activities in Austria most of the participants maintain working contact and take an active part in the artistic process in Bulgaria. Life between two countries and contexts transforms their art into a phenomenon that is symptomatic for the changing world on the threshold between the 20th and the 21st centuries. Their art reflects on two realities – the old and the new country thus having the dynamic mark of the times we are living in.
The exhibition project “Bulgarian Artists in Vienna. Contemporary Practices at the Beginning of the 21st Century” is meant to not only present quality artworks but also to analyze certain social and historical processes that are typical for the time.
This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Austrian Embassy in Bulgaria; with the support of the Program for Culture of the Sofia Municipality and with the technical assistance of Art Project Depot.
A catalogue of 208 pages in Bulgarian and English is published.
Project initiator: HR-Stamenov.
On this project worked: Maria Vassileva, Michail Michailov, and Daniela Radeva.