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ataArt Today Association
Center for Contemporary Art - Plovdiv
The Ancient Bath

The 18th edition of the Week of Contemporary Art - Plovdiv presents

In Fifteen Minutes Everyone Will Be In The Future (An Opera)

Center of Contemporary Art Plovdiv, The Ancient Bath, 08.09. –05.10. 2012
Opening: 07.09. 2012, 19.00 with a performance by Venelin Shurelov

Discussion: The role of art for formulating social and political visions for the future with Galina Dimitrova-Dimova, Dessislava Dimova, Toril Johanessen, Venelin Shurelov and Boriana Ventzislavova
08.09.2012 at 11 a.m., The Ancient Bath, Plovdiv

Curators: Galina Dimitrova-Dimova and Dessislava Dimova

Artists: Pierre Bismuth and Aaron Schuster, Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucia Tkacova, Chto Delat, Lily Reynaud-Dewar, Natalya Dyu, Emre Huner, Toril Johanessen, Jesse Jones, Basim Magdy, Michelle Naismith, Venelin Shurelov, Ned Sublette (ASCAP), Lawrence Weiner (BMI)(ARS)and The Persuasions, Borjana Ventzislavova

In the world post 89, and after the failure of modernist future oriented political and artistic projects, the future became the symbol of the past’s oppressive ideologies. Art could not herald the future anymore and could only speak from a position of critique of the present. Today we are witnessing political and social developments that urge us to formulate an idea of a different tomorrow again. Artists seek to reconstruct the relationship between art and future in new terms.

Coming from a generation that lived on the threshold of the communist future we know that keeping a contact with tomorrow is not necessarily a huge programmatic task. In socialist pop culture, contacts with the future were made regularly in order to sustain the belief in its actuality. The Russian children TV series “Guests from the future” (1985) and the Hungarian animated series “The Mezga Family” (1968-1978) for example adapted the once avant-garde ideas to the reality of contemporary life and proposed encounters between present and future.

How can art speak about the future today? Where does art today position itself between its historical roles of a distanced critique of society and an engaged actor on the political scene?

In order to find a form that addresses simultaneously the banality of the image of the future we have inherited from our near past and the ideological burden of its promises, the exhibition takes inspiration from the flamboyancy and drama of the opera. Opera has the ambiguous status of historically developing forms both as popular art and an elitist genre. By staging mostly time based works which play with the appeal of the “total” art of opera and the pedagogic potential of theatre, we hope to explore the possibilities of the exhibition to create a Brechtian distancing effect, an interruption, a space where to get hold of the future.

Last but not least, the Latin origin of the word “opera” meaning “work”, reminds us that establishing a connection with our future is a continuous collective labour to which we hope this exhibition contributes.

The title of the exhibition is taken from the work of Pierre Bismuth and Aaron Schuster, “Famous” (2009).

The exhibition is supported by the Municipality of Plovdiv, Goethe Institute Bulgaria, The Austrian Embassy, Sofia, Office for Contemporary Art, Norway, Credo Bonum Foundation, Sofia and Art Affairs and Documents Foundation, Sofia and B?ckerstra?e 4 - plattform f?r junge kunst, Vienna. The event is part of the initiative "Plovdiv - candidate for European Capital of Culture 2019”.

ataArt Today Association
Center for Contemporary Art - Plovdiv
The Ancient Bath


The Art Today Association kindly invites you to submit proposals artistic interventions in public spaces of Plovdiv. Three of the submissions will be produced by the Art Today as part of

URBAN DREAMS in the framework of the international project

HEICO – “Heritage, Identity and Communication in European Contemporary Art Practices” - http://www.atlantisprojects.eu/web/112.html -

an activity of the ATLANTIS network - http://www.atlantisprojects.eu/

URBAN DREAMS will be presented in October 2012 in public spaces of the city and in a parallel exhibition and reading room in the Center for Contemporary Art – Plovdiv, “The Ancient Bath” – an archive of previous artistic practices in urban public spaces of Bulgaria, Germany, Slovakia, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Serbia, Macedonia and others. Parts of this archive will be added to the library of the Art Today for extended public use after the exhibition.


1. the artist`s CV
2. concept: description of the idea and a budget for realization
3. visual materials

The proposals are to be sent to office@arttoday.org in the following file formats: doc, pdf, jpg, mpeg2, quick time, mp3.

Deadline: 20 June 2012

All artists and cultural institutions are invited to provide documentation material of their projects realized after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.


The city as a potential space

Public urban spaces are sensually perceptible reservoirs of knowledge. Such collective and individual sensitivities - interwoven with desires, dreams and visions - form various possible subtexts of a city. We can regard the city as a walkable landscape of these subtexts. Old structures made of concrete, a poetically decorated balcony, the stroke of graffiti, the density of shops specialising in bridal fashion - all these phenomena are witnesses of preceding dreams. The dreams' realisations, either succeeded or failed, may inspire and teach us. Because dreams and desires are more than indispensible nourishments of human existence: We deduce our will from them - the impetus of our action and work. Hence dreams imply possibilities and consequences.
URBAN DREAMS is an invitation to conceive the city not as a simple scenery of daily routine or the past but as a space full of options for utilisation, formation and perceptions - both as a potential physical and mental space.

URBAN DREAMS is mainly focused on the artistic practice of South Eastern Europe. With this in mind, the project is a response to identity forming as a consequence of historical happenings. „For the small nations of the East history is of particular importance: They are constantly imagining and experiencing it, creating a ’victimized history’ of their own“ (Longinovic 2002). The burden of recent history will indeed influence URBAN DREAMS, likewise, history, thus also identities, can be interpreted anew. Hence the city becomes an astonishing find indicating the persistence of space for dreams and their implementation, which has always been active, despite the legacy of a common victim mentality. In this sense, URBAN DREAMS aims to contribute to a creativity of forming identities.

URBAN DREAMS consists of two project moduls:

1. Artistic interventions in public space

Based on manifold perspectives of diverse artists URBAN DREAMS explores public and semi-public spaces. Through URBAN DREAMS art becomes a research strategy and the city changes into a laboratory. Arts, the city and everyday life confront each other. Reactions and interactions with the inhabitants will join the continuous process of research. Since the attained insights stem from urban spaces, presentation opportunities are to be found in precisely these spaces. Connections will be generated directly at the place of origin. Recipients turn simultaneously into objects of observation and observers of objects, into the investigated and the investigators. The act of (re-)search becomes an artistic performance itself.

At the same time it is not only about locating the dreams as such but about contextualising them within their realities. Artistic methods may provide us with a certain readability of urban dreams and their contexts. What we gain is visibility of the manner the citizens' dreams and desires are embodied in materialized manifestations and atmospheres, of the way they get projected into urban spaces, of how they get evoked, served or resisted.

2. The exhibition as an “archive” of dreams

For this project the exhibition space of the Center for Contemporary Art changes into an archive and reading room of (mainly Eastern) European artistic urban research saving dreams expressed in explicit, such as in implicit manners. Beside the results of the latest artistic urbanism in Plovdiv and in other partner cities of the HEICO network, this archive will also present international projects from the last twenty years by different forms of media, based on material provided by partner organisations and artists.

About the partners of the HEICO network:

With the support of the program "Culture" of the European Commission, the Goethe Institute Bulgaria and Robert Bosch Foundation.

ataArt Today Association
Center for Contemporary Art - Plovdiv
The Ancient Bath

Open Studio and Artist Talk by Baptist Coelho (India) – current artist-in-residence at the Art Today Association and winner of the Facade Video Award 2011

2 May 2012 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Corridor Gallery, Konstantin Stoilov Str. 36, Old Town

Coelho will talk about his research developed for “You can’t afford to have emotions out there” - a project about the conflict between Indian and Pakistan on the Siachen Glacier and discuss his current video project in Bulgaria.

In 2006, Baptist received his Masters of Arts from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD), UK. Solo Exhibitions have included Grand Palais, Bern (2009); Project 88, Mumbai (2009) and BIAD, Birmingham (2006). Two Person Exhibitions include Pump House Gallery, London (2012) and Visual Arts Gallery, Delhi (2009). His work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions worldwide. Coelho was awarded the “Facade Video Award” of the Art Today (2011), “Promising Artist Award” (2007) and “Johnson Prize Fund” (2006). The artist lives and works in Mumbai.

ataArt Today Association
Center for Contemporary Art - Plovdiv
The Ancient Bath

Open Call

Facade Video Festival 2012

Artists from all over the world are invited to send their video art to Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The Art Today Association/Center for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv, "The Ancient Bath" will host the 3rd edition of the Facade Video Festival between 12 and 16 September 2012.
The Facade Video Festival connects people, art and urban environment by projecting videos onto the walls of houses in the historic city and around - still an unusual artistic practice in Plovdiv.

Videos should be submitted before 31 May 2012.
There are no restrictions concerning the theme.

You can find out more about the Facade Video Festival and the Open Call on www.facade.arttoday.org/en/2012.

ataArt Today Association
Center for Contemporary Art - Plovdiv
The Ancient Bath

Open Call

(to artists from Plovdiv)


For the ninth time in a row Art Today Association organizes the annual project Art Positive that - according to the association’s philosophy - supports the development and establishment of contemporary art in Bulgaria. Every year the organizers set a different topic to provoke the participants. This year the festival’s motto is MINI with all of the possible meanings and interpretations. There are no restrictions for the art techniques or genre, which allows the artists to participate with paintings, sculptures, audio-visual projects, performances, music, theater, dance, installations and happenings. For the first time Art Positive will also include activities in urban spaces.

The festival gives an opportunity for expression to both established and young artists, who have just begun their artistic work in the field of contemporary art. In this way Art Today is able to promote young talents. The participants can submit their projects including a short biography and approximate budget until March 5, 2012. After the deadline the jury will evaluate the projects and choose the best ones which will be financed and finally shown during the festival.

In addition to the exhibition in the Ancient Bath and the activities in urban spaces Art Today also organizes a secondary program, which will include workshops, presentations, lectures, discussions and projections. The complete program of the festival will be announced in March.

Art Today's annual festival Art Positive is unique in its kind and sets the benchmark for any manifestation of artists from Plovdiv. It encourages the development of contemporary art in all its forms.
The ninth edition of the festival has the ambiguous motto -MINI-

The concept -MINI- is a starting point for artistic explorations and an endless field for interpretations and associations. It gives many possibilities for experiments with the topic, materials and techniques.

-MINI- as minimalism, as a radical refusal and liberation from ornaments. Minimalism as a search for the fundament of art and as a focus on the creative energy on one single form, colour or sound. Minimalism as the end phase of the eternal cycle of art which destroys the already existing opulence and makes a new way for the modern. Or minimalism as a small claustrophobic space in which the artist desperately tries to fit an idea. The minimalistic movement in art originates from the 1960s in the USA and has proven itself as a unique provocation towards the audience which is left alone with its own imagination and has to reach the message of art without any help. But minimalism can also function as a border position in art which rebels against the already existing aesthetics. -MINI- has the potential to wake the memory of minimalism which is still alive due to artists like Robert Morris and Sol Lewitt.

-MINI- is also a provocation towards the modern society. We all live in a situation of pre-apocalyptic fear of the collapse of globalization in a time when people are forced to live with the minimum. This minimum’s position on the scale of welfare is an unknown value which wakes new predictions and fears. But the minimum is a challenge towards the artist in a situation of reduction of the market and resources. -MINI- challenges the definitions of how art originates and which is the absolute minimum for the existence of an artwork.

-MINI- is also a linguistic provocation which stimulates the associative thinking and gives infinite possibilities for interpretations in all areas of art.

Terms of participation:
1. A short biography
2. Idea for a project – description and budget
3. Visual materials

Please submit the required documents at office@arttoday.org in the following formats: doc., pdf., jpg., mpeg2., quick time, mp3.

Deadline: 05.03.2012

Archive page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32

Annual edition of the Week of Contemporary Art:

Art Positive:

Communication Front- new media art and theory

Critique of Pure Image – Between Fake and Quotation


Guest Exhibitions:


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