Bulgarian Artists at Pristina

Open Arts Foundation partnered with LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, in the realization of the exhibition SIT, curated by Vesselina Sarieva.

group exhibition

artworks by Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pravdoliub Ivanov and Driton Selmani
curated by Vesselina Sarieva

24 November 2022 – 24 December 2022
LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, Kosovo, Johan von Hahn 8 / Garibaldi 1

As curator, Vesselina Sarieva was invited to implement the educational programme and present the work of the Open Arts Foundation, including the book Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art (1982-2015) and the website Openartfiles.bg – set up as an archive of Bulgarian contemporary art. 

“SIT” is an exhibition realized by the invitation of LambdaLambdaLambda, Pristina, which develops the concept of the curator Vesselina Sarieva about “The Carpet” as a meeting place in every art institution. The exhibition presents works of Bulgarian artists Pravdoliub Ivanov and Luchezar Boyadjiev in dialogue with the Kosovan artist Driton Selmani, panel discussion with the participants (on-the-carpet-talk) and documentation.

The concept of “The Carpet” as a meeting place in every art institution was born in 2021 and was developed by Vesselina Sarieva as part of her multidisciplinary project “Future Unforgettable” . Later on by invitation of Catherine Nichols the concept was presented in the podcast “Pristina is Everywhere”, part of Manifesta 14 .
“The Carpet” is a suggestion for an alternative to the traditional idea of an art institution - gallery, museum, art academy, art fair, etc. It presents an experimental idea about the future of the art world, which is egalitarian, open and accessible for everyone. The gesture of taking off the shoes and sitting on the carpet right next to each other universalizes all participants, regardless if they are visitors, artists, curators, collectors, etc. Everyone is equal, sharing experience and opinion, developing their ideas in a whole new way. With this approach the institution forms communities and subcultures, which create, discuss and think together in a completely new, equal and neutral territory.

The concept of “The Carpet” is inspired by a metaphor by the artist Luchezar Boyadjiev. Subsequently, Boyadjiev and Sarieva created a collaborative work, a mind map, called “The Mad Carpetmaker = Лудият килимар“, 2021, which materialized their ideas. The mind map was exhibited in Sarieva / Gallery, Plovdiv in December 2021, while several other events were taking place in the space - an exhibition by a young artist, a musical installation (“sound mural”) and distribution of the “Manifesto of Happiness” . All of them were united by a hand-woven rug style carpet placed in the center of the gallery, on which the visitors were invited to sit and share time together.

Later this year, the concept of “The Carpet” became part of the launch of Sarieva / Hub - a place which brings together an existing gallery, community center - café and art foundation in one, to make art more accessible and horizontal for all. Sarieva shares that the idea for the carpet itself is related to the end of the pandemic and was inspired by the Balkan context. It is no coincidence that its first international presentation is taking place in Pristina, where it has the opportunity to gather other like-minded people to push for institutional change.

“SIT” is a carpet-meeting-place-exhibition at LambdaLambdaLambda - Pristina, which aims to continue this rethinking of our ideas about art, its territories and artistic institutions. “The Carpet” is here again reincarnated as a critical weapon against the idea of the gallery as a white cube. In this sense, the presented artists Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pravdoliub Ivanov and Driton Selmani also rediscover and “reimagine” found objects, themes and stereotypes by revealing, changing and adapting their essence. Their creativity goes beyond the banal and seeks new, unexplored and unknown territories.