Curatorial Program of Open Arts Foundation

The curatorial program’s main goal is to present different perspectives on contemporary art and to provide a free space for experiments and new ideas in the specific context of the Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv – time limitations to one or two evenings, its many thousands audience and dynamic atmosphere.

Throughout the years Open Arts Foundation, have undertaken different ambitious productions and coproductions in the frames of the Night of Museums and Galleries festival. The program has always aimed to broaden the borders and scope of cultural life in Plovdiv, to provoke with new content, to showcase new models and practices and to create a dialogue between art, the audience and the urban space. The twelfth Night with the program “Open Arts” synthesizes what we have reached so far and makes a clear statement how will go further– as “night” organisers and coordinators as well as producers and co-producers of new content.

The program is a multigenre one and every year we will invite curators to select the best of contemporary art, cinema, literature, theater, contemporary dance and music. “Open Arts” is the program with the strongest international presence, only this year we have participants from Austria, the USA, France, Korea, Great Britain and Israel.

We also create new spaces for culture– physical spaces like the Austrian Cultural Pavilion and digital ones like our hi-tech project Creative Media Lab. In the program you will see short films which were nominated or won Oscars, Palm d’Or and BAFTA; poetical-theater battles, inspiring presentations, Bulgarian-Korean contemporary dance, artistic reflections on cosmos (and the “Cosmos” cinema) and much more.

The Night is cinema

Author and curator: Maya Vitkova 
September 23 – 24 , 20:30 – 01:00
King’s Stables, Old town, 40 Saborna str.

The film program of “Night is Cinema”, held for the first time in Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv, is conditionally divided into short films by the American Film Institute, experimental cinema and films with content for mature audiences.

The main emphasis in “Night is Cinema” are films by American Film Institutes’ graduates who, at a later stage of their career, are given the most important film awards in the world; students from around the globe, some of them already announced as the names of tomorrow with their theses films and female directors from a workshop specifically designed for the American Film Institute. Special guests are Christopher Schwartz, manager of the Conservatory of the American Film Institute and his colleague Andrew Pagana, who will present the Institute’s film program. The audience of these films will be able to share the American spirit with a selected menu of barbecue and beer…

The second segment of “Night is Cinema” – experimental cinema with classical music improvisations – is a reminder of the time of silent film, live music will accompany the films …

The third covers fiction films with content for mature audiences from Scandinavia, a place with a liberal understanding of the position of men and women in modern society… The menu is thematic miniature pastries and cold water…

I believe the individual segments in a peculiar way summarize our lives – mainstream and popular, elitist and more difficult to communicate and hidden, sometimes even cynical … The “Night is Cinema.”

Supported by the Embassy of the USA – Bulgaria.

Screenng of ”Hamlet”

Production of Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre
Leading role: Maxine Peake 
September 24, 21:30 – 23:00
Orpheus Open Air Movie Theatre, 12 Todor Kableshkov str.

Shakespeare’s most iconic work, Hamlet explodes with its big ideas and its ultimate story of loyalty, love, betrayal, murder and madness.

From its sell-out run at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre comes a film version of this unique and critically acclaimed production of Hamlet, with BAFTA nominee Maxine Peake in the title role. This groundbreaking stage production, directed by Sarah Frankcom, was Royal Exchange’s fastest-selling show in a decade.

“Right from the beginning of this production it felt like a thrilling opportunity to explore, excavate and interrogate something with Maxine Peake, the most fearless and most courageous actor that I’ve ever worked with.” Sarah Franckom

Hamlet is brought to cinemas by film director Margaret Williams, whose Written on Skin (Royal Opera House/BBC) won many awards including the Diapason d’Or. The film version of Hamlet is produced by Anne Beresford and Debbie Gray, the team behind “Peter Grimes on Aldeburgh Beach”, which Margaret also directed.

“Being able to shoot creatively with eight cameras ‘in the round’ enabled us to capture the spirit of the play and create a visceral and cinematic experience.” Margaret Williams

A cooperation between British Council and Open Arts Foundation.

Actors VS Poets

Authors and curators: Stefan Ivanov & Stanislav Kertikov 
September 23-24,  21:00 – 22:00
Lapidarium, Old Town

“Actors vs. Poets“ is a kind of a deadly duel between actors and poets that illustrates thousands of differences between the authors’ reading of poetry and the actors` performance like a monologue. The audience will decide the outcome of this battle of words. Moderated by Lilia Geleva. The number of the actors and the poets is always twelve. Usually this event happens indoor in theatre halls, in this case, at the festival Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv the project will be a guest of the Old Town where the audience will be welcomed by playing and singing actors. Visitors will receive sheets of paper with poems – not by the poets who participate, but by other poets from Bulgaria and abroad. At the starting point Lilia Geleva will play the role of an announcer. Her words about the poets and the authors and for all the rest will be sung. The battle of words will happen in three different rounds. After the last round and the direct battle between the authors, the audience will have the right to vote for the winner.

So far the fight has not taken place outdoors where the audience is everywhere. This only means that the active interaction with the spectators will be in a different way, it will be unexpected and even more.

Stefan Ivanov (*1986, Sofia) graduated in philosophy from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, he has a master’s degree in Cultural Studies and is currently a PHD student in Aesthetics at the same university. He wrote the poetry books ”4 seconds purple” (2003), “Ginsburg against Bukovski in the audience” (2004), ”Lists” (2009) and “Inside“ (2014). For “Lists“ he was nominated for the National Poetry Award “Ivan Nikolov“. “Inside“ had a nomination for the first awards for literature of NDK. He won the award of “Sofia Poetics“(2011). Together with Ivan Dobchev he co-authored the play “Medea, my mother“, that won an “Ikar“ Award (2013) for the best performance. The play “Between the holidays”(2014) was nominated for an “Ikar” Award for dramaturgy. Since 2003 he has been organizing different literature actions, readings and performances. He has numerous journalistic and various kinds of texts published in different media.]/i]

Stanislav Kertikov (*1992) graduated in “Acting for drama theater” in the class of Prof. Margarita Mladenova from the National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts “Krastyo Sarafov” in 2014. Since then he has been involved in projects of “Sfumato” Theatre Workshop. In 2014 he won the Big award “Vladimir Trendafilov” and the Award of the Hungarian cultural institute at the 24th National contest for performing Hungarian and Bulgarian poetry and literature. In 2015 together with Stefan Ivanov and Ivan Dimitrov he organised the first edition of “Actors vs. Poets” in the framework of the Small season of “Sfumato”. The event won the festival which became an occasion for Stanislav Kertikov to orient towards theater producing. At the moment he studies cultural management at the postgraduate quialification course of Sofia University the Goethe-Institute. Currently his efforts are directed to sustainable development of the newly formed theater company “NOVO20”.

Project of “Sfumato” Theatre.

Common Ground

Project of АТОМ theatre &
Jo Hyun Sang, Kil Seo Young, Lee Jung In, Lee Seung Ju 
September 23 – 24, 21:00 – 22:00
The Small Basilica, 31 Maria Luisa blvd.

Project UNIT 828384 is a cooperation of Korean choreographers, that work in the field of contemporary dance in different parts of the world. The project that brought them together was an artist residence in France in 2016 where they worked on works by Kafka. ATOM Theater is based in Sofia, Bulgaria and is a group of young Bulgarian artists who work in the field of contemporary dance. Project UNIT 828384 and ATOM Theatre met in 2016, when Project UNIT 828384 presented their work at АТОМ`s studio in Sofia. The two teams worked together very successfully and decided to continue with other projects. The first of them is “Common Ground” for the festival Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv 2016.

“Silence” (Solo, 13 min) – Choreograph: Jo Hyun Sang
The moment I am alone after a storm. I am surrounded only by silence, emptiness and lost feelings. At this moment I can`t move at all, even the smallest finger. And yet this is the biggest opportunity for me. In this moment I could become stronger and can prepare myself for a bigger storm. The silence is a powerful and sacred moment in the time.

“Kafka on the road” (Solo, 12 min) – Choreograph: Kil Seo Young
A point of reference for the work is an inspiration from Kafka`s novel. I apply tortuous values in a conflict with the body image. I combined organically breath, energy and emotion. I develop the construction of the body that reach this point of state and I will make an attempt to restore the order of body, spirit and soul, to integrate the body and the mind and to enjoy the moment. I concentrate on the attempt to express the vital energy generated by the moment of the dancing.

“Drifting Island” (Solo, 13 min) – Choreograph: Lee Jung In
The delicate emotion – known by the sensitive sensation from the deep gap. I stay on a drifting land, I touch dry sand and smell the rain in the air. The silence is broken by a sound of scratch. I am there and I am not. I step into the water and slowly shake the body… like a dance.

“In the box(ing)” (Solo, 8 min) – Choreograph: Lee Seung Ju
Limited space, hesitation, contraction, light, spread.

“Impossibility in its purest form” (A dance fragment, 13 min) – Choreograph: Stefania Georgieva
The piece is inspired by the work of the painter Maurits Cornelis Escher. The bodies examine the impossibility like a kind of hope, longing, desire and at the same time like wickedness, destruction, fecklessness, and impossibility.

Supported by The Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture (SFAC).

La couleur du Cosmos [The Color of Cosmos]

Author: Maxime Bondu
Curator: Emile Ouroumov 
September 23 - 24, 19:00 – 01:00
Cosmos Cinema, 48 Gladstone str.

Built in 1964 during the Soviet period in Plovdiv, the Cosmos Cinema closed in 1999. It was the site of 35 years of projection of films and ideology and is thus a reflection of the political and social history of the country before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The rationalist building (architect: Lyubomir Shinkov), expresses both monumentality and an idea of the future contained in the former Eastern bloc.

“La couleur du Cosmos” is a quest focused on the building and the ideology of the Cosmos. Following extensive research on-site in 2015, Maxime Bondu wanders among possible images of the Cosmos. In search of the invisible, he found traces in a few fragments of paint fallen from the ceiling, in the cobwebs in the flooded basement, in a programme stained with ink and also in his attempts at deducing the persistent colour of the screen, that is to say the dominant colour achieved by superimposing photograms of each of the hundreds of films shown at the cinema. He worked with Julien Griffit to have the films analyzed by an algorithm developed for the occasion. After two weeks of calculation, a server network returned #282320, a hexadecimal code specifying a colour. Transferred to 35mm film and shown in a loop, it was found to be extremely difficult to project because of its dark shade.

Maxime Bondu (*1985, Paris region, lives and works near Geneva) studied Art History and Archeology at the University of Marne-La-Vallée and then graduated in 2009 at the Fine Art school of Brest. Represented by Jérôme Poggi Gallery, his work has been recently shown at the Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2015), Halle Nord (Geneva, 2015) at the MAMAC (Nice, FR, 2014), Mains d’Oeuvres (Saint-Ouen, FR, 2014), Maison Populaire of Montreuil (FR, 2014), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2013), Centre d’Art of Neuchâtel (CH, 2013), Ferme du Buisson (FR, 2013), Villa du Parc (FR, 2012) and at the Magasin of Grenoble (FR, 2010) among others. He works also on several collective projects as the Monstrare Camp, a community experiment for Art research and production into a cave site of 30 000m2 in Dampierre-sur-Loire (FR) and develops Bermuda, a mutualized atelier project at the French-Swiss border.

Émile Ouroumov (*1979, Plovdiv, lives in Paris) studied Visual Arts followed by a Master in Curatorial Studies (Paris 1 University, 2009). He has assisted the curators Pierre Bal-Blanc and Hans Ulrich Obrist and has also gained experience at MAMVP (Paris), gb agency (Paris) and MAMCO (Geneva). He has curated or co-curated various exhibitions, such as “Tension Economy” (CAC Parc Saint Léger, 2016, France); “Theatre of Operations” (Théâtre de l’Usine, Geneva, 2015); “The Galápagos Principle” (Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2013); “There is as yet insufficient data for a meaningful answer” (2012, CAC Villa du Parc, France). His current research and prospective interests include the political nature of exhibition spaces, the porosity between the roles of the curator and the artist, the unstable formats of curating, the relationship between language and art and the paratext accompanying contemporary art exhibitions such as critical writing and press releases.

Supported by Institute Francais de Bulgarie and National fund “Culture”.

FLUCA Аustrian cultural pavilion

Curator: Ursula Maria Probst 
September 23 – 24, 19:00 - 01:00
38 Оtets Paisiy str., in front of artnewscafé
Artists: Catrin Bolt, Petja Dimitrova, Fabiana Faleiros, Nikolaus Gansterer, Katharina Gruzei, Katrin Hornek, Anna Jermolaewa, Suzie Leger, Sonia Leimer, Johann Lurf, Lazar Lyutakov, Luisa Kasalicky & Siegfried Zaworka, Elvedin Klacar, Vikenti Komitski, Christian Kosmas Mayer, Female Obsession, Ben Pointeker, Barbis Ruder, Marusa Sagadin, tat ort (Alexandra Berlinger Wolfgang Fiel), Kay Walkowiak, Anna Witt, Ina Wudtke, Marlene Hausegger u.a.
Curator: Ursula Maria Probst
Concept as art installation of the container: tat ort (Vienna) – Alexandra Berlinger and Wolfgang Fiel
Implementation and construction: Atelie Duo (Plovdiv)

“Making objects and marks is also about making possibilities, making choices – and that is one of the last freedoms we have. To provide that is one of the functions of art”. (Mel Chin)
Going beyond discussions of post-net productions in the digital realm, the Austrian Culture Pavilion – FLUCA with the project “Get Involved: Focus Direct Urbanism” functions as a mobile intervention of the artists group Tat Ort (Alexandra Berlinger, Wolfgang Fiel) and as a framework for interdisciplinary projects, performances, screenings and concerts in the heart of Plovdiv. This is how art in public space creates essentially new spaces as if in passing: a space to think, a space with leeway to act, to remember, to sit, a social landscape – a place of encounter.

The starting point of the project curated by Ursula Maria Probst is the use of a shipping container which is encacpsulated with a reflective surface. Through a number of alternations and adaptations the container as a performing installation/sculpture is able to gradually transform into an open platform for a wide number of public events while retaining its primary quality as a mobile and compact spatial entity. It is developed in collaboration with the local architects from Atelie Duo. The partners SARIEV Contemporary, Open Arts Foundation, artnewscafé, and FLUC Vienna will invigorate the Austrian Cultural Pavilion with an exchange program by Bulgarian and Austrian artists until October 15th.

Producers: BKA/Austrian Federal Chancellery, Austrian Embassy Sofia
Organizers: Open Arts Foundation
Partners: Municipality Plovdiv, FLUC (Vienna), artnewscafé

Creative Media Lab

Curator: Petko Tanchev 
September 24 – 25, 16:00 – 23:00
the Military club, 2 Ivan Vazov str.

Creative Media Lab is a new module in the program of Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv that is entirely focused on the development of digital art and presenting it in an interactive, laboratory environment. A selection of Bulgarian and international artists will present their works in the fields of performance practices, installations, video art, objects, software, creative coding. The content of the Creative Media Lab also includes demonstrations of new technologies, presentations of contemporary media art tendencies, workshops and lectures. As an introduction to the module Barak Koren from Israel will make his first workshop for TouchDesigner in Europe as well as a public presentation of his own projects. Creative Media Workshop will be carried out along with the curator of the project Petko Tanchev. The project itself is a two-day format Hackathon in which the participants will have the opportunity to experiment with different interactive instruments and to cooperate for creating common multidisciplinary projects. The results will be presented in an exhibition on 24th and 25th September which will transform the space of the Military club, Plovdiv. The audience will enter an unexpected, abstract environment, an intersection between art, digital technologies and science.

Petko Tanev is a visual artist, scenographer and a video designer from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He graduated in Scenography from the National Academy of Art in Sofia in 2008 and has a master’s degree in “Designing of author’s visual performance”. He has realized numerous scenography projects and video installations for theater productions in the country and actively participates in festivals in Bulgaria and abroad. In his artworks he uses computer hardware and means for visual programming in order to create generative images, interactive systems, animation and video. His virtual worlds re-examine the aspects of physical reality, thus filling it up with different sense. He often works site-specific and is always ready to experiment with new media and contemporary technologies.

Barak Koren (Israel) – – is an interactive developer and freelancer artist. Barak graduated in “Visual FX Program” from the Seneca Collage, Canada. His work is tied to experimenting with new 3D devices and securing a feed-back to RnD and IT hardware and software tests. Barak has a huge international experience in some of the world leading studios for interactive design. He is also popular among users in specialized forums and groups of Derivative under the nickname Barakooda Kor. Projects with his participation: Heroes Reborn (a project of VSquared Labs), Big Grams (a project of VSquared Labs), Santa Monica Pier Installation (a project of VT Pro Design), Projected Room AR, Real Augmented Reality project.

Supported by the Israel Embassy in Bulgaria and “Shalom – Plovdiv” organization.

Live Music Stage

Selection: Common Future 
23.09 – XraYdio (Plovdiv), Aki Vanderley (Sofia), Noblesse Oblige (Berlin)
24.09 – Purita D (Berlin), RoboKnob (Sofia), Alavux (Belgrad)
September 23 – 24, 19:00 – 23:00
Sahat Hill

NIGHT/Plovdiv and “Common Future” NGO will present a two-day (or rather two-night) music festival format which will transform the Sahat hill into an open-air music stage. The first evening the program will be opened with a DJ set with music from the online radio based in Plovdiv – Xraydio. It is a project of Zack Kuzmanov (Jonny Fiasco), well-known internationally for being member of the groups Black Moses and Ultra Grand Supreme. The party will continue with Aki Vanderley (Sofia), known for his eclectic style of playing strange tracks from dirty 50s and 60s space edge pop, through Roma folk, African rock, to mutated disco and Japanese psychedelic. After the two sets the Berlin electro pop / art pop / noir Berlin based duo Noblesse Oblige. They combine electronics and acoustics in order to create a unique style of dance mystery, pop melodies and fine electronics with references to the disco and wave eras, all this garnished with acoustic and electric guitars which add the needed dose of rock.

There will be Berlin presence at the second night as well. The program will then start with a DJ set by Purita D, also known as Rough Diamond. She started her career in 2001 in the Netherlands where she plays from vinyls at various parties – from illegal and underground techno parties to hip hop and Graffiti Jams. Next will be the experimental techno duo RoboKnob from Sofia. They just love machines and make endless interventions in their technical possibilities. The culmination of the program will be with Alavux who is among the leading artists at the electronic scene at the moment. He was born in Belgrade and is one of the pioneers of the electro sound from Eastern Europe. Alavux successfully combines electro, techno and unusual sounds in an entity which bares the marks of late 80s and early 90s classics in the genre. At the same time he responds with contemporary and open approach.

Project of “Common Future” NGO and Open Arts Foundation.

15 minutes of fame

Curator: Vera Mlechevska 
September 24, 20:30 – 23:30
State puppet theater – Plovdiv, 14 Hr. G. Danov str.
Moderator: Vasil Iliev
Participants: Elena Kaludova, Kalina Terzieva, Kiril Ivanov, Maria Nalbantova, Martin Penev, Valko Chobanov
Musical guests: The Black Swells (Sofia)

There come on the scene politicians, scientists, executive directors from the Silicon Valley… and painters. Everyone who can win the audience with an idea or an image is summoned to rise under the lime light. “15 minutes of fame” is a new format for inspiring presentations of young Bulgarian artists. For no more than 15 minutes they will have full freedom to present themselves, their work, and their vision of art as well as their future plans. “15 minutes of fame” is an opportunity for the audience to discover the work of contemporary artists in an informal environment.

But why the artist has to talk about his/her art at all? Does it go without saying; doesn’t his/her art talk instead about him/her? Not really. The artists don’t use the same well-known means that you will impeccably recognize as art any more. The artist can tell you what you have to see. Sometimes artists have something different in mind, not the thing you think. And finally, what sort of a person is the painter, we will see on the stage of “15 minutes of fame.

Project of SARIEV Contemporary and Open Arts Foundation.
The project is part of the SARIEV Contemporary’s platform Background: Young Artists.
Partners: National fund “Culture” and Municipality of Plovdiv.

Alternative Map of Plovdiv

Presentation & tour led by Katrin Sarieva 
September 24, 18:00 - 19:30
Hostel Old Plovdiv, 3, 4th January Str.

Within the Night of Museums and Galleries will be presented the latest development on the map with a motivation for the new 4 topics: “The Mahala” (Hadji Hassan Quarter), “The Maritsa River: Modes of Inhabiting” (Karshiyaka, Marasha and Stolipinovo Quarters), “The Social Life in Panel Block Residential Districts” (Trakiya District); “Plovdiv’s Hills as Forms of Urban Life”. As a challenge the audience would be invited on a special tour to discover new interesting locations in based on the new topics. If you want to register for the tour, please send an email to until 18.09., the places are limited.

Alternative Мap of Plovdiv is a project that aims to create a broad new insight and curiosity about the city. The first printed edition of the map (2013) was created as a collaborative work between arch. Vladislav Kostadinov and arch. Antonia Vulkanova from Studio 8 ½ and the historian Katrin Sarieva from Open Arts Foundation. The edition form 2013 includes the topics: “The Tobacco Warehouses”, “The Kapana Quarter”, “Bauhaus under the Hills”, “Communist-Era Architecture”, “Religions” and “Otets Paisiy Str”.

The 4 new topics form 2016 focus not so much on the architectural qualities or the threat of destruction of iconic buildings for the city but on the way people inhabit the spaces – diverse ethnic and social groups, the atmosphere of the everyday life in Plovdiv. The second edition is developed by Katrin Sarieva in consultation with a range of experts: arch. Megan Luenberg, the historian Vladimir Baltchev, Nikola Venkov, Ph.D. student in Urban Studies, St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia, Atanas Dimitrov, student Architecture at University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Project of Open Arts Foundation.


Alongside with the programme “Open Arts” part of the Night of Museums and Galleries - Plovdiv are also the traditional: ”Museums and Galleries”, “Culture and Club”, “City and Public Spaces” and “Small night”. In other words: 5 programs, around 70 locations, 140 events, hundreds of artists and guests from Bulgaria, France, Korea, Austria, Germany, Israel, USA, Italy and the Netherlands.