In 2015, for the first time, the Introduction to Contemporary Art Educational Course of the Open Arts Foundation and SARIEV Contemporary took place in Plovdiv. The series, led by the art critic and curator Vessela Nozharova, introduced the audience to the basics of contemporary art and art history, while specifically focusing on the Bulgarian art scene. In 2016, our educational course will continue with 4 new lectures and a workshop organized in Plovdiv on four consecutive weekends: on 2, 9, 16, 23 and 24 April. The events took place at the Galero Furniture Salon at 16 Ekzarh Yosif St., 4th floor. In 2016, the Introduction to Contemporary Art Educational Course is organized in partnership with the Plovdiv 2016 Municipal Foundation, within the framework of its educational platform FORUM 2019.
The four lectures will look at different aspects of contemporary art since the late 1950s and present the most important art movements and artists of the second half of the 20th century, as well as the ideas that inspired them, in chronological sequence and with the support of relevant photographic material. Special emphasis will be placed on art in Eastern Europe and, specifically, on Bulgarian art since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fifth and last session will require the active participation of the audience, which will be asked to take part in an analytical simulation. For two hours, participants will take on the role of curators and art critics, and collaborate on the construction of a virtual exhibition dedicated to a specific topic.
The Introduction to Contemporary Art 2016 program does not require any previous knowledge or academic experience. The lectures are offered in an accessible and intriguing form, referencing last year’s course, while also offering new information.
The five new lectures will contribute substantially to an overall understanding of the notions and significance of contemporary art.
The Open Arts Foundation and SARIEV Contemporary would also like to announce the creation of an Introduction to Contemporary Art Club, which will establish and maintain year-round contact with alumni of the Introduction of Contemporary Art course and Plovdiv citizens interested in contemporary art. Club members will able to take part in exclusive meetings with artists and curators, go on exhibition tours, and gain access to a variety of materials, books and catalogues. The ICA Club also aims at creating informal space for discussions and the exchange of information and ideas. Membership is free and registration will be possible via email or in person (at the lectures from the Introduction of Contemporary Art Plovdiv 2016 Educational Course).
Major Movements in Contemporary Art after the Second World War
We will look at the major movements and artists in contemporary art since the late 1950s, and discuss the changing notions of the role and significance of art and the artist in the second half of the 20th century. Delving deeper into topics introduced during the Introduction to Contemporary Art 2015 series, the lecture will cover some of the major philosophical, political and social ideas that shaped the period.
Evolution of Painting and Sculpture after ‘the End of Art’
In the late 1950s, painting and sculpture, which had been the dominant artistic practices of the first half of the 20th century, underwent a significant transformation. We will discuss the crisis of traditional media and their ultimate rehabilitation in the service of conceptual art, the installation and the object.
Eastern European Art since 1989
We will discuss art at the end of the Soviet era and the first years following the dissolution of the Iron Curtain, contemporary art during the collapse of Yogoslavia in the 1990s, the Polish and the Czech art schools, contemporary art in Albania, and, last, but not least, the place of Bulgarian art in this big picture.
Bulgarian Contemporary Art: Between the Local and the Global
This lecture will offer a new take on the major trends in Bulgarian contemporary art since the 1990s. Artists and artworks will be introduced in the context of the interaction between global and local.
Workshop and Open Discussion on Contemporary Art
In the first half of this session, participants will be asked to form curator teams and construct the concept of an exhibition using the knowledge gained in the four lectures. We will discuss the outcomes together in the second half.
VESSELA NOZHAROVA (1974) is a free lance curator and art critic. She is currently a Ph.D. student at the National Academy of Art in Sofia. Nozharova has worked at the Union of Bulgarian Artists, the Irida Gallery and ATA Center for Contemporary Art in Sofia. Between 2003 and 2006 she managed the visual arts program of the Red House for Culture and Debate in Sofia. In 2007 Nozharova curated the Bulgarian participation at the 52nd Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art, while in 2008 she was assistant curator of the 11th Venice Biennale of Architecture. She has also curated a number of exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad. She is a co-founder of the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation.
In 2016, the Introduction to Contemporary Art Educational Course is organized in partnership with the Plovdiv 2016 Municipal Foundation, within the framework of its educational platform FORUM 2019. The platform consists of information seminars and other events focusing on Plovdiv’s nomination as European Capital of Culture (ECoC) in 2019. FORUM 2019 aims at creating network partnerships with the purpose of raising awareness, as well as building capacity and developing new publics for the successful implementation of the ECoC 2019 project. FORUM 2019’s topics are closely related to the ECoC 2019’s program and intended to stimulate professional debate and the exchange of experience and knowledge in the cultural sector in Bulgaria. FORUM 2019 discussions are held on a monthly basis according to a schedule published on the website of the Plovdiv 2019 Municipal Foundation.
Organizers: Open Arts Foundation and SARIEV Contemproary
Partners: Plovdiv Municipality, Plovdiv 2019 Municipal Foundation, Galero Furniture Salon
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