Design von Stephan Thiel
Exhibition in Sofia as part of the Eastern European Network
Exhibition opening: Friday, October 10, 2008, 7 pm
The exhibitions are on view from October 11 until October 25, 2008
Corinne May Botz, Petko Dourmana, Alicja Karska and Aleksandra Went, Dagmar Keller/Martin Wittwer, Daniel Kunle, Min Kyoung Lee, Iassen Markov, Gergely Nagy, Olof Olsson, Theo Prodromidis, Henrietta Rose-Innes and Kaiwan Mehta, Venelin Shurelov, Helene Sommer, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, Kamen Stoyanov, Krassimir Terziev
curated by Margarita Dorovska and Antonia Lotz
»Stay, Stay, Stay« is an exhibition about places – places people pass by without paying attention to and places where one stays – experiences, which linger in the mind. Some of them are facts on our daily routes, passing-by landscapes, physical presences left unnoticed. Yet, they are part of constructed environments, with historical, social and cultural layers, subject to registration, reminiscence and exploration. Places which are changed by time, changed in accordance with somebody’s decision, squeezed between intentions, assigned purposes and reality. While becoming the subject of artistic production, they come into sight, become visible and possible to observe, sharpen the senses for the perception of times’ traces and the dynamics of social space. And so they stay, despite changes and physical erasure.
… somebody’s train station in Berlin, no longer existent hotel in Gdansk, a lonely church in Rome, recently built to socially revive a neighborhood, a bingo hall in the subway of a central railway station, an oversized neon billboard from the mid 60ies in Sofia, built to represent the traffic light substituting the traffic policeman, but also the party line from that time, architectural landscapes from Berlin and Vancouver, places, captured and archived through the camera of a restless traveller since 1950, a tropical amusement park, built in a facility meant as the biggest hangar in the world, situated in the former soviet military area near Berlin, property development sites, hesitating between present tense and projected future, a place, nominated to gather artist and audience and tested as a condition, sufficient for being entertained …
The exhibition is complemented by a programme, held in the first two days after the opening and on the last day of the show. Taking place in a city which develops rather speedy than planned, it quietly confronts the participants with different perspectives and standpoints to facts and phenomena from the physical environment and provokes sensitivity and intellectual engagement with their own surrounding. Featuring performances, talks, screenings, discussions and a literary reading, the programme is designed as an inseparable entity of the exhibition, which will be closed with the first public presentation of an epistolary project between a writer from Cape Town and an architect from Bombay. Leaving the domain of personal correspondence, this exchange of images and texts about the two cities, rich in affections, memories and concerns actually accompanies the whole programme by lending it its title.
One of the places to come across during the show is its venue – the former central mineral bathhouse in Sofia, built in the very beginning of the 20th century and closed in 1986. Situated in the very heart of the city, for more than thirty years now, hidden behind fences and subject to reconstruction, until recently it was a place without clearly assigned function. Having been used as an unofficial/unnoticed (in the sense of not spoken about) refuge for homeless people, a place for private parties, sporadic cultural events, setting for film productions, now one can see how the gorgeous old layers are being covered with white walls and sterilized to become a history museum of Sofia and a spa centre … For the last time one can visit the building and along with the works in the show, read through the stories of the place from the palimpsest walls of its halls and corridors.
The exhibition in Sofia is part of the project »Opening Our Closed Shops«, supported by the Allianz Cultural Foundation. The Akademie Schloss Solitude is cooperating interdisciplinarily with its five partner institutions in Warsaw, Budapest, Bucharest, Sofia, and Novi Sad.
The exhibition has been coordinated and organized by the coordinators of the partner institutions, namely Ika Sienkiewicz-Nowacka (Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw), Zsofia Lorand (József Attila Circle, Budapest), Margarita Dorovska (Interspace Media Art Center, Sofia), Zoran Pantelic (New Media Center_kuda.org, Novi Sad) and Antonia Lotz (Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart).