Zapaden Park Festival for Art in Public Space

Zapaden Park Festival strives to create a platform where the dynamics, characteristics and oddities  of the public space can be considered through the prism of the present.  The main goal of the event is to attract new, active audience. Audience, ready to participate, to change and shape its own living environment according to its own views and needs, and by using the means of art to critically express  position  towards its surroundings. This way, instead of a place for leisure and entertainment, Zapaden Park, along with its appertaining subway stations and residential districts, become a tribune and a workshop, where artists, audience and random passers-by create unusual works and  situations together. The first edition’s curators are Galina Dimitrova-Dimova and Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva.

The event’s name - For the People and the Place - is inspired by the American curator Mary Jane Jacob. Having many years of experience in the so-called ‘public space’, she  summarizes a simple and clear principle, which the curators of the festival in Sofia adopt as their own: “People and places are tied together, and for art to find a place, it needs to be both of place and of people.” This way Zapaden Park Festival focuses on the fundamental laws, under which art, artists and audience are in a productive public space interaction. At the same time, it offers a creative and diverse perspective on the current term for “public space” in our country.

The programme of the festival’s first edition comprises 15 projects, chosen amongst 73 proposals, sent to the curators as a result of an open invitation in the spring of this year.

The preliminary programme of the festival starts with two exhibitions in November in the Credo Bonum gallery, which engage with the problems and artistic interventions in the public space. The Interventions exhibition (November, 6th-23rd), presented video and photo documentation, collected in October at Zapaden Park by Adelina Popnedeleva and her students, majoring in “Textiles” in the National Academy of Arts. From November, 28th  to  December, 18th  the guest artist at the gallery is Andrej Vrabchev’s author study, accomplished in collaboration with Teodora Valcheva, Teodora Konstantinova, Yovo Panchev and Marian Dzin.

The exhibition part of the festival’s programme will continue throughout the Christmas holidays with the results of the children’s workshop, organized by Kompot Collective in the neighborhood of Fakulteta.

In the period of December, 1st – 9th, in the biggest park in Sofia and the area around it, people can see and experience installations, performances, happenings and works by Bulgarian artists of different generations among which are Svetlozara Aleksandrova, Ivo Bistrichki, Vili Prager, Venelin Shurelov, Nina Kovacheva, Valentin Stefanov, etc. The event’s programme includes a curator project by Yovo Panchev with the participation of Dan Tenev, Kamen Starchev, Georgi Donov, Dobromir Ivan, Prodan Markov, Dr. Gatev, Georgi Ruzhev, Doychin Russev , etc., film selections from the students film festival “Ranno pile”, children’ theatrical and educational workshops, DJ sets, live performances. At the same time four performances will take place in Vardar and Zapaden Park subway stations, transforming the daily passers-by in artists and audience. The performance authors are Krasimir Terziev and Gerogi Arnaudov, Sofia Hristozova Yordanova and Marta Dimitrova, Arch. Tsvetelina Panova, Arch. Stiliana Panova and Velko Ivanov, Informburo.

Apart from the exhibits held from December 3rd until December 6th, Credo Bonum Gallery will host series of public presentations by different authors and projects, related to the issues that the festival raises.

The initiative is part of the project: Art festivals in public space: SOFIA CONTEMPORARY and Zapaden Park Open Air Festival, under contract BG161PO001/1.1-10/2010 with Sofia Municipality, financed by Operational Programme “Regional Development” 2007-2013. Zapaden Park Festival supports the city of Sofia’s candidature for European capital of culture.

Up-to-date information about the festival can be found online on facebook at:!/ZaHorataIMiastoto?fref=ts