PLACES OF PLEASURE
An Exhibition in the Frame of the Project Multipolis
Antoaneta Galabova, Ivaylo Dinev, Iliyana Kancheva, Kosta Tonev, Krassimir Terziev, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Lyubomir Ignatov, Maria Tsaneva, Martin Penev, Miná Minov, Miryana Todorova, Pavel Naydenov, Peter Mintchev, Vasilena Gankovska, Valko Chobanov
With the special participation of Marleen Andreev, Julia Pommer, Frank Zitzmann, Elisabeth Rosenthal and Thomas Judisch – participation in the artist-in-residence program in the frame of the Multipolis project in June 2017.
The Multipolis initiative originates from the city, which, among other things, is broad enough to offer space and allow creative freedom and opportunities for interaction between various disciplines. Art, music and theory are the fields the organizers from The Fridge are willing to get into direct dialogue with one another.
Multipolis started as an open invitation to young artists, musicians and theorists specializing in the humanities. A small group of young people from various fields, namely visual artists, art theorists, sociologists, musicians, got together. They have been working with artists Luchezar Boyadjiev and Krassimir Terziev, sociologist Lea Vajsova and philosopher Dimitar Bozhkov, as well as with music theorist Iliya Gramatikov. They are not supposed to stay within a specified framework, i. e. each participant may focus on the aspect of the city that offers and speaks to him/her the most. Major themes/issues/locations take shape and are marked on the city map – the Hristo Botev quarter, Student Town, parks and recreation venues, the subcultural sexual practice called cruising, etc. Some participants picked out a specific venue, others focused on a specific phenomenon, still others chose to look at the environment surrounding them, at people and their lifestyle, as well as the dynamic between the latter and the city.
Multipolis is not a straightforward project with clear rules, deadlines and expectations for final results. It is much more an attempt for working together, for canalizing various energies and interests. But most of all, Multipolis is a process. Unfinished, unfinalized, there are not end results, there is no full stop, not even three dots, because the sentence just goes on.
The exhibition is open as a structure as well – it features works by project participants, by external artists whose works present pleasure venues in the city, as well as works from the permanent collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery.
The artists included in the exhibition differ drastically in terms of the means of artistic expression, highlights and approaches they employ in exploring urban themes. It is pleasure that their works have in common, as regardless of its problems, ugliness, dirtiness, ghettos, or gentrified areas, the city is also a venue of pleasures. Some of them are small, almost insignificant pleasures like games played by children in the street, while others are secretive like cruising, voyeurism or gambling. Still other works reveal the visual pleasures of architecture, streets and urban landscapes, be they in the old part of town, or in Sofia’s residential areas riddled with buildings made of concrete panels. Yet pleasure is always short-lived, imaginary or deceptive. That is why the exhibition seeks to find out what lies behind the picture-perfect venues of pleasure.
In the exhibition there is a a special zone (as a class room), where visitors can find videos, useful links, texts and books, dedicated to the image of the city in art, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and music. The materials were selected together with the mentors in the project and aim at presenting some of the „learning materials“ or „textbooks“ from the Multipolis project as well as to show various historical and contemporary, audio-visual and theoretical points of view in the city. In this kind of a class room visitors can freely sit down and reach and go through the documentation of the working process of the Multipolis project. They can also find the documentation of the special German participation with interventions in public space by the guest artists.
Curator: Stefka Tsaneva
The Multipolis project was initiated and organized by The Fridge with kind support from the Culture program of the capital city municipality, the St. Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia, and Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.
The exhibition PLACES OF PLEASURE was organized under the Multipolis project 2016/2017 in partnership with the Sofia City Art Gallery and Goethe-Institut Bulgaria.
31 October – 26 November 2017
Sofia City Art Gallery