Sofia Art Projects Vol. 1: Intimacy and Spectacle in the Age of Social Media

Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia / Bulgaria

June 10–20, 2021
June 10, 2021
Her Accurate Private Mind: June 15, 7–11pm, streaming programme online from Sofia
Opening: June 10, 6–8pm, Ivan Moudov, Garbage 3. Performance in public space

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Artists in the exhibition: Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucia Tkacova,  Ivan Moudov, Krasimira Butseva, Lazar Lyutakov, Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Sasho Stoitsov, Stela Vasileva, Tracey Snelling, Viktor Ruban

Artists in the streaming programme Her Accurate Private Mind: Ana Prvacki, Anetta Mona Chisa and Lucia Tkacova, Dimitar Shopov, Georgi Rouzhev, Ivan Moudov, Keira Greene, Kira Nova, Manon de Boer, Miryana Todorova, Sophia Grancharova, Valko Chobanov, Veneta Androvа

Curated by Dessislava Dimova, Vera Mlechevska and Vessela Nozharova.

The exhibition will take place between June 10 and 20, in the open spaces and empty shops in the Largo underpass (below Nezavisimost Square), reflecting on the notion of the vitrine and the window, public and private space, art and “spectacle” in the age of social media and in post/epidemic times.

Are there really boundaries between art and life we would like to keep? The Intimacy and spectacle in the age of social media project aims to study those liminal situations, frameworks and platforms where parallel and diverging representations of art and the public sphere are possible. They could be accessories, supplements to art—parerga, but they could also be means to various propaganda aims (commercial or political).

To this end we turned our attention towards existing structures in public space—window shops in the urban space and social platforms on the internet.

Window shops reflect and multiply the value of objects presented in them. In science and medicine, glass covers were introduced to preserve samples or specimen for research and observation. In religion exceptional and rare objects are displayed behind glass. Museums introduced glass cases for the same purpose—that of displaying precious and rare exhibits, but they also play their role in the principle of their classification. Glass display cases do display but they also make the object displayed inaccessible to touch. Window shops play with all these elements and present artefacts as an object of desire—inaccessible, shiny, removed from the banality of the everyday. Nowadays this representative function of the window shop is ever more replaced by the screen of the television or computer, in the online space.

The Largo in the heart of the capital Sofia is an institutional node of power of the contemporary state. Its surface is a scene from which power sends its messages but also a scene of protest and public discontent. Yet under the surface the Largo has been transformed into a museum display case of sorts. It preserves the remains of the ancient city of Serdica, offers tourist information and souvenirs but is also a meeting point and place of spontaneous expression for youths.

Spatially, the exhibition explores the range between social networks (such as Twitch and TikTok where the users are from the youngest generation) and the Largo as a place of cultural heritage and tourist attraction.

Curated by Dessislava Dimova, Vera Mlechevska and Vessela Nozharova, Intimacy and spectacle in the age of social media is the first edition of the international exhibition Sofia Art Projects, designed as an annual event in Sofia to present contemporary art from Bulgaria and the world, with the purpose to encourage experiments and new artistic and curatorial practices.

Sofia Art Projects is a project of the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Bulgaria, as well as with the support of Sofia Municipality, Regional History Museum—Sofia, U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria and the Austrian Embassy.