Thank you all for applying to Water tower art residency 3, all chosen artists will be announced on our site soon, as well as planned activities and program very soon! Stay tuned for events at end of summer 2019!
With the coming opportunity of meeting of AIM members in Plovdiv 2019 with local artistic initiatives and form the Balkan region, we will be able to have a more structured dialogue regarding influences artists have through their independent initiatives and at the same time support the ones that are still under development.
AIM Plovdiv 2019 – Local Connections brings together a range of European artist-run initiatives to connect independent Bulgarian art scene with the surrounding regions and internationally. The project builds on AIM Network’s long-term goals to facilitate connections, build new collaborations, strengthen the artist-run scene and make it accessible to the public. It develops the concept of working on a large-scale local basis across different but interconnected neighbouring regions. Despite the state borders, artists and curators often share similar social and cultural questions, common traditions and discourse in contemporary art, yet often they do not have the opportunity to meet in person and share their experience. The project will offer a range of events including public workshops, panel discussion, guided tour and exhibition. AIM Plovdiv 2019 is organised by AIM Network and Water Tower Art Fest with the support of Plovdiv 2019 European Capital of Culture.
AIM Network (Artists’ Initiatives’ Meetings Network) is a European network of artist-run initiatives. It serves as a platform for exchange of experience, sharing of knowledge, increasing of mobility and cooperation between artist-run initiatives, and to raise awareness of the artist-run sector among both professional art world and the broader public. The network has currently eleven artist-run member spaces from across Europe.
- 14.06 – opening exhibition for works made for Arosita Gallery
- 15.06 – the artists of “Water tower Creative Residence” №2 and a team will appear as volunteers-hosts of the event “Suspended Lunch” in support of Solidarity Kitchen Sofia. Invited guests will prepay one lunch for themselves and one “suspended” – the collected funds and products will go to the Sunday lunch organized by Solidarity Kitchen on 17 June, as an initiative to support people in need, held every Sunday in the Solidarity Club at 51 George Washington Street – and part of the prepared “suspended” lunches will be given out on the same day, on the 15th. Partners of the initiative are Move.bg, the lunch taking place at their space on 20 Serdika Str.
- 15.06 – opening in the art space “Rakovski 167″
- 16.06 – opening in the former warehouse “Despred” on Veslets street with public performances and music program – closing of the creative residence
CONCEPT OF WATER TOWER ART RESIDENCY – BENEVOLENT EDITION 2018
In the face of rapid changes in environment and urban development as well as social and cultural scene we are also changing
What once we thought was valuable and real now has stepped out to a more serene look on matters connected with communication through the arts
Water tower art fest is no longer,
But a new platform for immediate communication through contemporary arts is rising
We invite you to do socially interactive actions, performances or exhibition addressing issues or tendency of general isolation in the cities, tolerance and well-being, as well as actions, which contribute in general way the communication between people– where elitism is peaking its head out suffocating real people-to-people communication. What we know is not what we see, what we get is not what we want. This is an artist run initiative and as we are starting to run it independently from institutions without any financial support, there is a participation fee for the organization.
OPEN CALL FOR WATER TOWER ART RESIDENCY – BENEVOLENT EDITION 2
Theme: Social Development Through Creative Practices
Deadline 15 April 2018
Period of residency 01.06. – 17.06.2018
Event opening dates: various at each place tba
What we offer is interaction in the city of Sofia in four or more venues with additional possibility for public spaces interaction based on application proposal
What we expect from the artistic proposals is:
> Leaving immediate social impact through practice
> Creative methods of achieving improvements for the specific site/space/social context/existing issue in the society
> Requires immersion in the local context, as well as bringing global practices
> Participants come together for period of 2 weeks,
> Incorporation of scheduled one-to-one meetings with residency advisors, workshops and public interaction throughout the stay, sites open to visit while works are developed
> Final 2-3 days – official results presentation to the public and partners with musical concert and performances at a destination in Sofia tba
Rules for applying;
Please send via email no later than 10.April 2018, 18:00pm to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org (if you are sending big file transfer please use wetransfer) the following:
• A resume of proposed project to do during the residency; it can be only an outline of possible activity, exhibit, performance, installation or action explained in a resume. Please mention possible media usage technical details and scale of proposed project, add visualization including photos or sketches if possible.
• A recent CV
• One Recommendation
What we offer:
Three scholarships available for WTAR2 based on proposed projects and decision of selection juries of 500 Euros each
For the rest of accepted residents there is a fee of 200 Euros to be paid prior to arrival- the fee covers:
- Accommodation, arranged by us in center of Sofia for the whole period covered. All artists are to cook or arrange their own meals. With the help of staff, we will be able to show you closest supermarkets and grocery stores, as well as restaurants close by.
- A guide in Sofia with help of staff upon arrival
- technical support and support sourcing out required materials for the respective works (artists are responsible for their materials for which we are ready to help find them or rent them)
*All artists are responsible for their transportation. A staff member will pick you up from airport.
**We will ask you to leave one artwork at the end of residency to the organizers, which will be subject of choice for a collector form Bulgaria.
During the residency, participants will be offered:
One-to-one meetings with guest workshop facilitators and residency advisors, as well as group meetings with local curators and other industry professionals
Curator’s walk and lunch with both national and international curators and collectors during the period of residency.
Integration with other galleries and arts programs, and a host of presentations, openings, performances and lectures.
Unrestricted access to venues to work on site
Technical support for installing the works
Catalogue and brochure issuing after end of residency + online edition on site
Interviews arranged in national media
Highlight of artworks on social media facebook (5000 followers) and site
Professional photo and video documentation high res of artworks and performances
A workshop or lecture organized by WTAR for artists to give to local art scene and students
General interaction with local art scene
Works development and installation will take place with “Open Doors” policy – members of the public as well as visiting residency advisors and other interested party are invited to come by and visit the process. This is an opportunity to maintain local contact and be strongly rooted within the local context of the program, making direct impact on the community/place where works are to be carried out/presented.
Nia Pushkarova – Director and Chief Curator of Water tower art fest/ residency
Rositsa Getsova – Artist and Gallerist owner of Arosita Gallery
Nikolay Nedelchev – Art Collector from Sofia
Arosita Gallery- exhibition place, http://www.arosita.info/
Labaratory of BG ROSE- social interaction place for performance action and exhibition (tbc)
Despred Hall – exhibition place- https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2gqDgNTx6J-LTNKRUwtem1kMkE
Public Mineral water basin area
Other public spaces around the city
*More photos will follow of sties soon
**The organizers remain their right to change/replace venues due to outside circumstances beyond their jurisdiction.
Ngo IME, Nia Pushkarova – Director and Curator of WTAF www.watertowerartfest.com
9 Bogatista street, Sofia 1421
This autumn, a Bulgarian touch will aid the transformation of abandoned spaces in one of the most scenic and inspiring places in Japan – Nakanojo. The world recognised Nakanojo Art Biennale traditionally invites international artists with projects for reviving disused buildings and adapting them as galleries and exhibitions spaces for the duration of the event. Nia Pushkarova, the founder and director of Water Tower Art Fest and Association IME, has received an invite from the organisers of the biennale for participation with a whole pavilion dedicated to contemporary Bulgarian art. Together with Nia, the Bulgarian pavilion at Nakanojo, “Distant Relatives”, will be presented by: Galina Yotova – long-term collaborator and official photographer of WTAF; Elitsa Ganeva – long-term collaborator of WTAF, recipient of WTAF 2016 “Debut” Award; Radina Stoimenova – former intern (2015) and participant in WTAF 2016, performance, installations. Their projects will see the former primary school in Nakanojo take on a new life throughout September 2017.
The participation of precisely Water Tower Art Fest artists and organisers is no coincidence, given the many similarities between the two projects – Nakanojo and WTAF – and it serves to prove the experience and expertise of Association IME (WTAF) in the field of urban arts and interventions. Both WTAF and Nakanojo Art Biennale were set up in the same year, 2006. The projects share the same idea about re-imagining disused urban spaces and rediscovering their potential.
In just 10 years, the Biennale has turned Nakanojo in an attractive cultural hub for international artists and an area of regeneration – abandoned schools are being turned into galleries, public spaces take on the role of sculpture parks. The project is a successful example of a sustainable cultural initiative. The Biennale has a socio-economic contribution to the region, by a). creating temporary employment for the locals, as translators and artists’ assistants, as well as volunteers, b). attracting thousands of tourists for several months, c). aiding the communication between institutions, artists and culture collectives; helping emerging practitioners get noticed by renowned curators, international associations and media.
Likewise, over the last 10 years Water Tower Art Fest have been developing and fighting for good practices in preserving valuable but abandoned Bulgarian cityscapes, proving that culture is not something that can be just stored in a museum or gallery but is actually part of our everyday life. Even after unjustly losing the symbol of the festival, the old water tower in Sofia’s Lozenec area (the municipality closed the tower for public access in 2014 and then, in 2016 sold it privately, through a “behind-the-closed-doors” auction to a yet unnamed buyer, despite all the regeneration efforts and project proposal for permanent art space from WTAF), the collective continues its work in socially engaged art practices, locally and internationally – and their visit to Japan is an opportunity to acquire further knowledge in building sustainable development models.
The model adopted in Nakanojo is one of cultural exchange and active communication, which produces long-lasting partnerships and gives basis to future shared projects; it creates a dialogue for finding solutions to the current, shared issues in the art world – rather than just being a pure exhibition platform. The same principals were established by WTAF 2006-2016 and all consecutive initiatives of Association IME, e.g. Water Tower Art Residency, July 2017.
Last, but not least, the impressive number of visitors to Nakanojo Biennale – over 470 000 for the 2016 edition – will guarantee wide exposure to the Bulgarian pavilion and its representatives, thus further promoting contemporary Bulgarian art overseas and contextualising it within the international arts scene.
You can follow live updates & details of WTAF’s visit to Nakanojo Biennale 2017 on Facebook
Mariko Hori (Japan/Serbia) – Born in Hyogo, Japan, based in Belgrade, Serbia. Mainly installations, her work deals with alternatives space and uncovering site-specific perceptions through broadening or changing the focus in the details of daily life. When intentionally placing specific objects in spaces where they don’t usually belong, the selection of objects and the space in-between makes the atmosphere different and something unexplainable arises.
Marina Moskalenko (Ukraine) – Marina specializes in interactive installations, actions and visual arts (incl. Fine Arts, with Graphic Artist qualification); her WTAR project will be presented in Depot Poduene, details TBC – the concept of her project will be created and developed during the residency, with the site in mind, and is not available beforehand.
Johannes Gerard (Netherlands) – visual artist with almost 30 years of experience with projects in sculpture, installations, mixed media, photography and print; his WTAR project will be presented at the House of Culture “Iskur”, details TBC.
Pierre Tardiff (France/UK) – creative technologist and sound designer, with a degree in electronic engineering, Pierre has an exciting portfolio of work in London; his idea is to present a combination of music, science and artwork.
Anna-Maria Bogner (Austria)– her work focuses on the appropriation of space, space limitations and the spaces in between. WTAR project: installation from objects found on site, transforming the space in which they’re found; an exploration of our own and shared reality.
Haruka Tomatsu (Japan) – WTAR project: installation and interactive dance performance for Depot Poduene, exploring memories-objects relations; the dance technique used in this project is called Butho – originated in Japan in the 1950s, it’s a dance without preliminary choreography, created on the spot, depending on the space and context in which it is performed.
Serena Chalker (Australia) – Serena’s practice draws from dance, audio/text, theatre, happening and intervention. WTAR project: series of intimate performance encounters / meetings with the audience, based at Depot Poduene, examining our relationship to change and transition, and how this influences our sense of connectedness to a place.
Ren Qian, Cai Qing, Shen Yun (China) – collective exhibition of projects (video, photography, installations), documenting a nearly 10-years long exploration of water (lakes, rivers, bays, etc.) and its place in humans’ traditions/history/practices around the world and in China.
Nia Pushkarova - PREDISPOSITION LIMITED BY CIRCUMSTANCES” – Performance and installation
Ponton (Serbia) - The Serbian Duo are Marko Jevtic and Igor Stangliczky. PonTon are soundscape storytellers since 2008 and have 5 albums behind their back – a collection of electro-acoustic improv, drone, post-rock, soundscape storytelling.
White Flower (UK) - Seb Silas (soprano saxophone) and Sylvia Schmidt (vocals).
Formed as a response to the erratic and all-consuming city of London, White Flower offers its audiences an opportunity to step away from urban life, pay attention to intimate sound, and be drawn into dream-like sonorities. Through creating a focus on stillness & silence, but exploring uncomfortability & contradiction, a trance-like catharsis is offered for contemplation.
PRESENTATION OF RESULTS TO PUBLIC
21.07, 18:00-22:00, Council Cultural Institute House of Culture “Iskur”: Cai Qing, Ren Qian, Shen Yun, Johannes Gerard, PonTon
22.07, 18:00-23:00, Depot Poduene: all other artists, White Flower
This year we are launching the Short Artists Residency as a continuation of our practice of socially engaged arts in alternative venues. It will be an attempt to do work in collaboration between artists on site working with: performance and installation, interactive actions including the audience and citizens around the places. The results of the residency and performance program will be on sites on 21 to 23rd of July.
Interested artists, curators or practitioners/ thinkers should send a -
- short cv /bio /resume with contacts
-with project proposal or sphere of activity during the stay or site-specific installation or performance for Depo Poduene or Culture house Iskur
- One contact of referee
And technical assistance and rental equipment to be discussed after selection
Write to email@example.com www.watertowerartfest.com
Nia Pushkarova – Director of Water tower art fest
Co Selector: Mariko Hori
Technical assistance – Teodor Nanev and Georgi Kamburov
PR – Oli Gots
and …….END! For some it was an incredible opportunity and experience as it was intended to be, for others it showed a way to a different more personal approach which needs much more flexibility and understanding and engagement of one’s action in the society. In order to understand Water tower art fest you have to start with understanding the initial drive lead me to start this 10 years ago- and that is that one person alone makes a difference! we are not an institution, we are not a organization, which has an office, nor salaries and set working hours – we work 24/7 for 12 months a year in order to have this happening! Thank you all for being part of this last edition of WTAF
We need to clarify that we are only using the water tower as a symbol of festival and working in alternative spaces. Because of us and our efforts throughout the years, this beautiful building now is an art center, or yet to function as such. We are about to enter other emblematic spaces in the city and its periffery and are looking forward to our 10th anniversary and we hope you too.
The open call is closed! Now is time to review them all and we will get back very soon to each one of you! We are happy to announce that for this year edition after inviting the artist Kim Dotty Hachmann from Berlin (hdpk) she accepted to be a co-selector!