Dear artists,

thanks to all of you who proposed those wonderful projects, which are inspiring to us.

Now we are entering the selection procedure, which is not going to be easy, believe us.

Stay tuned on our site and facebook profile for further news, we also will be contacting you via email shortly.

Good luck and thank you






20- 28 June 2015


Water Tower Art Fest is an artist run initiative and the biggest international contemporary art festival in Sofia, incorporating alternative spaces in series of exhibitions in June each year since 2006.


The festival now has developed as a platform of exchange of national and international artists working in all disciplines within contemporary visual art. It gives the opportunity to share ideas and to question the sociopolitical situation with its socially engaged works done especially for the venues and showcase of contemporary artworks with notion of overcoming the paradigm of our age, dominated by economic structures that obstruct our very prime right to exist.


Part of the festival this year will take place in the city of Pernik, (very close to Sofia ½ h) which in the 1980s boasted more than 80 working factories with heavy industry – now, nearly all shut down, abandoned and in ruins, especially after the earthquake 3 years ago. In the face of this visible product of post-communist catastrophe, the notion of being politically correct is no longer satisfactory and we take a stand with the unquestionable power of art.  The hunches we follow this year are mere ideas to be where needed, as artists and fully aware of the function art has in society nowadays.


We are calling for revival, trying to bring back hope and sense in hopeless places and senseless time.


You are invited to contribute towards the revival trial and searching for sense during the 9th edition of Water tower art fest 2015. The general theme this year is:


“Towns in need of love”

Participating venues:

Public spaces around the city of Sofia – 20 – 28 June

Old tram station DEPO – one day action only

SAMSI – ARSENAL museum of contemporary arts


Lavele hostel art gallery

Square of St. Nedelya and Cervantes cultural center

Private galleries

City of Pernik 25- 28.06.2015 “To Pernik with love”-

 Old mine,

Old fortress “Krakra”,

 Old  Machine factory “Struma”

Different public spaces

Click on link to view venues in separate folders:


More TBA


Note: The team of WTAF preserves the right to change, add or replace venues destinations, due to unforeseen circumstances, beyond our control.





Open call launch – 25th of February, 2015


Deadline for proposals – 01.04.2015


Announcing the results – 15.04.2015


Festival dates 20-28th of June 2015


Selection committee:


Chief curator: Nia Pushkarova (BG)


Maddalena Mauri (IT)


Niclas Halberg (SE/Serbia)


Marcos Vidal (SP)



Who can apply?


Anyone, working in the fields of contemporary visual arts, with no restriction to age, race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality or education!


We accept proposals on the basis of our proposed venues being site specific or according to our theme. We also accept proposal topics for our discussion panels during the festival and workshops.


Selection committee consisting of prominent art figures in the world of art is invited to assist us in choice of artists.


NOTE: Artists are responsible for their own travel and shipping of artworks, unless otherwise arranged, under third parties relations made in advance. What we can do is send an invitation to be used for applying to available funding and grants at selected artist’s countries of residence.





Please send in a proposal, consisting of:


• a detailed explanation and concept of your proposed art work, including visuals (photos) or sketches


• specific technical requirements and material needed for its implementation


• Short CV or resume mentioning name, country of origin, gender and past artistic history and/or general interest in the arts sphere



What you can expect from us during WTAF 2015:


—     Free access to all events of festival


— Extended coverage in media and official catalogue of the fest and site along with publications in different medias with links to websites


— Assistance in finding affordable accommodation – hostel or private based with discount being part of the festival


— Recommendations and invitations for travel funding


— Technical and other assistance during the festival, assistance in finding materials and equipment, if not exceeding certain amount, is covered by festival


— Overall guidance and assisting in production of work by our volunteers and professional technical team


— Possible airport pick up and accompanying to hotel or accommodation by team and/or volunteers


— In case your artwork requires special equipment hire, please state this in your application, so further arrangements can be made, if possible


— Great time interacting with different artists, both local and international, a chance to get valuable contacts for your professional and personal life


— Generally meeting great people and experiencing festival’s frenzy in its full



Please distribute or repost this open call freely.


P.S. The festival is under the Cultural Calendar of Sofia Municaplity for 2015 and National


Cultural calendar


P.P.S. Also the festival is in close partnership with Nomadic village which has its own open call and program within the festivals program in Pernik 2015:


Water Tower Art Fest Team


25.02.2015, Sofia




9 Bogatica Street, app. 12


Sofia 1421




* Special sending requirements will follow if needed.


Nia Pushkarova


Director of NGO IME and organizer/chief curator of Water tower art fest


Member of Bulgarian Festival Association (BFA)


Tower to the People Nominated for Deutsche Multimediapreis

Tower to the PeopleThe pictogram animation „Tower to the People“ which was realized for the opening of the Water Tower Art Fest 2014 has been nominated for the German Multimedia Art Award for the young generation (Deutsche Multimediapreis). The awards ceremony takes place in the Technical Collection in Dresden on 15th of November where the project will be presented to the public during a festival of exhibitions, workshops and performances.

For more information visit


Temporary Protected Spaces

Water Tower Art Fest is an artists-led initiative, began as a small-scale event and grew over the years, becoming a significant international forum in Sofia and the country, representing local and international artists working in the contemporary visual arts field.

Part of the festival, now in its eighth year, will be traditionally presented in alternative spaces around the country as an act of decentralization of cultural life in Bulgaria. In Plovdiv this is the newly opened gallery space of eXAF – at 89 Ruski Blvd.

Artworks from this year’s June edition of the festival will be presented where more than 45 international artists from around the world took part. In the selection you can see presentations of video and spatial installations of artists from Bulgaria, Korea, Japan, Britain, Germany and USA.

Welcome to our “temporary protected spaces” with faith in the future and enthusiastic perseverance!

Opening: 03.10.2014 at 19:00 h.

Working hours:
Sat & Sun from 12:00 till 20:00 h.
89 Ruski Blvd., 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

More information at: and and on Facebook

Tower to the People – Kim Dotty Hachmann

Tower to the people from Kim Dotty Hachmann on Vimeo.

This Pictogram Animation was screened during the opening of Water Tower Art Fest (June 2014) in the garden of the actual water tower.
Realised by students of SRH Hochschule der populären Künste (hdpk) in Berlin, Germany. Namely: Niklas Almerood, Niklas Bauer, Jendrik Drazetic, Nicolai Herzog, Mareike Heyne, Sandra Janke, Leon Jurtzik, Kalina Meyer, Dimitri Müller, Tim Pertuch. The project has been organised by assistant professor Kim Dotty Hachmann.

There is an unlikely change in this year’s edition of WTAF. The festival’s emblem, the tower, has been closed for visitors and people by the local authorities. Due to the political problems in Bulgaria this tower is just more than a closed monumental building. It is a place where change happens. A team of students from the hdpk Berlin collect information around the situation and thus visualise together an animated protest video against the prohibition. Their aim is to support and promote the claim and wish: Tower to the people.

2014 WTAF Artists & Program

Visitation, 2008
Color High-Definition video on plasma display mounted on wall
61.2 x 36.4 x 5 in (155.5 x 92.5 x 12.7 cm)
Performers: Weba Garretson, Pam Blackwell
12:18 minutes
Photo: Kira Perov




2014 Water Tower Art Fest Featured Artist:

Bill Viola (USA): Bill Viola’s video installation “Visitation”, from his 2008 Transfigurations series, will be on display in the underground Serdica venue throughout the festival. Bill Viola is internationally recognized as a leading contemporary artist and as one of the main forces behind establishing video as a valid form of contemporary art. Known for his room-sized environments that envelop viewers with sound and feature multiple screens of moving images, Viola creates sublimely romantic imagery in the tradition of painting through radically new digital media.

2014 Water Tower Art Fest Artists:

  • Andrea Coyotzi Borja (Mexico): sound installation at the Old Foundry
  • Antoni Georgiev: photo series “MYSTIFICATION: A midwinter’s Saturday fog” at Rubber Gallery, opening June 24th
  • Bill Viola (USA): video installation “Visitation,” 2008 at Serdica underground, opening June 21st at 19:00
  • Caitlin and Andrew Webb-Ellis (UK/Cаnada): video film screening “MOTHER, I AM GOING” at bar Atelieto on June 25th
  • Cathrine Constanse (Norway): video film screening “Fru. Felgens julestri.” at Hall and bar Atelieto
  • Cesar Escudero Andaluz, Spain – photo series “File_món” at Rubber Gallery
  • Dimitri Dimov and Lora Azza: installation “The //Bread Ladder//” and “Book ladder” in the garden of the water tower
  • Domingo Pino (Spain): objects installation at the Old Foundry
  • Joteva: digital photo series “Stoned Skins” at Rubber Gallery
  • Frode Jacobsen (Norway): video film screening “Winter and air” “Autumn and fire” at Hall
  • Ingebjørg Torgersen (Norway): performance “Not everybody cares about the weather” at Hall on June 22nd at 21:30 and video film screening of “Bank, bank, minibank” at bar Atelieto June 25th at 21:30
  • Ivan Petkov: interactive installation “Mattress-pipe,” a sound installation / collaborative music instrument at Hall
  • Ivaylo Hristov: installation “The last shirt has no pockets …” at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
  • James Holland (UK): sound performance at Hall
  • Johannah Herr (US): site-specific installation at the Old Foundry
  • Katya Stoycheva : workshop “Limit_Less” at the Red House on June 25th
  • Kim Dotty Hachmann & Steffie Simen (Germany): performance workshop “Form Future” with presentation on June 23rd at the Red House
  • Lars Asling & Adrian Åsling Sellius (Sweden): sound and performance “The Holistic Detective Agency” at Hall
  • Liesbeth van Woerden and Liesbeth Bos from Kunstenaarsinitiatief Elders (the Netherlands): photography project installation “Healing injuries” at the Old Foundry
  • Lora Hristova: video “Mother tongue” atExpo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
  • Lorraine Kordecki (UK): installation “Lure” at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
  • Marcos Vidal (Spain): “Trap Chairs”, Sculpture installation at the Old Foundry
  • Mariko Hori (Japan): “The airing project” interactive installation around city of Sofia and presentation at final day at bar Atelieto
  • Mery Adam: “Voyage jusqu’a Sofia planetaire” (Пътешествие до планета София) digital photo-collage at Serdika Underground
  • Micaela de Vivero (Ecuador): site-specific installation “Guardaría” at Serdika Underground
  • N.P.: audio-visual installation at Serdika Underground and mural painting at the Old Foundry
  • Niclas Hallberg (Sweden/Serbia): performance “Fundamental interaction” at opening at garden of the Water Tower on June 20th and video installation “FREQUENCY ONE” together with Stina Pehrsdotter at Serdika Underground
  • Paul Wiersbinski (Germany): video screening “Meeting of the Mind and the Machine (2012)” at Bar Atelieto.  Final day, June 25th.
  • Radina Stoimenova: performance “It happened just a while ago” at festival opening in garden of the Water Tower on June 20th
  • Raquel Esquives (Peru): installation “Silhouettes” at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
  • Sibylle Hofter & Daniel Sellek Agnetur Sshwimer: presentation of City desk, Sofia at gallery “Atelie Plastelin,” opening June 24th
  • Soyung Lee (Korea): video film series of “the Gummybears’ town” and “Gummybears’ Picnic,” final day film screening at bar Atelieto
  • Stina Pehrsdotter, Sweden/Serbia- video together with Niclas Halberg “FREQUENCY ONE” video installation and performance workshop ”Relating objects”
  • Takako Yamaguchi (Japan): installation “Lost every day” at the Old Foundry
  • Trond Arne Vangen (Norway): film screening and installation ”The tool to create a better future” at bar Atelieto
  • Ueta Hiroshi, (Japan): Workshop of SHODO (Japanese calligraphy) on June 21st at 18:00 and June 25th at 18:00 at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
  • Viktoria Georgieva: site-specific installation “We are looking for change” at the Old Foundry

Schedule Openings and Dates:

  • 20.06, 18:30 – 22:00: Official opening at garden of water tower with concert “The Botanix,” film screening of students from Berlin with curator Kim Dotty Hachman, and perfromance program. Address: Galitchica street, Lozenets.
  • 21.06: Exhibition at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall) and Serdika. Address: Blvd Mariya Luzia 16.
  • 21.06, 18:00: Calligraphy workshop at Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall) by Hiroshi Ueta, Japan.
  • 21.06, 19:00: Official opening – Bill Viola “Visitation” at Serdika Underground
  • 22.06, 18:30: Official opening at the Old Foundry
  • 22.06, 20:00-22:00: Performance night at Hall
  • 23.06, 10:00-16:00: Conference and debates at the Red House
  • 23.06, 19:00-21:00: Performance night
  • 24.06, 10:00-16:00: Conference and debates at the Red House
  • 24.06, 18:30: Opening at Rubber gallery
  • 24.06, 19:30: Opening at Gallery Atelie Plastelin
  • 25.06, 10:00-13:00: Final day of conference and debates at the Red House
  • 25.06, 14:00-16:00: Workshop “Limit_Less” by Katya Stoicheva, on limits of creativity, at the Red House
  • 25.06, 21:30-00:00: Closing party with film screening and presentation at bar Atelieto

Map of Festival Venues:

Click for Festival Map

Venue Locations and Transportation

SERDICA Underground
Serdica Metro Station
Address: corner of “Ekzarh Yosif” Str. and 16 “Maria Luiza” Blvd. entrance next to Roca store (former shop “Sofia”)

Expo Bath Sofia (Roca Exposition Hall)
Address: corner of “Ekzarh Yosif” Str. and 16 “Maria Luiza” Blvd.
Metro: Metro Station “Serdica”, walking;
Trams: No. 12, No.18, No.20, No.22, tram stop “Tsentralni Hali”; walking

Water Tower, Lozenets Neighborhood
Address: Lozenets neighborhood, the corner of “Galichitsa” Str. and “Teodosiy Tarnovski” Str.
Trams: No. 10, tram stop “Energoproekt”; walking
Buses: No. 88, bus stop “Energoproekt”; walking

Lavele Hostel
Address: 14 “Lavele” Str.
Metro: Metro Station “Serdica”; walking
Trams: No. 12, No.18, tram stop “Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya”; No. 8, No. 5 tram stop “Sadebna palata”; walking

Bar Atelieto
Address: 50 “Tsar Samuil” Str.
Metro: Metro Station “Serdica”; walking
Trams: No. 8, No. 5 tram stop “Sadebna palata”; walking

Rubber Gallery (Photo Gallery “Lastitsi”)
Address: 13 “Gerlovo” Str.
Buses: No. 306, No. 280, No. 213, No. 72, No. 75, No. 9 bus stop “Voenna Akademia”; walking

The Red House (Chervenata Kashta)
Address: 15 “Luben Karavelov” Str.
Buses: No. 204, No. 604, No. 72, No. 76, No. 94 bus stop “Graf Ignatiev”; walking
Trams: No. 10, No. 12, No. 18 stop “Vasil Levski” Blvd.; walking
Trolley buses: No. 1, No. 2, No. 5, No. 8, trolley stop “Kino Odeon”; walking

Old Foundry (Starata leyarna)
Address: 1″Industrialna” Str.
Buses: No. 79, No. 309 bus stop “Hladilen zavod”; walking
Trams: No. 18, No. 3, No. 4, tram stop “Hladilen zavod”; walking

NHA Studios
NHA atelliers 56 “DONDUKOV” Bldv.

48 “Tsar Simeon” Str., 1000, Sofia, Bulgaria


Nia PushkarovaCurator and Organizer of Water Tower Art Fest, Artist. Studied Fine Art at Reading University, UK. Works with painting, installation photography and video. Became founder of NGO IME in 2004 together with small group of creative people. Lives and works in Sofia with her son Yan.
Svetlana Alexandrova – Project manager / Coordinator

Kalina Petkova – Social media

Adi Kuneva – Assistant guests

Kristin Belcheva – Assistant

Georgi Kamburov – Technical coordinator

Margarita Eneva – Part time PR

Denitsa Toneva – Chief designer

Instudio – Print production

Kayleigh Lebak – Assistant / Website Manager


20 – 25 OF JUNE 2014


Photo by Galya Yotova – all rights reserved Water tower art fest® 2013 – old train station Kazichene

It is our pleasure to announce the spectacular program for the Water Tower Art Festival as an artist-run initiative this year, including the participation of the notorious Bill Viola, in full William Viola (born January 25, 1951, New York, New York, U.S.), an American video, digital, and sound artist.  Viola was one of the pioneering figures of a generation of artists in the 1970′s who employed video art and sound technologies. Known for his room-sized environments (installations) that envelop viewers with sound and feature multiple screens of moving images, Viola created sublimely romantic imagery in the tradition of painting through radically new digital media.

The work “Visitation” from his 2008 Transfigurations series, by California-based video artist Bill Viola goes on display in our festival this year in one of our non-traditional venues – the underground ancient remains of Serdika.

The 12-minute video, which is shown vertically on a 65″ plasma screen with stereo sound, was created out of additional material from Viola’s 2007 Venice Biennale series Ocean without a Shore.

Look forward to more information on the artwork soon!

Our strong program, a hallmark of our 8-year-old festival, will be presented traditionally in our array of non-traditional venues.  These unique locations include: an old foundry and hall in the industrial zone of Sofia, the garden of a disused water tower (for reasons beyond our control the tower itself is closed by authorities this year due to safety concerns), and many other venues for displaying contemporary art installations and housing performances and talks.

Water Tower Art Fest is artist-run initiative that started as a small-scale event and grew into the most popular Bulgarian showcase of national and international artists working across all disciplines in contemporary visual art. It gives artists and visitors the opportunity to share ideas and to change the socio-political situation through its socially engaged works created especially for its unique venues.  It also strikes artists and visitors alike with the notion of overcoming the paradigm of our age, one dominated by economic structures prohibiting the inherent and divine right of existence itself.

“Temporary protected spaces” is our festival’s theme for the second year in a row.  It is rooted in the idea of home – or rather the lack of it. The need to rest, recuperate, and communicate freely is the basis of this year’s theme. We will be communicating, while using several disused and abandoned structures in the city of Sofia.

You are welcome to enter and enjoy our Temporary Protected Spaces with faith in the future and a spirit of enthusiastic perseverance.

More information to follow shortly.

All rights reserved.
Water Tower Art Fest ®