OPEN CALL – 2020 Water Tower Art Residency ONLINE

Action “Fragile tomorrow” during Covid19 by Nia Pushkarova artist and curator


OPEN CALL – 2020 Water Tower Art Residency ONLINE
Deadline for participation: September 3, 2020.
Dates of the residency: September 7-15, 2020. Mentors and guests with presentations (biographies below): Bill Aichison (USA / China), Gary Hill (USA), Daisuke Takeya (Japan / Canada), Albena Mihaylova-Benji / Switzerland), Prerana Reddy (USA), Qing Cai (China/USA)
Participation is FREE, conditions for participation:
- sending a project-proposal in response to the given topic – description below.
- sending a short CV and motivation letter for participation, as well as an indication of a preferred mentor
- knowledge of English (the working language of the program)

Send your requests to participate to

Online residency with mentors and end result presented in public and online. In times of post pandemic situation and social distancing we are opening platform for exchange and development of ideas surrounding our everyday strange life since the start of Lockdown. The questions will be raised and answered with the help of our mentors. Some possible variations of themes to work on during residency:
A study of relationships and connections in the new everyday life, in which the physical element is subtracted from the equation.
Where do the boundaries of the individual and the collective consciousness shift when there is no physical boundary and / or interaction (ie the infinite online space)
How cultural heritage is formed without a physical aspect.
The aim of the residency with mentor program is not to finalize a complete art product, but rather define creative ways of dealing with the new situation after the lock-down and its personal and social repercussions.

Mentors/Ментори 2020:

Bill Aitchison- is a performance artist whose live events have been presented in major museums, galleries, theatres and festivals in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia and China. His artworks are held in both private collections and museums. His output is as prolific as it is diverse with projects taking an extremely wide range of forms such as videos, monologues, group events, online encounters, guided tours, photography and much more. Despite this, his work as a whole is recognisable for its formal clarity, ambition of intent, dry humour and innovative use of site and frame. Aitchison has produced artist books, is a popular blogger, has made several works for radio and screen and has had his critical and journalistic articles published in several countries. He has a practice-as-research PhD from Goldsmiths College in the field of performance art, has taught and lectured at graduate and post-graduate level and presented his work and research at numerous conferences worldwide. He is curator of Last Minute Live Art, mentors artists and teaches at Nanjing University in China. Recent projects (2020) include Love in the Time of Corona (CUHK Arts Festival – online), Art of Seduction (LMLA/Monohouse), PAO: Performance Art Olympics (Phoenix Flower Festival Shenzhen), 60 Days of Lockdown (A4 Art Museum Chengdu – online), Way-Losing (LMLA Nanjing) and A Last Minute Manifesto (Hexxy Duxxy Box – online). A symposium, exhibition and publication is planned for later 2020.

British performance artist Bill Aitchison will assist selected artists in the realization of their projects through a series of online meetings. These will take place both as group meetings and as individual sessions during which the specific problems and opportunities that the online festival has created will be considered.

Gary Hill – (born April 4, 1951) is an American artist who lives and works in Seattle, Washington. Often viewed as one of the foundational artists in video art, based on the single-channel work and video- and sound-based installations of the 1970s and 1980s, he in fact began working in metal sculpture in the late 1960s. Today he is best known for internationally exhibited installations and performance art, concerned as much with innovative language as with technology, and for continuing work in a broad range of media. His longtime work with intermedia explores an array of issues ranging from the physicality of language, synesthesia and perceptual conundrums to ontological space and viewer interactivity. The recipient of many awards, his influential work has been exhibited in most major contemporary art museums worldwide.

Daisuke Takeya –
Born and raised in Japan, Daisuke Takeya obtained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Graduate School of Figurative Art at the New York Academy of Art and received Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Currently based in Toronto, Canada, As a live performance artist Daisuke has collaborated with artists from various genres, including classical musicians such as cellist Vernon Regehr, violinist Lynn Kuo, Music in the Barns Chamber Ensemble, Les AMIS Ensemble, and deVah Quartet. Daisuke’s interest has been extended to vitalization of communities via art. He has co-directed and performed at Ashita: Artists for Japan, a Tsunami Relief Fundraiser in March, 2011, which featured the visual, music, dance, performance, and literary art communities of Toronto. Daisuke is also a past programming director and board member of Gendai Gallery, an artist and ambassador of ARTBOUND and an organizing committee member of Onagawa Art Season, an art festival at the most devastated town of 2011 Tsunami in Japan. He is currently a co-director of DAICHI Projects, the representative and curator of Field Trip Project, Field Trip Project Asia, and POWER TO THE PEOPLE initiative. He is the executive director of Responding: International Performance Art Festival and Meeting erected in 2018.
Workshop description

Workshop: Duet
Duet is an experimental workshop for online duet performance art consisting of warmup exercises, group discussions and presentation of duet performances among the participants. How do we develop and maintain intimacy between two artists collaborating in distance via devices?

Albena Mihailova – Bendji –
Albena Mihaylova-Bendji was born on 9 June 1959 in Plovdiv. In 1984 she graduated from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, in a Original graphics class. 1984-1994 she was an active artist with a number of solo exhibitions, participations in international biennials and a winner of awards. At the center of her work is the relationship between the two-dimensional and its spatial equivalent. As a result unique installations and performances are born. In 1989 she was one of the founders of the legendary art group “RUB”. During that time, the artist inspired and lead the organization of one of the first private galleries in Bulgaria – the Akrabov Gallery, which functioned as a resident center for contemporary art, and also she was Associate Professor at the School of Performing Arts in Plovdiv. In 1994 Albena left for Zurich at the invitation of BINZ 39 Foundation as a resident artist. As consequence of this exchange, she has promoted the gallery under the International Resartist Program and organized the exchange of artists, projects and festivals between Bulgaria and Switzerland. In the period 1995-1998 Albena Mihaylova-Bendji specialized in a Master class in Video Art at the Higher Art School of Basel, Switzerland. In 2008, she was nominated for the M-Tel Award for Bulgarian Contemporary Art. Since 2008 Albena Mihaylova-Bendji works as a documentary filmmaker, director and cinematographer. In 2009, she found a platform for cultural exchange, exhibitions and film festivals at Basel – Culturinstitut AM contemporary. Currently the artist works and lives in Basel. Her creative biography includes her membership in the artistic group “VIA Audio Video Art”, her work in the governance of the creative union “VISARTE BASEL” and she leads workshops for Artlink Bern and Solothurn Higher Pedagogical School. She is a member of “Balimage”, an association of filmmakers and video artists.
The workshop she proposed is going to be in groups of 4 for 2 days twice a day on topics of the social distance caused by the current situation, but also the generally existing alienation. The loneliness of the individual in modern times and the compensation through the media. Desired insulation and unwanted. what do we do with ourselves?

Special Guests/Speakers:
Prerana Reddy
Director of Programs
Prerana Reddy is the Director of Programs at A Blade of Grass which nurtures socially engaged art.

Qing Cai – China perfromance artist and Professor at Tianjing Art Academy

The event is made possible with the support of grant from Embassy of USA in Bulgaria

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