Swimming Pool

September 26, 2023
Public program by the Center for Social Vision
September 29–October 29, 2023

In its second year, Center for Social Vision has gathered again organizations, artists, researchers and activists to delve into topics concerning the role of art in society. This year, our focus is on “Constitutions,” a theme that prompts us to reconsider what constitutes us, but also what we aspire to be as a community.

What role does art play in social processes? How does art not only provide understanding but also foster relations? How can art uncover the intricate links between personal and collective histories? These inquiries surfaced at different points during the inaugural year of the Center for Social Vision, a platform launched in 2021 as a research-oriented spin-off of the art space Swimming Pool in Sofia. The dearth of dialogue surrounding them drove our commitment to focus on these issues, so we invited local organizations with distinct approaches to public space to join as partners in this conversation: Art, Affairs and Documents Foundation, POSTA SpaceIdeas Factory Association, and Sapromat Collective. In turn, these organizations invited artists, including Stefan Prohorov, Sophia Grancharova, Konstantin Georgiev, Mira Vladimirova, and Inna Pavlova, to propose interventions and test potential strategies in their work with communities. 

The Center for Social Vision has become an informal place for exchange, as well as a driving force behind the conversation. Through our collaborative efforts, we have identified the need to abandon the notion of public space as an inherently harmonious environment. We’ve come to understand that any community will always be fraught with differences and disagreements, marked both by convictions and confusion. Civic participation will often unfold in unexpected ways. The plural title “Constitutions” was chosen deliberately, signifying that diverse communities coexist alongside one another. These communities are in a constant state of flux, adaptability, and pursuit of identity. Thus, “Constitutions” leads us to understand the necessity for (self-)regulation, but also for imagination in any community. Art emerges as the conduit that can express the entirety of this dynamic interplay.

Public program: September 29–October 29
The public program for this autumn is the result of our discussions and research throughout the year. It will kick off on September 29 with the workshop “Imaginary Script for a Place”, led by performance artist Zhana Ivanova. This workshop includes series of exercises in synchronising our shared imaginations, and producing momentary actualities together.

Between October 13–15 we invite you to join for a three-day symposium at Swimming Pool featuring local and international practitioners of leading organisations to talk about their experience with community projects, participatory art and how public structures respond to such activities, with contributions by Katalin Erdődi (curator and dramaturge, co-curator of the Biennale Matter of Art 2024), Katia Anguelova (Kunstverein Milano), Charles Garcin (Le Cairn Аrt Center, Digne-les-Bains), George Sachinis (UrbanDig Project, Athens), Barbara Zavarská and Illah van Oijen (Punkt, Bratislava).

All along October we will present our partners’ projects, as “Pulse” by artist Sophia Grancharova and curator Boyana Djikova that proposes a collection of practical clothing and accessories designed for the communities of protest groups; the project includes both an exhibition at POSTA Space as well as a fashion show presented at the symposium. Also, Sapromat Collective together with anthropologist Konstantin Georgiev explore the suburbs of the city through an auditive walk titled “Dancing on a knife’s edge at the heart of the city” that looks into how contact zones between the urban and the industrial have been domesticated and aestheticized.

Along with artist and poet Christoph Szalay and designer Andrea Popyordanova, we develope a special game of cards titled “S O F T (Acts of Tenderness)”. While we’d usually associate cards playing with collective fun and free time sharing, this game instead creates a space of intimacy, one that is filled with questions and secrets, with desires and fears, with openess and curiosity, or as one of the cards asks, “If you were in a karaoke bar, which song would you sing?”.

For a full program please follow our website

Program leader and concept: Viktoria Draganova. Coordinators: Jenny Decheva and Margarita Kaloyanova. Graphic design: Viktoriya Staykova. / Media partner: Journal for Social Vision.

With the financial support of  the National Culture Fund.

RSVP for Constitutions
Swimming Pool
September 26, 2023

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