Open Art Files is part of the Open Art Foundation’s “Introduction to Contemporary Art” educational program. In addition to the website, it includes publishing, exhibitions, and events. In this section you can find more information on the publications of the program, which give an in-depth and accessible overview of artists, artworks, and the historical processes connected to the Bulgarian contemporary art. The publications are available in two languages and accessible online, alongside an abundant photographic and bibliographic archive.
„Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art, 1982 - 2015“. Vessela Nozharova. 2018
Vesela Nozharova’s Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art, 1982-2015 came out of lectures given in Plovdiv and Sofia during the educational program “Introduction to Contemporary Art”, organised by the Open Arts Foundation.
This book investigating the Bulgarian art scene is especially valued for its encyclopedic overview of the transition period, filled with many social, economic and cultural transformations, during which the artists react, criticise and offer alternatives, which did not always get realised. The narrative is chronological and split into four parts: “Contemporary Art in Bulgaria until the late 80s”, “Contemporary Art in Bulgaria During the First Half of the 90s”, “The second half of the 90s”, “Contemporary Bulgarian Art after 2000”, which create a solid idea for the booming cultural life and the disillusionment with the context. Reading is made easy by the writer’s choice to describe the processes through the event-artist-work hierarchy, which allows for the simultaneous tracking of ideas, associations, collectives, quests. Additional parts comment on the role of critique and institutions, the quests for going beyond the domestic context, the appearance of the contemporary curator and the attempts for development of patrons and collectors, which points to the root cause of questions that are still relevant today.
In addition to the engaging story, the book is vividly illustrated with archival photos, which manage to visualise and advance the history of bulgarian contemporary art. The references to and quotations from interviews, art criticism in periodicals, catalogues, programs, and online archives reveal how scattered is the multitude of stories of artists, critics, curators, and audiences. The arrangement of such a rich and complex archive and the strive for objectivity are what makes Introduction to Bulgarian Contemporary Art, 1982-2015 such an important and seemingly humble introduction to the history of processes that are still going on today.
Janet 45 Publishing, 2018
Open Arts Foundation, co-publisher, 2018
Vessela Nozharova, author, 2018
Kiril Zlatkov, design, 2018
Poststudio, cover gesign, 2018
On the Cover: “Memory Is a Muscle” by Pravdoliub Ivanov (2007, detail)
Format: 165/240 cm.
The book is distributed in bookshops in Bulgaria.
Paper edition (English): 68.00 leva
Online (English): 64.60 leva
Order the English edition here.
„Open Art Files: Notes and Footnotes“. Vera Mlechevska. 2019
„Open Art Files: Notes and Footnotes“ is the catalog accompanying the exhibition of the same name and an educational program of tours, lectures, and screenings, curated by Vera Mlechevska and realized as part of the activities of the Open Arts Foundation.
As the curator shares in the introductory text: "Conversations about the history of art never go in one direction, they always deviate into many personal stories, side notes and exceptions…". Thus, this edition does not attempt a linear narrative, but one "by intuition", guided by the suggestions of the image and the possible relationships between different views on the image. It gathers more than 40 authors from different time periods and geographical trajectories. Distinguishable themes in this overview are the institution and what’s beyond it, collectives and the routes they carry, the body and identity formation. The curatorial approach is not exhaustive but curious about the invisible connections driving the processes behind Bulgarian contemporary art and includes less or completely unknown artists and works along with well-known representatives of the contemporary art scene.
The project was developed in parallel with the Open Art Files website, where works, accompanying texts and creative biographies can be found, some of which are included in the publication "Open Art Files: Notes and footnotes". The catalog is bilingual and is distributed free of charge, and has an online version.
Publisher: Open Arts Foundation
Compiler of the catalogue: Vera Mlechevska
Translation: Detelina Garbatova
Proofreading – Bulgarian: Lora Sultanova
Proofreading – English: Sophia Kleinsasser
Design and prepress: Poststudio
Format: 165/240 mm
Print run: 300
„10 years Open Arts: HERE EVERYWHERE“. 2018
„10 years Open Arts: HERE EVERYWHERE“ is a jubilee edition of the Open Arts Foundation, which is both an assessment of the activities carried out, a celebration of the achievements and a momentary picture of the various ongoing activities of the association. A chronological table at the beginning of the publication shows that this story cannot be collected in a linear chronology, but consists of many different presentations, discussions, educational lectures, video screenings, exhibitions, civic initiatives and a series of events involving architects, designers, economists, artists, art critics - people involved in cultural life and with an active civic vision for their city, without which the realization of the mentioned would not be possible.
The publication is also a catalog of the accompanying exhibition entitled "10 Years Open Arts: HERE EVERYWHERE" curated by Vladiya Mihailov, held in 2017 in Plovdiv. "HERE EVERYWHERE" the curator writes, "is a conceptual tool with which I approached the meaning of the archive and the history of the organization." The exhibition has a hybrid character with the inclusion of documentary and artistic partсe, and its implementation is related to the revitalization of the abandoned children's store Detmag "Snezhanka" in the center of Plovdiv.
The publication is also available online and is a suitable introduction to the activities of the Open Arts Foundation, as well as to the initiatives that continue to develop to this day.
Text: Vladiya Mihaylova and Open Arts Foundation archive
Editors: Vesselina Sarieva, Katrin Sarieva
Coordination and editing: Vasilena Pancharova
Translation: Kaloyan Nachev, Luiza Yordanova
Correction: Lora Sultanova
Design: PUNKT Studio
Print run: 500