The course started on March 25 with a disscussion of the text by Ekaterina Degot "What is Art...", published in 2012 in the online platformopenspace.ru (2008–201
The text answers the many questions asked by the readers of the publication about what art is. We have returned to this publication because of its relevance here and now, especially in the context of the Young Artists' Education Program "Close Encounters.Visual Dialogues", initiated by ICA-Sofia and supported by the Sofia Culture Program. When art is increasingly rarely spoken in its own context, we have to constantly update the notion of contemporary art. It is necessary, not because the manifestations of modern art are not recognizable, but because many other events in the world of politics, marketing and industrial brands are beginning to assimilate forms, strategies and tactics of contemporary art. It is also due to the amazingly long nonintegration of the Bulgarian art scene into the global processes. Success is still achieved "there", history, including art, but is increasingly politicized "here".
Some of the next sessions were dedicated to the texts of Hito Steyerl "In Defense of the Poor Image" (e-flux journal, #10, 2009) and "In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective" (e-flux journal, #24, 2011).
A key moment in the course was the disscussion of the seminal eassay "Image, Medium, Body: A New Approach to Iconology" by Hans Belting, (Critical Inquiry, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2005) that is vital to the analisys and interpretation of any visual images.
In the meantime young collegues were working on various assignments, on technics of presentation and articulation of their individual practices.
After the long introduction into some of the key issues in contemporary art today, the guest-presenations series in the frame of the course started with a two weekend workshop by Pravdoliub Ivanov.