Visual representations of the Balkans and the Balkanness in the contemporary Bulgarian Public Space
Visual representations of the Balkans
For the theoreticians applicants:
The project should be targeted at providing answers to such questions as: “What images, strategies and emblems are representing the “Balkanness” and the “Balkans” in the Bulgarian public space?”; Is there a visual stereotype for the representation of the Balkans?”; “How do the Balkan and the Bulgarian representations correlate?”, “How do the visual representations of the Balkans and the visual representations of other non-Bulgarian countries, nations, cultures, cultural spaces correlate (the American, the European, the exotic, etc.)?”; “To what extent is the image of the Balkans a monolithic one and to what extent it is disintegrating in the images of the various Balkan countries? Are there visual stereotypes for each one of them?”; “How do the visual, verbal, musical and other stereotypes correlate to each other?”; “Is there a recognizable “Balkan” visual stereotype?”; etc.
For the artists applicants:
The visual artists who are applying for this program should be able to submit and realize a project that is in direct relation to the thematic orientation and is presenting an original input into the work of the Visual Seminar. A mandatory characteristic of the applicants’ projects is the balance between the individual profiles of the vision and its objective link to narratives, reality features and spaces of the Sofia urban environment and its constantly changing interface. Another line for evaluating the applicants’ project is the balance between the analytical and the inventive visuality. The search for and the demonstration of possible parallels with the visual environment of other large cities in the country or in the Balkan region will be encouraged. The realized project (which must have a clear vision accompanied with a working schedule) should be marked by a powerful and original impact on the contemporary urban visual environment. There are no strictly determined media or material for the realization of the visual and the theoretical projects.
The Resident Fellows Program is the product of a partnership between the ICA-Sofia and CAS-Sofia activities and programs on a more theoretical level. It will be organised by the Centre for Advanced Studies Sofia in accordance with the ICA. Within a given year, CAS hosts four resident fellows from Bulgaria for a period of six months each. They come from the fields of contemporary visual arts, other artistic areas, or academia and are selected by the Experts' Unit of the Visual Seminar based on their submitted applications and the application/selection procedures appropriate in such cases. The resident fellows have a stipend and reside in Sofia for the period of their fellowships while working on a specific artistic or research project related both to the topic of the “Visual Seminar” project and to the other activities of CAS. The finalized projects are presented in public in Sofia and discussed by the Forum of Visual Culture (see Module 1).
The idea of cooperation between academics and artists is based on the familiar experience of the Centers for Advanced Study in Europe and USA. Their established practice involves the artists’ participation in the intellectual community of researchers gathered for other research projects of the Centers for Advanced Study. They engage in, and contribute to, the debates and the heuristic atmosphere of the Centers and develop their own artistic projects based on this experience.
Such fellows would be selected by a special procedure appropriate in such cases.