Close Encounters - Visual Dialogs. School4Artists

This program is aimed at young artists and its main goal is to develop a comprehensive and systematic understanding of the field of contemporary art and its links with the wider field of contemporary culture. Understanding that is meant to form the basis for successful artistic strategies and practices in an international cultural context. The main objectives of the program are: (a) to develop the professional skills of emerging artists needed to create contemporary art projects in the specific context of today; (b) the formulation of clear professional goals, attitudes and knowledge; and (c) the maintenance of sustainable artistic practices in the competitive environment of the pan-European cultural scene in the context of global competition, but also dialogue. The program is structured within two years and includes seminars on the history and theory of contemporary art, practical workshops, research projects, discussions and public presentations of the implemented projects. Within the educational program, young artists have the opportunity to gain basic knowledge of the history and theory of contemporary art, skills for orientation in the professional field and the perception of their practices in the context of the contemporary art process worldwide; acquisition of professional contacts with leading representatives of the Bulgarian and European artistic communities.

Publication on the school and the final exhibition by Kultura newspaper

Dec 20, 2017

A final report and a review on the exhibition "Close Encounters" was published in Kultura newspaper, 43, December 15, 2017 (Култура - Брой 43 (2923), 15 декември 2017).

Here is a link to the article:

And here to the PDF of the entire issue:

NSK State in Time

Nov 18, 2017

ICA-Sofia presents

NSK State in Time. Public Presentation by Miran Mohar

18 November at 17:00–19:00
The Red House Centre for Culture and Debate - Sofia
15. Lyuben Karavelov Str., 1142 Sofia, Bulgaria

Miran Mohair is an integral part of one of the most renowned East European artistic groups - IRWIN, for which politics, in particular the concept of the state, is one of the main themes.
The group was founded in 1983 and is part of the art conglomerate "Neue Slowenische Kunst (New Slovenian Art)". It also includes the experimental theater "Scipion Nasice Sisters" and the famous "Laibach" music band, as well as Slovenian and international philosophers, designers, architects.
IRWIN Group consists of 5 artists - Andrei Savsky, Borut Vogelnik, Dusan Mandic, Miran Mohar and Roman Uraniek, but one author. At the heart of this author's work are several principles, the first of which is collectivism - the common artistic body that reflects modern public attitudes and "melts" the outdated pretense of the individual author. On the question what was the definition of the form of the group, the artists responded that it is exactly five people fitting in a car and easily traveling around for the realization of their projects.
The other principle is formulated as the concept of the "retro-avant-garde", paradoxically confronting the tradition and innovative experiments intertwined in the history of the XX century. According to IRWIN and according to Slavoj Zhizek's definition, "hyper-identification" with history can only allow art, to derive from it the endless benefits without "sticking" to ideologies.
In 2002, IRWIN published "East Art Map. (Re) Construction of the History of Contemporary Art in Eastern Europe from 1945 to 2000 "- a research and reference folio containing texts written by the invited representatives of different countries and a map of the interrelationships between individuals and the events in this art. "East Art Map" as an art project was presented within the framework of the Night of the Museums and Galleries of the Open Arts Foundation and curator Yara Boubnova in Plovdiv in 2011. . Miran Mohar then visited Bulgaria for the first time, but not Sofia.
In this year's 57 Venice Biennale, IRWIN presented one of the most interesting pavilions - the supranational "NSK State", which is realized through the temporary "NSK Embassies" and NSK Guards "During various artistic projects, and through the issuing of prestigious passports in the world arts environments. Many of the holders of such passports, including refugees and illegal immigrants in Europe, participated in the NSK State People's Congress in 2013. This futuristic project began in 1993 with the break-up of Yugoslavia in response to the return of ideas of the national state and the many issues related to the notions of territories, history, ethnicity, culture.
In 2010, with the active participation of IRWIN in Ljubljana, an International Academy of Visual Arts (AVA) was created.
Miran Mohar as representative of IRWIN and Ambassador of "NSK State in Time" comes to Sofia at the invitation of the School4artists Educational Project of the Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia for individual meetings with his participants and for the presentation of the practices and strategies of IRWIN.

Workshop by Miran Mohar

Nov 17, 2017

On November 17th and 18th the participants of school4artists met with Miran Mohar at the ICA-Gallery, discussing their exhibition projects and their portfolios in intense one to one sessions.


Nov 15, 2017

The exhibition presents new works by Aksiniya Peicheva, Denica Milusheva, Ina Valentinova, Martin Penev, Miglena Yoncheva-Nikolova, Radoslav Ninov, Radostin Sedevchev, Sophia Grancharova and Stefan Ivanov. It is the final stage of the project for continuous education for young artists initiated by the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia in the beginning of 2017. In a way this exhibition is engaging with the notion of “young artist” in Bulgaria today. In spite of the fact that the artists are members of the same generation, each one of them has own artistic principles, strategies and personal preferences that they work with and use in order to integrate themselves within the global contemporary art scene of today.

Making of the final exhibition

Nov 11, 2017

Making of the final exhibition by the school4artists participants: Aksiniya Peicheva, Denica Milusheva, Ina Valentinova, Martin Penev, Miglena Yoncheva-Nikolova, Radoslav Ninov, Radostin Sedevchev, Sophia Grancharova and Stefan Ivanov. 

Things are getting shape from Nov 11th to 14th. 10 AM - 19 PM. TV is coming on 15th :)

Julieta Aranda in Sofia. Public presentation in the frames of School4artists

Nov 5, 2017

Public presentation by Julieta Aranda in the frames of "Close Encounters" School4artists

5 November at 17:00–19:00




Kiril Prashkov's studio visit

Oct 28, 2017

Studio visit to Kiril Prashkov' in the frames of Close Encounters school4artists.

Oct 28, 16-18 PM.

Presentation by Ivan Moudov

Oct 22, 2017

October 22, 2017

Visit to the solo exhibition by Radostin Sedevchev at Vasska Emanuilova Gallery

Oct 17, 2017

On October 17th the participants of school4artists visited the solo show by one of the school participants - Radostin Sedevchev, who made a guided tour for the group, followed by discussion on his approach and method of work.

About Jermolaewa. Public presentation by Anna Jermolaewa

Oct 2, 2017

Anna Jermolaewa "For Yermolaewa"
Public lecture in the frames of the program "Close Encounters - Visual Dialogues. School4artists"
Oct 2 (monday) 2017, 18:00.
Credo Bonum Gallery

Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia
and Credo Bonum Gallery

Workshop by Anna Jermolaewa

Oct 1, 2017

On Oct 1st and 2nd the participants of school4artists met with Anna Jermolaewa at the ICA-Gallery, discussing their current projects and their portfolios in intense one to one sessions

Presentation by Luchezar Boyadjiev

Sep 23, 2017

On September 23rd Luchezar Boyadjiev gave a presentation on his work, its context and development for the students of Close Encounters. Educational Programme for Young Artists.

Master Class by Prof. Vadim Fishkin

Sep 9, 2017

On Sept. 09, 10 and 11, Vadim Fishkin, Professor in Media Arts at Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, gave a masterclass for the participants at school4artists "Close Encounters - Visual Dialogues".

In one to one dialogues each of the participants presented their portfolios and projects and received comments, advises and questions by Vadim Fishkin.

Light Matters

Sep 9, 2017

ICA-Sofia and Goethe-Institut Bulgarien present

LIGHT MATTERS. Public presentation by Vadim Fishkin

Sept 9, 17 h, Goethe-Institut Bulgarien

1, Budapest Street, Sofia. Entrance: Free, Language: English.

The Bulgarian artist at work in America – workshop by Miryana Todorova

Jul 26, 2017

July 22, 2017

The Bulgarian artist at work in America – workshop by Miryana Todorova

In the frames of
Close Encounters. Educational Programme for Young Artists

Presentation by Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti

Jul 19, 2017

July 18, 2017:

Presentation by Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti

In the frames of

Close Encounters. Educational Programme for Young Artists

Master class of Nedko Solakov

Jul 15, 2017

July 14, 2017:

Master class of Nedko Solacov

In the frames of

Close Encounters. Educational Programme for Young Artists

Translation in bulgarian of "In Defence of the Poor Image" by Hito Steyerl in Kultura, 27, 14.07.2017

Jul 14, 2017

As a result of school4artists programme of activities, the article "In Defence of the Poor Image" by Hito Steyerl, which was part of our curiculum was translated in Bulgarian and published in Kultura newspaper, 27, 14.07.2017.

The article can be read here:

Visit to the solo exhibition of Martin Penev at Atelie Plastelin

Jun 24, 2017

Martin Penev invited us to visit his ongoing solo exhibition "Ritual" at Atelie Plastelin, and made a guided tour for the course participants. 

Presentation by Krassimir Terziev

Jun 24, 2017

On June 24th Krassimir Terziev gave a presentation on his work, approaches, media and practice.

Workshop by Pravdoliub Ivanov

Jun 10, 2017

Young Artists' Education Program "Close Encounters.Visual Dialogues" - initiated by ICA-Sofia and supported by the Sofia Culture Program.

The guest-presenations series in the frame of the course started with a two weekend workshop by Pravdoliub Ivanov (June 10 and 17, 2017). On June 10 Pravdolyub Ivanov presented his work and specific approach in his practice. On June 17 the artists were showing work and disscussing their ideas and questions concerning different stages of art production with Pravdolyub.

Participants: Axinia Peycheva, Denitsa Milousheva, Ina Valentinova, Martin Penev, Miglena Joncheva-Nikolova, Radoslav Ninov, Radostin Sedevchev, Sofia Grancharova, Stefan Ivanov.
Course leaders: Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Krassimir Terziev.
Schedule: every weekend from 3 to 7 pm.

Guided tour of the exhibition "The Image is No Longer Available"

May 27, 2017

In the frames of the programme we joined the guided tour of the tripple exhibition "The Image is No Longer Available" with the curator Vessela Nojarova and the artists at the three locations of the project: Credo Bonum Gallery, ICA-Sofia Gallery and "Vasska Emanuilova" Gallery.

Meeting with Mami Kataoka - curator of Sidney Biennale

May 18, 2017

On May 18 the participants in the school had the opportunity to meet Mrs. Mami Kataoka (, world known curator working in some of the most innovative museums of contemporary art. Kataoka was a Co-Artistic Director of ROUNDTABLE: The 9th Gwangju Biennale (Korea, 2012) and is at present curator of next Sidney Biennial.

Discussions of key texts on contemporary art, culture and society

Apr 1, 2017

In the frames of Close Encounters programme the participants had the task to analyse and disscuss number of short texts that problematise the place of contemporary art and its means of production and interpretation in the present moment.

The sylabus included some key texts by Ekaterina Gegot, Hito Steyrl, Hans Belting.

Course Programme

Mar 25, 2017

Participants: Axinia Peycheva, Denitsa Milousheva, Ina Valentinova, Martin Penev, Miglena Joncheva-Nikolova, Radoslav Ninov, Radostin Sedevchev, Sofia Grancharova, Stefan Ivanov.

Course leaders: Iara BoubnovaLuchezar BoyadjievKrassimir Terziev

Schedule: every weekend from 3 to 7 pm.

Announcement of the list of participants

Mar 20, 2017

Радваме се да оповестим, че „Близки срещи. Визуални диалози” вече стартира! Програмата за последващо образование на млади художници е инициирана от ИСИ-София и е подкрепена от Столична програма „Култура”!

За съжаление е невъзможно да работим с всички млади колеги, които заявиха интерес и желание да участват! Поканихме за съвместна работа само част от тях – древните римляни казват, че за да се получи разговор, броят на участниците не трябва да надхвърля броят на Музите, а ние дори го надхвърлихме...:)

Участници в проекта са: Аксиния Пейчева, Георги Георгиев, Деница Милушева, Ина Валентинова, Мартин Пенев, Миглена Йончева-Николова, Радослав Нинов, Радостин Седевчев, София Грънчарова, Стефан Иванов.

Open Call

Feb 12, 2017


обявява покана за кандидатстване


по програмата за последващо образование

БЛИЗКИ СРЕЩИ – визуални диалози


Програмата „Близки срещи – визуални диалози” е насочена към млади художници. Проектът е иницииран от ИСИ-София с финансова подкрепа по Програма „Култура” на Столична община след конкурс. Целта е да подпомогне художниците да се ориентират в актуалните световни процеси в изкуството и тяхната инфраструктура; да формират полезни навици за професионална комуникация; да си поставят кариерни задачи; да формират и следват стратегии по тяхната реализация.

About the programme

Feb 2, 2017

времетраене: 5 февруари 2017 г. – 30 ноември 2017 г. 

място: ИСИ-София

Тази програма е насочена към млади визуални артисти и нейната основна цел е да разработи широкообхватнo и систематично разбиране за областта на съвременното изкуство, неговите връзки с по-широкото поле на съвременната култура, които формират базата за успешни художествени стратегии и практики в европейския културен контекст. 

Програмата е насочена към млади формиращи се артисти, към художествената сцена в столицата и мястото й на европейската културна карта в актуалния момент. 

Основните цели на програмата са: (а) развитието на професионални умения на нововъзникващите артисти, необходими за създаване на проекти за съвременно изкуство в специфичния контекст на днешния ден, (б) формулирането на ясни професионални цели, нагласи и знания, и (в) поддържането на устойчиви художествени практики в конкурентната среда на общоевропейската културна сцена в условията на глобална конкуренция, но и диалог.

Програмата е структурирана в рамките на две години, като включва лекции, семинари и уъркшопи по история и теория на съвременното изкуство, практически работилници, изследователски проекти, дискусии и публични представяния на осъщестените проекти. В рамките на образователната програма, младите художници имат възможност да получат основни познания по история и теория на съвременното изкуство, умения за ориентация в професионалната сфера и възприемането на техните практики в контекста на съвременния художествен процес в Европейски и световен мащаб; придобиване на професионални контакти с водещи представители на Българската и Европейската художествени общности.

  • With the financial support of the Programme "Culture" of Sofia Municipality. logo SPK 2 cveten eng

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