ICA-Sofia Gallery
34, Vasil Levski Blvd Sofia, Bulgaria, CO 1504


Ego-system / Eco-system

Vector ICA Kalin Serapionov

A selfie of an ecosystem-collective and its multiple practices.

Varna City Art Gallery, May 23rd – June 8th, 2024
The exhibition is part of the program of the Forum for Contemporary Art BUNA vol.2 "The Nature of Relations"

Curator Iara Boubnova

Participating artists: Luchezar Boyadzhiev, Nedko Solakov, Pravdolub Ivanov, Mariela Gemisheva, Kalin Serapionov, Krassimir Terziev, Maria Nalbantov, Aksinia Peicheva, Kiril Prashkov, Sofia Grancharova, Stefan Nikolaev, Radostin Sedevchev, Martin Penev, Dimitar Solakov

The thesis of this project is that an art-ecosystem relies as much on the balance between the shared artistic interests, priorities and respect for the other/others, as on the ability to find yourself within the whole – both the group and the art scene. It depends on the ability to control your own frustrations of career, age, and competition from both without and within; to develop and maintain the ability to see oneself and one’s practice as a point where are concentrated both the concreteness of the ego, the Self, as well as the entirety of the complex and delicate ecosystem of interrelations with other art scenes and groups, with colleagues, friends, and partners both from here and there – all around the world.

Eco-System / Ego-System

ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia is one of the longest existing and active non-governmental organizations dealing with visual art in Bulgaria. It was conceived in 1993 and registered in 1995 as an NGO, an association of art curators, critics and artists. Its history is closely related to the development of our art scene in recent decades, with the self-education of the scene, with its opening up and positioning within the world, with some of its most notable manifestations in the local and international art contexts.

In an ecosystem, whether it is perfect or defective in practice, there is always something in excess or something in short supply... In the ecosystem of contemporary art in Bulgaria, the shortages are obvious – infrastructural misunderstandings with decade’s long history, institutionalization of hate, fake reputations and professional orientations, not subject to analysis and isolation, market deficit... Oddly enough, the surplus area is more difficult to defend...

It’s not that these are not known – a strong independent scene, an already adequate art diaspora, diverse art trends and focal points of activity, new generations of artists, curators, managers, critics with differing ideals and practices. The problem is that these “excesses” are a function of both individual and group growth of art-identities, which constantly have difficulty convincing the general art scene that the success of one, or of a groups, is also a success for the entire ecosystem – by default, as well as globally.

The specificity of ICA – Sofia is in preserving the balance between individual creative interests and the supportive group atmosphere of trust. Its productivity is not determined by external events, but by the participants themselves – democratization of the form and language of visual arts; building relationships between art and public space, which is nurturing the self-actualization of artistic languages; mandatory updating of the theoretical and practical basis of professional art education; absolute belief in the meaning and power of the individual creative expression, as well as the understanding that contemporary art is the cultural heritage of the future.

BUNA is realused with the support of the National Culture Fund, the Ministry of Culture and Varna Municipality

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