Arturo Desimone, Aruba/ Netherlands – Visual Arts and Installations/Drawings
“Drawings can be like poems, rather than paintings or conceptual installations (these I compare more to screenplays or novels.) A big drawing, even if contemplated in public by a crowd of people as if it were cinema or a mural, is still a big poem, with a larger audience that is perhaps the ideal audience for a poem. I keep making the reference to poetry, not because poetry is to be exalted or mystified (though poetry does, on occasion, actively exalt and mystify). My way of drawing is an intuitive process of taking, from a symbol harvest, symbols that emerge in me while working in the same manner as a poet sits to write (provided the poets’ main materials are a circumstance of sufficient silence or freedom.)
The characters, symbols, bestiary‐beasts, in the drawings are not from any pre-established symbol-dictionary, perhaps more a personal demonology, though there are of course universal religious symbols in conflict with one another. Though there are many political elements in my drawings, I do not sit with any pre–‐determined political statement in mind (my politics in my drawings have rather surprised me.) I am constantly reflecting and experiencing politics and it inevitably becomes part of my artistic expression.
The drawings exist in an interrelation with my poetry. I also am a writer and write literary works, painting with language as all poets do. Many poets of recent memory also made drawings, some important examples would be Federico Garcia Lorca; Miguel Angel Bustos (an Argentinian poet of the 1970s); Franz Kafka’s logogram drawings, Bruno Schulz, Victor Hugo and others. These writers, however, decisively halted any further development of their drawing. I want to be the poet who takes the drawing further than other poets who drew, combining this work with text.
Though I have often preferred the archaic to the contemporary, I do find a point of resonance with contemporary art in how the contemporary artist usually reaches outside of his predetermined field or specialty, shamelessly risking a wobbliness of craft, in order to achieve another kind of creation or goal that can be read without as much emphasis on specialization or on craft itself.”
Freddie Darke, UK/France – Wall-painting/Painting
Freddie Darke is a London-born, visual artist. Predominantly a producer of drawings and paintings, his exploratory work often expands into writing, animation, site-specific sculpture, installation and various other forms of mixedmedia. His background as a professional illustrator and graphic designer still informs his creative approach today, with much of his figurative and map-based work alluding to stories or specific moments in the everyday. Through painting and drawing, Darke often searches, not to achieve a highly accomplished and finished product designed to immediately appeal to the viewer, but for the opportunity for his own thoughts and feelings on what he describes as ‘the epic in the ordinary’ to emerge naturally. The canvas therefore, becomes a space in which to document experience, as opposed to a more traditional concept of the surface upon which one carefully composes a picture. His work attempts to open up hidden, miniature and individual narratives within a larger, social, political, or at times historical context. Without being overtly political in his work, he is often concerned with the notion of the underdog and the ignored, looking as much at the extreme close-ups of a city’s varied surfaces, as the wider and perhaps more obvious view. A strong advocate of street art, public murals and posters, Darke is, above anything, an artist who champions inclusivity.
Ivan Ushev, Bulgaria – Visual Arts and Installations
Ivan Ushev, born on 14.09.1979, in the town of Panagyurishte. In 1999 he graduated from the Secondary Art School of Applied Arts in the town of Tryavna, in 2008 he graduated from the National Academy of Arts, specialty Wood Carving. Co-founder and member of “Group 9” and “Studio 4 Ears”. He has participated in a number of exhibitions and residencies: 1999 – General Exhibition – Photography, town of Tryavna 2001, General Exhibition – Photography, ART-36 Gallery, Sofia, 2006, General Exhibition – Woodcarving, Graphics, Painting, town of Panagyurishte, 2006, International Student Plain air, town of Dimotika, Greece, 2009, Plain air Kinetic Sculpture, town of Sevlievo, 2011, National Exhibition of Woodplastic – Veliko Tarnovo, “Rafael Mihailov” Gallery, “The spaces below – the spaces above”, Haifa, Israel. From 2011 until 2015 he participated in exhibitions of “Group 9” and “Studio 4 Ears”. He works in the field of sculpture, kinetic sculpture and installation. In 2011, he won the prize of the Union of Bulgarian Artists, Wood carving section – National Exhibition of Woodplastic, town of Veliko Tarnovo.
Payel Sutradhar, India/France – Visual Arts and Installations/Painting
My name is Payel Sutradhar, born 1989 in India. I completed my bachelor degree and master’s degree from Kala Bhavana, Visva Bharati University, India. Now, I am doing my second master’s degree in art option at École supérior des beaux-arts angers, France. Although painting was my specialization, I am deeply interested in the new languages of contemporary art, such as the new media art, installation and painting through body movements. I express my daily life experiences through my art work. My childhood memories, life experiences, knowledge and power of observation automatically reflect on my work. I like to experiment with different objects, according to my concept. I believe objects can speak louder than voice. I choose the surface, media, technique and other essentials according to the requirement of the work and I prefer to follow the process to develop my work.
Vaiana Tasheva, Bulgaria – Music
“I was born near the Great River at the end of April 1989. As a child I dreamed of becoming a cosmonaut or singer. I believe I have fulfilled both my dreams because I sing since I was 5 years old and travel through space, though not physically. I participate in two bands as a frontman: in a electronic duo GO’TOUCH’T and in a psychedelic trio “Elephant of the Princess”. As KOPRIVA (which means Nettle) I exist since 2016. This is my solo music project that represents a small universe bigger-on-the-inside, where I can explore, develop, experiment, share and relate, where I can live.
I define myself as a pacifist. The only permissible violence should be the moment of provocation induced by the consumption of art and the subsequent movement (action) that leads to change, whatever it is.
The topics that I am excited about are madness, sadness, timelessness, loneliness as natural, normal states. It is only when these states are understood and accepted that action and change are possible. In my music I use a variety of vocal effects, so I play many roles at the same time. My goal is to convey and remind the public the knowledge that no one is an image and no one is just a person. Every person has all the roles, reflections, faces, sounds and colors at the same time. This proves that we are all One, I am You, We Are. As a sea that constantly changes, but it remains the same, at the same time all living beings are two-way connected in a common consciousness, therefore loneliness should not exist … In my opinion, love is not the strongest feeling, it is the most natural.”
Chloé Sassi, France – Photography/Performance
Chloé Sassi is born in 1996 in Ithaca, United States. She has grown up in France, with an early interest in the field of arts. She graduated in 2017 in Fines Arts at the Villa Arson, south of France. She lives and works between Berlin and Nice, travelling frequently looking for ruins.
Mainly interested in photography and videos, Sassi also makes performances as collective experiences or « human scenography ». She is exploring the idea of rituals and « transitional spaces », playing with the perception of time and the notion of gender. Always searching for an « other side space » in order to provoke the « arising of new situations in reality », she is also working around the perspective of a Total Art, which would like to summon all human senses to immerse the viewer in an unicity of a global ambience.
Paula Belli, Argentina – Performance
Paula Ailen Belli, is a scenic artist born in Neuquen, Argentina. Actress and performer, her work is based on interdisciplinary limits and its main theme is migration, territory and body. In 2009 she participated in the “Festival Danza y Perfo 09” in Salta, Argentina. In 2010, she co-founded the collective Circo Freak, an intervention group, performing street interventions and presenting the works, “Circo Freak” and “Circo Criollo”. In 2011 she joined as a member of the CIA Pampa Traviesa Población Creativa. Together with the group they made 8 plays presented in different places in Argentina and Mexico.
In 2013, in Mexico, she participated in the Theater Festival for the End of the World (TFM), presenting the piece “Proyecto Caracol” in an abandoned soft drink factory. In 2014, she was part of a 2-month artistic residency in Tampico, Tamaulipas, carried out by the group “Asalto Teatro”. There she made numerous interventions and street actions in the emerging Prometheus Project for the memory of missing artists in the state of Tamaulipas, such as the re-naming of streets with names of missing persons from the town. Paula participated in the “Festival of the Beast” in its third, fourth and fifth emission (2014-2015) offering the workshop “Women in transit, Experiential Workshop” aimed at migrant women, in turn presented the works “Flight in V, strategies to migrate and “Stories in the country of the bougainvillea”. In January 2015 she toured the Riviera Maya in Mexico with the work “Pueblo Nuevo” in collaboration with the collective Pampa Traviesa, Población Creativa. Since 2014, she participates annually in the project “The road to Thar” (Mexico) in memory of the comrades Fernando Landeros, Jefte Olivos and Omar Vásquez, carrying out different actions. She is the director together with Cruz Lisandro Morena of the short film “Unity of the birds, cartography of a body that migrates” based on the testimonies of Central American migrants in the southern border of Mexico. She is working on a film project “COSTA AZUL” where she is an actress and part of the management team.
Plamen Petrov, Bulgaria – Visual arts and Installations
Plamen Petrov is born in Gorna Lipnitsa village. He has graduated painting and aesthetics in “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo. He has been doing graphical design from 1986 until now. He has solo and group exhibitions in Pavlikeni, Veliko Tarnovo, Gabrovo and Sofia.
L.Y.R.A., Bulgaria –Visual arts and Installations
L.Y.R.A. is a project by Darina /Rina/ and Dimitar /Nigor Pilnatsa/ aimed to create Ritual art. They are artists and lawyers who live and work in Bulgaria. Darina and Dimitar are also the organizers of the Old School Residency – Gorna Lipnitsa, Bulgaria. They have been organizing various art events since 2010. In 2012 L.Y.R.A. started their work on creation and development of Ritual art /RA/ as a form of art. The idea for its creation is a result of continuous search for a modern and conceptual vision of art that integrates the principles of rituals and ancient knowledge. At the heart of Ritual art are the ideas of the Manifest 2012 of the Old School Circle for the Beginning of the New World. Ritual art follows a clear goal of public significance that goes beyond the familiar and known.
In their works L.Y.R.A. mix the old knowledge and symbols with principles of modern physics /quantum theory and theory of relativity/ along with legal/ political models and techniques. Their works are ritually created imaginary sanctuaries including paintings, collages, texts, objects and performances. Each work is a result of previous research and study of the specific topic. At the end of this process the accumulated knowledge is incorporated in the work.
L.Y.R.A. work with the idea that every ritual artist is a creator and legislator who works in a peaceful and balanced state of mind to be able to perceive the fundamental unity of the universe. Only in this case its actions create interactions that dynamically change and transform the universe.
Teodora Konstantinova and Radoslav Mehandziiski, Bulgaria – Curators/Art critics
Teodora Konstantinova and Radoslav Mehandzhiyski are art historians and curators, founders of “Art and Culture Today” – an interactive platform for contemporary art and culture. They are mediators contributing for the establishment of meaningful relationship between the world of contemporary art and the wider non-professional public. In their research and live lectures there’s a specific stress on revealing steady links between the past and the present, the tradition and the contemporary art practices – proving that everything is interconnected. “DNA in Art” is how they refer to their approach.
Through their lectures and curatorial participation during the residency they aim to enrich the overall vision on the “ritual art” theme by displaying a variety of international examples coming from both the past and today. The idea is to provoke exciting discussions, shared opinions and a common ground of artistic reflection. This is the second time they participate in the residency.