One of the good things about December is the anticipation of what the coming year will bring. That is why we are looking for future "hot" destinations for culture and art which we can visit regularly. Where we will experience things and become enriched by them. Where we will make connections between our heritage, modernity and global trends. Between here and there.
Over the years, Veselina Sarieva has established herself as one of the leading cultural managers in Bulgaria. We associate her name with the Open Arts Foundation, the Sariev Gallery (recently renamed Sarieva) and too many other projects and initiatives to count. Now she is working hard on creating Sarieva & DOT in Sofia. The ambition of this new space is to continue the work of Sarieva Gallery, which represents key Bulgarian contemporary artists internationally. Sarieva summarizes the intent of the space: "This means that there will be no random gestures, there will be carefully selected high quality art, accompanied by expertise. Our events will be in step with what is happening in the world in terms of both meaning and aesthetics. We will not rule out a spotlight on the historical context, which will build on our consciousness of the present day."
Pravdolyub Ivanov, “Little” (Much-Little-Much), 2009, Photographer: Yana Lozeva
Nina Kovacheva, Drawing from the series The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 2013 Nedko Solakov, Drawing from the series I wish ..., 2020, Photographer: Yana Lozeva
The gallery will be located at 46 Bratya Miladinovi Street in the DOT building, which is still under construction. "The man who initiated the project of this building wants to create an island for like-minded people from all over the world in the atypical and colorful place of the Women's Market area," says Veselina. The I / O Architects team is working on the project, and the cultural manager was invited to join the team in 2019 because of her work with contemporary art, urban development and the creation of innovative cultural models.
Veselina Sarieva, Photographer: Yana Lozeva
What kind of gaps in cultural life will Sarieva & DOT fill? "I think the time for filling gaps is over for me. Now I just want to realize my vision, which has no boundaries," Sarieva answers. She admits that the concept is constantly changing, but points to the exhibition Under Deconstruction (part of phase three of her Future Unforgettable project) from fall 2021in the still-unfinished building as a good example. In just eight hours during one of the peaks of the pandemic, 350 people passed through the exhibition. Right now, she can't say exactly when Sarieva & DOT will open, but all the ideas are in her head. And what will the new space be like? "Don't expect a white or black cube. That's in the past. We are looking ahead, ”she winks.
Mikhail Mikhailov, Roaming, April 2020, Photographer: Yana Lozeva
Stefan Nikolaev, DEADLINE, 2020, Photographer: Yana Lozeva
CDC or the new TAM
What is TAM in Veliko Tarnovo? For nine years, the small room on the second floor of 2A Marno Pole Street became a real crossroads of the arts and meaningfully exceeded its physical dimensions. Behind all this was Galin Popov, for whom TAM is a place to experiment both with curating the artistic program and management and funding models. But his biggest experiment is now underway.
In 2020, the TAM team had to part with its space, but it quickly redirected its efforts to the Cultural Workers Club in Veliko Tarnovo – an extremely beautiful building in the Varusha South district, marked by almost 30 years of neglect. A group of like-minded people started the #FutureForCWC campaign and a year later the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo supported their cause and leased the ground floor of the building and its yard for a period of 5 years. "On our part, we have committed to making major repairs and together with our partners from the Social Teahouse in Varna we will open a new modern cultural and social center, which in addition to a regular program of events will provide young people from at-risk social groups with their first protected job and support through a mentoring program," explains Galin Popov.
"We are trying to work in parallel on renovating the physical space, on meetings between artists and audiences, as well as on making the new TAM a recognizable and important part of the fabric of the neighborhood," Galin continues. He has observed that, the more people see what his team is doing, the more support they receive to move forward with the repairs. The architects from Atelier IA are involved in the project free of charge and have prepared a plan for the renovations, which has already been greenlit by the municipality. "So far we have raised a little more than a third of the required amount and we are optimistic that the remaining funds will be raised soon." They have already been offered large donations several times, but they always refuse. “We hope that the #FutureForCWC campaign can set a good example and show that when people unite around a common idea, they can make it happen without anyone having to put in a bigger effort or make sacrifices. I want to see more courage and freedom in creating new spaces in Bulgaria. Not to see doors open only when there is secured funding and guaranteed sustainability," Galin concludes.
The Regional Center for Contemporary Arts TOPLOTSENTRALA, which we wrote about in the September issue of "See!" dedicated to contemporary dance, has already opened its doors during the ACT Festival 2021, but will start operating at full capacity in 2022.