Visual Seminar. Resident Fellows Program 4: The City as a Museum

Published by ICA-Sofia

Book cover
Book cover Design: Kiril Prashkov
title: Visual Seminar. Resident Fellows Program 4: The City as a Museum
year: 2005
editor(s): Diana Popova
place: Sofia
publisher: Institute of Contemporary Art - Sofia
ISBN/ISSN: 3-86588-237-4
language: bulgarian, english
author(s): Iara BoubnovaIvan MoudovDiana PopovaNora GoleshevskaSvetla KazalarskaOrlin Spassov
photography: Iara Boubnova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Alexander Gerganov, Kalin Serapionov
design: Kiril Prashkov
related projects: Visual Seminar, Institute of Contemporary Art, Centre for Advanced Study Sofia
copyright: Institute of Contemporary Art, Centre for Advanced Study Sofia, the Authors, Revolver
supported by: This project takes place in the framework of relations. relations is a project initiated by the German Federal Cultural Foundation

Excerpt from the introductory text by Iara Boubnova:

“The City Through the Window of the Museum” is the theme suggested by the Visual Seminar for the fourth resident fellows competition. In the run up to the project completion we recall the questions that arose at the very first public debate that we had back in 2003. During a heated dispute where, in addition to the many diverse topics, the contradictions between the need to conserve the habitual townscape and the urgency with which a new “European” face of the capital city must be built, the sociologist Mila Mineva, a Visual Seminar fellow, asked whether it would be possible to convert at least one of the despised prefab blocks of flats into a museum of the socialist lifestyle without which the 50-year period of the country’s history would be inexplicable after a certain point in time. The question remained then unanswered, however, it was impressed on the minds of the audience that the preservation devastation juxtaposition seems to be most relevant in a society like ours. Is it possible to guard the city against the vigor of life and the change that development calls for? Who can do that and how? Is it possible to decide at this point in time what could become an exhibit in the “museum of the period of transition” and whether such a museum would be needed (remembering that there is not a museum of totalitarianism – a lack that provokes speculations whenever an election campaign is on). Perhaps it would have been better if this period, like many other before it, was erased from the minds, or perhaps it would be sensible to proceed with the establishment of an official institution with its operating rules and staff that would conserve and analyze the “chaos of change” and its material evidence?

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