Visual Seminar. Newspaper 3

Published by ICA-Sofia; CAS-Sofia
Newsspaper front page
Newsspaper front page | Design: Kiril Prashkov
title: Visual Seminar. Newspaper 3
year: 2004
date: January – August
editor(s): Kiril PrashkovMaria Vassileva
place: Sofia
publisher: ICA-Sofia; Centre for Advanced Studies - Sofia
language: bulgarian, english
author(s): Alexander KiossevAtanas PanovBoris MissirkovBoyan ManchevBoyko KadinovDiana PopovaGeorgi BogdanovGeorgi GospodinovIara BoubnovaVladimir KissyovYana Genova
artist(s): Boris MissirkovGeorgi BogdanovKrassimir TerzievLuchezar Boyadjiev
design: Kiril Prashkov
related projects: Visual Seminar
copyright: The authors, Artists, Photographers, ICA-Sofia, CAS-Sofia
colaborators: in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Study Sofia and relations
supported by: Visual Seminar takes place in the framework of relations. relations is a project initiated by kulturstiftung des bundes (Federal Cultural Foundation, Germany)
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Excerpt from the text by Alexander Kiossev:

Monopoly is the popular game that encourages you to try and multiply your money to buy yourself a street, then a good city area on which you could build. The crown of your success would be to build hotels and hotels only, since whoever will stay at one of your hotels is going to pay you handsomely.

The city of Sofia reminds us of this game more and more: from mere 11, the number of the hotels that have been built predominantly in the city center in the past 15 years reached 144. Add to this the increasing number of other related buildings, daily producing handsome sums, such as business centers, casinos, bingos, saloons and petrol stations, and you will get the picture: private capitals determined entrepreneurship is literally sniffing out prospective building venues -- and builds on them. Sometimes the building process is undertaken with a sense of national responsibility so to say, construction takes into consideration the function of the building, makes it fit into the city and its atmosphere. Other times -- alas, other times construction mercilessly swallows vacant lots, destroys monuments of culture, sweeps away old small houses to replace them with buildings that are actually money belch- ing machines. Still others build breath- taking irrational houses with turrets and retro-ornaments, castle-like contraptions fully deserving to be nicknamed the phantasm of the nouveau riche. What makes this reality different from Monopoly game is that the city buildings are inhabited by city dwellers, people of blood and flesh. And that the new urban developments, whether we like it or not, are going to stay and determine the city image and the urban way of life for a long, long time -- and this, regrettably, no one can sweep away or fold into a box as one does with the plastic little houses and hotels of the Monopoly game.

Who decides how many hotels and business centers are needed in Sofia? The market? This is just a supposition, since at present occupancy in the existing hotels barely reaches 40%. What will happen, if the expected cash machines suddenly refuse to yield? The new glass beads of Sofia· as one newspaper dubbed them recently, will turn into empty, broken shells in the centre of Sofia. Shall we succeed in repopulating them by retail shops, multiplexes and piece-meal festivals the way we handled the monster called National Palace of Culture·?

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Last modified on Feb 4, 2021

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