Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva is an art historian, critic and curator. One of the most recognizable faces of the contemporary art scene in Bulgaria. Over ten years she has been working as a galerist in Sofia and has emerged as active critic and author of independent projects. She has extensive experience in organization of exhibitions, festivals, events in public space. She attended courses and residencies in Germany, Austria, USA, South Korea. Her interests as art theoretician encompass both the most up-to-date artists and trends on the art scene, as well as the period of the 1950s and 1960s and the problems of socialist realism. She works with numerous public institutions and non-governmental organizations in Bulgaria and abroad. She is one of the founders of the first independent curators association in Bulgaria.
Vera Mlechevska graduated the National Academy of Arts - Sofia and the University of Arts and Design in Konstfack, Stockholm. She works as a curator and she has realised projects for different institutions such as "The End and Beyond", for “Contemporary art week” – Plovdiv, at the Ancient Bath, Unicredit Studio in Milan, "Transgressions", at Credo Bonum Gallery and “Rituals of the habitual" for the platform “City and Public Spaces” – Plovdiv. She is cofounder of Art Affairs and Documents Foundation.
Iskra Blagoeva was born in 1978 in Sofia. She graduated in Fine Arts at from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna in 2007. Hew artistic works include paintings, objects and installations. Iskra took part in group shows in Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Serbia and Bulgaria. Her last solo exhibition "After the apple in the grass" was opened in October 2012 in "Vaska Emanuilova" Gallery, Sofia. In 2012 she was a resident in the International Villa Waldberta, Munich. Iskra Blagoeva is a winner of the National Competition for Young Artists, Critics and Curators of "St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation". Also she received the award from the competition for young artists at the "European Center for Culture and Debate GRAD" (Belgrade). Iskra lives and works in Sofia.
Viktoria is a curator and writer living between Frankfurt/Main and Sofia. In 2014, she founded the project space Swimming Pool in Sofia, where she organizes exhibitions as well as screenings, performances, public programs and collaborative projects. Its program is dedicated to artistic and philosophical research. As a freelance curator, she has worked for the Städel Museum, MMK Museum for Modern Art, and Schirn Kunsthalle (all Frankfurt/Main). Viktoria writes for research publications, artists’ catalogues and art magazines, her texts have appeared in Flash Art International, Frieze, frieze d/e, Mousse Magazine, KubaParis, echogonewrong, etc. Viktoria holds a degree in law and PhD in legal history, as well as has attended courses in art history and cultural theory. "imagine, so close" is a recent text Viktoria wrote on the occasion of a project she was involved in. It maps her personal research on the potentials of the imaginary, poetic institutions, speculation and the south-east.
Vesselina Sarieva is cultural manager from Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She holds a master’s degree in Slavic Philology from the Plovdiv University.
The main focus of Vesselina Sarieva’s work is on promoting and supporting Bulgarian contemporary art locally and internationally, audience development and establishing a new vision for Plovdiv as a cultural center on national and international level. She approaches these goals through an integrated model including her three organisations: SARIEV Contemporary, Open Art Foudnation and Artnewscafe – a place for cultural events and library for international art press. In 2004 she and Katrin Sariev founded Sariev Gallery, initially as a center for conceptual ceramics and photography which in 2011 re-directed towards contemporary art under the name SARIEV Contemporary. In 2008 they initiated the Night of Museums and Galleries (today known as Night/Plovdiv) - one of the largest cultural events in Bulgaria. Vesselina Sarieva is founder and director of Open Arts Foundation – a non-profit organization based in Plovdiv. Its activities are divided in three programs: Night/Plovdiv, educational program for contemporary art and a program for urbanism and art in public space. Throughout the years Vesselina Sarieva initiated and organized with Open Arts Foundation numerous projects such as Introduction to Contemporary Art (2011-), Alternative Map of Plovdiv (2013-), Artnewscafe Bulletin (2009-), Collectors’ Forum (2011-). With SARIEV Contemporary she is actively working for promoting Bulgarian contemporary art abroad.
Boyan Manchev is a philosopher, Professor at the New Bulgarian University and Guest Professor at Universität der Künste Berlin, Hollins University and Sofia University. He is also former Director of Program and Vice-President of the International College of Philosophy in Paris. His current research, which proposes the perspective of a radical materialism and dynamic ontology, is in the fields of ontology, philosophy of art and political philosophy. Manchev has lectured widely at European, American and Asian universities and cultural institutions. He has organised and/or collaborated in numerous projects, congresses and public forums dealing with philosophy, art and politics at the CIPh, EHESS, CNRS, Palais de Tokyo, CND (Paris), Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Volksbühne, FU, NBK (Berlin), IWM, MUMOK, Tanzquartier (Vienna), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Apexart, PS1 (New York), BAK (Utrecht), among others.
He has debated and/or collaborated on different occasions with leading philosophers and cultural theorists from various generations; he has also participated as author, theorist, dramaturge or performer in theatre and contemporary dance project