How can we foster independent curatorial activity? How can we internationalize our practice and share our knowledge and experience? What are the institutions our society needs?
This year Swimming Pool invites students, artists, writers, curators or anyone interested in curatorship and based in Bulgaria to apply to a experimental curatorial research with main focus on generating knowledge to better understand the needs, urgencies and potentials of an art scene located in the global periphery.
We believe that we need in Sofia much more independent initiatives based on collaboration, research and social engagement. We also observe that there are not enough possibilities for curators on education or post-education. We want to discuss opportunities as well as share our know-how on structuring, financing and communicating such projects, which we obtained at Swimming Pool over the last couple of years. Our main focus is to enable independent initiatives within mid-/ long-term projects or the establishing of project spaces, like Swimming Pool, as we believe there this could be the vehicle of an healthy art economy.
Since the beginning of our practice, we have explored the practice of project spaces in general, and how these initiatives can enrich exhibition-making and curatorship. Their main characteristics are internationality, irregularity, which consists in a low level of institutionalization, modest budgets, as well as DIY culture; and, hospitality – one more crucial thing as their practice is directly related to a specific community.
We believe that such project spaces can become viable platforms for the development of the art scene in Bulgaria.
The school will offer discussions and workshops within a small group of participants that aim to prepare an international symposium to take place in November. In Winter every participant will eventually have the opportunity to initiate and organize an own project, which will be presented within an all-encompassing communication and research frame. All discussions and project documentation will be published at the end of the year as to make our research available to local and international audiences.
The school includes several discussing sessions, a symposium with curators from project spaces and institutions as well as, eventually, a of-cite exhibition accompanied by a catalogue.