Sofia and Mainz
2018 – 2019

Relay is a collaboration between the class of Adrian Williams at Kunstchochschule Mainz (KHSM), and Swimming Pool (art project space in Sofia) who has invited students at the class of Simeon Simeonov at the National Art Academy in Sofia to participate in the project.

Relay is part of the Pool Education Initiative at Swimming Pool, part of the Swimming Pool Education Initiative 2018-19.

In Spring 2018, RELAY invited art students to participate in a material exchange and respond to images and objects in a relay of pooled matter sent by mail between Germany and Bulgaria. No directions or conditions or knowledge were presupposed.

Relay‘s purpose is to examine difference, and promote inquiry through: self-reflection, observation, engagement, and celebration. By making and sharing independent projects, the artists are influenced and informed by their resonance. In a relay many people run in line, but only one at a time. The relay is about the transfer of the thing that connects them. They each go a distance individually, but carrying this thing that they were given, which they all eventually give away as part of a collective progression. Together the students may consider the position and role of the artist, and the public life of the images and objects they create. It is also quite possible, that they do none of those things. The establishment of such a platform is not a call for proposals but rather evolves around unsettled propositions. While such ambiguity may seem risky, it is the only way to allow artists to exercise beyond the realm of expectations.

For the time of the project, Swimming Pool was converted into a space of joint thinking and imagining. The exchange was accompanied by workshops – in Sofia and Mainz – that aimed at establishing more of an approximate intent than an entity, by using responsiveness and intuition to influence working within an impulsive structure. Eventually, they resulted in at Apotheke, Mainz as part of the annual Rundgang 2019.

In 2020, a publication called Relay, a collaboration between students in Sofia and Mainz, came out documenting the residency. Email us if you are interested in receiving a copy of the book.