Sofia Underground International Performance Art Festival is a contemporary art event, which has gained cult status during the years with its original form. Founded by art critic and activist Ruen Ruenov (1958-2011) in 1997, it first started as a widespread happening with a long-running performance program – a reaction to the social crisis of that time. Ever since, with a few short breaks, this event has developed a prominent sensitivity according public processes and the dynamics of the local art scene. For the past decade Sofia Underground appears with annual releases of the festival event – held in Sofia, Bulgaria, and also other smaller supportive events – part of the Sofia Underground platform, which are variable in their scale and format, and are realized throughout the year at different locations in Bulgaria and abroad.
PERFORMERS & PERFORMING GROUNDS
Two channel projection
Performers is an archive collating portraits of artists using live actions in their practice.
My aim is not to document art actions, but to capture the personalities that are behind those actions. Usually I take the photo right after a performance with the purpose of retaining the energy that a live presentation imbues in the artist.
Moreover, I aim to situate the figure in a specific setting or against a relevant background. In this way, additional meanings come across, suggesting associations between the corporeal expression and the intensity of the surrounding space.
Working on the project since 2010, the Performers archive includes around 200 different artists today.
The photographic series Performing Grounds shows accidental and random traces of human actions found in public and private spaces, architectures and places that once were alive and now are silent.
The echo of the actions persists in future moments and the space alteration becomes the documentation of human performance, the photography being in turn a document of the document, a dimming reverberation of a time that will never return.
One of the strongest fate of human condition, the expiring of existence, is made evident through the landscapes, as they would be “leftovers”; residues imbued with the melancholy of the accidental.
The Performing Grounds were taken between 2007 and 2015 in: Germany, Finland, Scotland, Spain, France, Romania, Canada, Jordan, Syria, Japan, Taiwan, Morocco, China and Cameroon.