MELLOW MUSIC FESTIVAL 2010 took place between May 27 – 29 in Sofia. In three days and nights Mellow blended together the fluids of spring, the beautiful progressive music which had somehow skipped Bulgaria so far, and the positive vibes of all souls hungry for something new. Performing artists are Auditory Ossicles, Onur Engin, Clipper, Moritz von Oswald trio, Fontän, Elektro Guzzi, King Midas Sound, Help Me Jones, Finn Johannsen, Brandt Brauer Frick, Quiet Village (movie show), WhoMadeWho, Padded Cell, The Phenomenal Handclap Band, Gonzales (piano show), Stefan Goldmann, Jahcoozi, Floating Points, KiNK, Kode9, 1000names, The Bulgarian & StefaK, Robot Koch.
MELLOW MUSIC FESTIVAL 2011 took place on 9 July in downtown Sofia. Its guests are musicians with an established reputation of innovation, young upcoming composing artists and ambassadors of styles underrepresented on the local scene. An instrumental approach to electronic music is the festival’s guiding thread. Performing artists are Red Snapper, Onra, The Clonious, Igor Boxx (BRESLAU LIVE ), Dark Sky, Carles Lopez, Ruxpin and many others.
27 / 05 / 2011, *MIXTAPE 5*, Sofia
24 /11 /2010, Sofia Live Club, Sofia
14 / 11 / 2008, Hall 3 in the National Palace of Culture, Sofia
24 / 08 / 2007, Summer Theater, Varna
27 / 04 / 2007, Party Center 4 km, Sofia
Nicola Conte Jazz Combo
22 / 03 / 2007, Central Military Club, Sofia
17 / 11 / 2006, Party Center 4 km, Sofia
(September 16, 2011, Zavod Zryncho, Sofia)
Tsarino Foundation is an artist-run initiative that organizes art residency programs in the village of Tsarino, Bulgaria. Tsarino is a deserted village without electricity and running water. Very close to the border with Greece, it is located in the Rhodope mountain region in Kurdzhali, Bulgaria. The foundation owns three houses in Tsarino that are still in good condition.
In the summer of 2011, seven artists got invited by the foundation to take part in a one week project titled ‘We Are Landscape Painters’, with the aim of making a contemporary art exhibition in the nearby village of Chorbadzhiysko. As a small, rural village, Chorbadzhiysko had never hosted a contemporary art exhibition before. The outcome of the residency project that was shown as ‘TSARINO 2011’ in the local cultural center on the 9th of July, drew more then a 100 enthusiastic visitors. The exhibition was reconstructed in Zavod Zryncho.
(May 20 – June 18, 2008, Sofia June 26 – July 23, 2008, Burgas July 31 – August 28, 2008, Varna September 5 – October 3, 2008, Plovdiv)
360° Bulgaria sent an emotional message about the need to preserve and care for our environment. The free open-air exhibition showed 120 aerial photographs by Alexander Ivanov, taken from powered hang glider and paraglider over the course of eight years and a total of 200 hours in the sky above Bulgaria. They were exhibited for 120 days and toured the four largest cities in the country. Alexander Ivanov has been a professional photographer for 20 years and is a co-founder of the Bulgarian Association of Advertising Photographers. Some of his pictures mourn Bulgaria’s devastated natural landscape, while others tell inspiring stories, written in Ivanov’s own words below each image.
(May 10 – June 6, 2008, Sofia Art Gallery)
Pop stars, porn idols and saints were the subject of 54 of the most famous portraits by the art-duo Pierre and Gilles. The world-famous French pair arrived to open their exhibition personally. It was part of their international tour, with Bulgaria being the first Eastern European stop. “The creations by these two men with boys’ names (born Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard) are like colorful exotic cocktails. The shaker has mixed in precise proportions baroque ecstasy, Christmas kitsch, French glamour and Asian flavor to achieve an intolerable and sad beauty, simultaneously anticipated and impossible,” wrote Dr. Maria Vassileva, chief curator of the Sofia Art Gallery, in the catalogue of the exhibition. The Bulgarian audience had the honor to be the first to see the new portraits of the French star of Bulgarian origin Sylvie Vartan, who posed for Pierre and Gilles especially for the occasion.
(September 17 – November 18, 2007, Lovers’ Bridge, Sofia)
4,000 hours of helicopter and airplane flights, 150 countries on five continents, more than 300,000 shots – these are the small steps needed to accomplish the monumental photo project Earth From Above. If you ask its author, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, it’s all about the message: “We cannot take good care of something we don’t really know.” The traveling exhibition of 120 photographs was put up in the heart of the city, out in the open, to allow as many people as possible to see it, absolutely free of charge – as is the firm request of the author. So far Earth From Above has been translated into 24 languages and has been viewed by more than 100 million residents of more than 100 cities throughout the world. Each photograph is accompanied by site-specific explanations, written by expert ecologists. The green message is transmitted equally well by images both of nature’s miracles and of the damage our actions have caused.
(April 15–18, 2006, Akademia Gallery, Sofia)
First, we commissioned the sociological agency Alpha Research to find out who the most popular living Bulgarians at the time were. Then we gave the top ten names to ten of the most renowned Bulgarian sculptors and asked them to carve busts – out of chocolate. Apart from provoking deep existential rumination about the ephemeral essence of fame, our chocolate event served a noble cause – some of the busts were sold at auction, generating revenue for the awards fund of One Magazine’s annual contest for young writers, photographers and illustrators.
(September 15–30, 2005, Akademia Gallery, Sofia)
Micallef was at the peak of his career when we invited him to come to Eastern Europe for the first time – in person and with an exhibition. One of the most acclaimed representatives of contemporary British art, his creative development has been marked by an interest in fashion, graphic design and pop culture. His paintings combine brushwork and charcoal with graphic design, manga, graffitti, traditional Japanese painting and references to old masters such as Velázquez and Caravaggio. He is also actively involved in projects and exhibits related to the problems of globalization and urbanization all over the world.
(January 29 – February 28, 2005, National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia)
A collection of one painting, letters, prints, photographs and personal belongings of the Mexican couple came to Eastern Europe for the first time. Moreover, it arrived during the year when the whole artistic world was commemorating the 50th anniversary of Frida’s death. Still Life with Watermelons was exhibited in Sofia, as well as a facsimile copy of her personal diary. Three prints by Diego Rivera were also shown for the first time in Bulgaria. The exhibition was curated by Teresa Arcq, a renowned researcher of Khalo’s work, and Emmy Barouh, the project manager for Bulgaria.
(October 25 – November 8, 2004, National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia)
The first Eastern European exhibition of the scandalous/commercial/artistic/forbidden Dutch photographer took place at the special invitation of One Magazine. “Meticulous in the execution of every pixel, Olaf is one of the few artists who create pure art even in the most commercial shot,” we wrote back then. The Dutchman came in person for the opening of the exhibit, which included four of his most popular photo sessions: Royal Blood, Fashion Victims, Mature and Separation.
(January 30 – February 10, 2004, National Art Gallery, Sofia)
Our first exhibition celebrated the 60th birthday of the great Bulgarian actress Tzvetana Maneva. We wanted to pay tribute not only to her inspiring presence in Bulgarian cinema and theater, but to her amazing persona as well. So we asked 12 photographers from different generations to document their moments with Tzvetana. She also graced the cover of our Issue 22. The feature about her ended with this: “You might not know that Tzvetana could have been the first Bulgarian actress in Hollywood, if Bulgarian Cinematography hadn’t prevented her from acting in the James Bond series in the 1970s. But there’s no past tense for Tzvetana. She lives in the present.”
(January–March 2005, Sofia Fashion show / protest against Kalina’s wedding dress as a royal artifact)
“We invite all who are willing to donate their family wedding dresses to the National Museum of History to take part in The Bulgarian Princesses initiative,” we wrote in Issue 33. The occasion? The wedding dress of Kalina Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was exhibited in the Bulgarian National Museum of History – a public and ceremonial demonstration of her father Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha’s royal status. Indeed, he was king – between 1943 and 1946, before the Communist regime drove him out – but at the time the dress was put on display Simeon was prime minister of Bulgaria. This controversy sparked off our protest. We also asked students of fashion design to create bridal gowns especially for the occasion and organized a fashion show at the Red House Center for Culture and Debate. We donated all the dresses to the NMH, but they were not exhibited as historical artifacts in contrast to Kalina’s gown, which is still on display.
(April 2004 – October 2006, Sofia Public act against the criminalization of a single dose of marijuana)
"One Magazine’s task force just delivered 240 cigarettes containing narcotic substances to the mail boxes of all members of Parliament" – publisher Assen Assenov dropped this bomb in Dnevnik daily. The media assumed the cigarettes were stuffed with marijuana – it was actually plain tobacco (containing nicotine, which is on the World Health Organization’s list of narcotic substances). We were outraged by the repeal of a paragraph in Bulgaria’s drug law which stated that a person dependent on drugs should not be prosecuted if caught with a single dose. This change left only a paragraph implying that all drugs are equal and that the amount doesn’t matter. The punishment established by the law for possession/distribution/production etc is 10 to 15 years in prison and a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 BGN. For a single joint of marijuana. To publicize our protest, the magazine came out with a NO CRIME stamp, under which we wrote: “This sign will appear on the pages of all future issues until the Bulgarian Parliament makes adequate changes to the law.” We did a photo session with 24 popular public figures in handcuffs, who supported us and voiced their protest as well. The stamp stayed for 27 issues (nearly two and a half years), while articles on the subject appeared regularly. In “Children of the Grass” (issue 38) our editorial team together with 12 successful young professionals stood up with their names and faces and said “I smoke marijuana” – to make it perfectly clear that marijuana users are not a bunch of dirty, degenerate recidivists. Issue 52 was the last one to come out with the stamp because the single-dose article went back into the law. Unfortunately, this change was not due to Parliament’s own initiative, but as a result of pressure from the EU.
(Dance Performance June 3, 2005, National Opera and Ballet, Sofia)
This conceptual dance show, produced by One, was performed only once backstage at the National Opera and Ballet. The choreographer was our rising star Christian Bakalov, who came back from Paris (where he works and teaches) especially for the project. He gathered a troupe of young talents as well as professional dancers. The show was called Interview because “every day is an interview – we ask questions and try to find the answers with our bodies. The setting of an interview gives you the freedom to ask personal things, to answer, to play a different role each time,” Bakalov explained.
(Exhibition album 184 pages, in Bulgarian and English, 2008)
Our exhibition 360° Bulgaria showed 120 aerial photographs by Alexander Ivanov, taken from powered hang glider and paraglider over the course of eight years. It sent an emotional message about the need to preserve and care for our environment. The 194-page album accompanying the exhibition contains all 120 photographs on display, as well as the explanations accompanying them. Also included are the forewords by curators Efrosia Blagoeva and Radmila Mladenova. The hardcover album is printed on 100-percent recycled paper.
(Exhibition album 80 pages, in Bulgarian and French, 2008)
The album contains 64 reproductions of Pierre and Gilles’ photographs and a detailed description of each art piece – the title, year, model’s name, size and owner. The book also includes the article “A Few Dates with Pierre and Gilles”, as well as a list of the duo’s exhibitions and monographs. The introduction is by Dr. Maria Vassileva, chief curator of the Sofia Art Gallery.
(Works by Bulgarian graffiti and street artist Nast 144 pages, in Bulgarian and English, 2007)
This is the first book focused on Bulgarian graffiti and street art. It contains 12 years’ worth of works by Nast (a.k.a. Naste, Ernesto Nasimo, Napalm Graffix). He is one of the first, probably the most talked about and possibly the most respected Bulgarian aerosol artist. He is also a painter, organizer of many street art exhibits and jury member for several local rounds of international graffiti contests. The book includes illustrations, sketches, walls, interiors and illegal works done between 1995 and 2007. Also included are short texts by other Bulgarian graffiti and street artists.