Open Art Files

Discover Topics, People, Spaces, Files in Bulgarian Contemporary Art

"Open Art Files: Topics, People, Spaces, Files in Bulgarian Contemporary Art" is a project that seeks to popularize Bulgarian contemporary art in Bulgaria and abroad. The project consists of series of two-year activities in 2018 and in 2019 for the building of, a database of Bulgarian contemporary art, as well as curatorial visits, presentations and exhibitions introducing the project.

"Open Arts Files" is a project of Open Arts Foundation, in collaboration with SARIEV Contemporary and curator and art historian Vera Mlechevska, in partnership with Municipal foundation Plovdiv 2019 and supported by Gaudenz B. Ruf Award

The project is part of the official program of Plovdiv – European Capital of Culture 2019.




"Open Arts Files" is the main part of, a bilingual website (in Bulgarian and English) that will be a database/archive of Bulgarian contemporary art, an online library and an environment for art criticism. The website will use both newly created and archival content of the current platform "Introduction to Contemporary Art". The content will be built into four main panels: Topics, People, Spaces and Files, and will be created in collaboration with experts and contemporary artists.


The educational panel will take place in 2019 and will be based on "Introduction to Contemporary Art", the long-standing art education platform of Open Arts Foundation. The panel will be popularizing the "Open Arts Files" database, and will feature educational courses and lectures by visiting lecturers. It will thus present the history of contemporary art, the place of Bulgarian contemporary art within the context of the global contemporary art, as well as various aspects, movements and points of view. Art historians, curators, artists and experts from related fields from Bulgaria and abroad will be giving lectures.


This module will popularize the "Open Arts Files" database and the website through visits of curators, critics, museum representatives, corporate collections, directors of art biennials and art centers. They will be visiting Bulgaria to learn about the local contemporary art scene in personal meetings, visits to artists' studios, museums and galleries, through the presentations of catalogues, books and portfolios. As part of the "Open Art Talks", the program will feature lectures by some of the participants.


This is an exhibition project which will be popularizing the "Open Arts Files" database and the website. It will be presenting the archive as well as works by Bulgarian contemporary artists.


Open Art Files: Notes and Footnotes

Exhibition and educational panel

16 August – 30 September 2019
Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv.

Organized and initiated by Open Arts Foundation
Curated by Vera Mlechevska
Video program curated by Krassimir Terziev and Vera Mlechevska.


Participants in the exhibition:

Adelina Popnedeleva, Albena Mihaylova-Benji, Alexander Valchev, Alla Georgieva, Assen Ushev, Boris Missirkov / Georgi Bogdanov, Boryana Rossa, Daniela Kostova, Dimitar Bouyukliyski-Michi, Dimitar Shopov, Dina Stoev, Elena Panayotova, Ergin Cavusoglu, Galina Chehirian, Ivan Kirkov, Ivan Moudov, Ivo Dimchev, Kalin Serapionov, Kamen Starchev, Kamen Stoyanov, Krassimir Terziev, Lazar Lyutakov, Lubri, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Lyuben Farzulev, Mariela Gemisheva, Marta Djourina, Martin Penev, Mihail Sazdov, Milosh Gavazov, Mimi Dobreva, Nedko Solakov, Neno Belchev, Oleg Mavromatti, Orlin Dvoryanov, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Rafi Shehirian, RASSIM®, Samuil Stoyanov, Sasho Stoitzov, Simeon Simeonov, Sofia Grancharova, Stanka Tsonkova-Usha, Stefan Nikolaev, Studio Komplekt, Svetlana Mircheva, Takor Kyurdyan, Tekla Aleksieva, Tsvetan Krastev, Valko Chobanov, Ventsislav Zankov, Vesselin Sariev, Vikenti Komitski, Vladimir Ivanov, Yavor Kostadinov


The exhibition gathers artworks by artists of different generations and ages, who for a short period and at different times were provoked by common intuition, by the ” zeitgeist” or driven by the possibilities of new and familiar means of expression.
The themes intertwined in the exhibition comment on the different artists’ creative pursuits between painting and the screen and the related time-based media, the common interest of many artists in the body – highly expressed in the 1990s, the reflections of artists on the legacy of public sculpture and art outside the institutions and in natural environment. The exhibition aims to also present intersections between different media and genres, with projections of films of experimental nature, and reconstructions of fragments of the media environment from the early 1990s.
The program of “Open Art Files: Notes and footnotes” will include series of lectures, screenings and meetings with artists and curators.

Vera Mlechevska


Program educational panel


31 August, 4 pm – Oleg Mavromatti, “No Place for Fools”, 2015, 82 min, experimental – Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv

7 September – Dimitar Shopov, “New Village”, 2019, 70 min, experimental – Lucky cinema, 1 W. Gladstone str., Plovdiv

21 September, 4 pm – Neno Belchev, “My Heart Is an Octopus or My Father on the Shore of the Black Sea”, 2016, 93 min, experimental – Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv

28 September, 4 pm – Krassimir Terziev, “Battles of Troy”, 2005, 51 min, experimental – Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv


Educational tours in Plovdiv, lead by the grafitti artist Ina Valentinova:

7, 8 September, 10:30 am – in Bulgarian

13, 14 September, 8:30 pm – in English, during NIGHT/Plovdiv 2019

starting point – Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv



21 September, 2 pm – lecture by Katia Gadjeva

22 September, 2 pm – lecture by Vlado Ivanov

28 September, 2 pm – Sasho Stoitzov in conversation

29 September, 2 pm – Galina Chehirian in conversation

29 September, 4:30 pm – lecture by Studio Komplekt

Kapana gallery, 29 Rayko Daskalov str., Plovdiv

working language: Bulgarian


Tours in the exhibition with its curator Vera Mlechevska:

17 August, 11 am - in Bulgarian

14 September, 7 pm - in English, during NIGHT/Plovdiv 2019

The educational panel is realized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Bulgaria


Photos from the exhibition

Catalogue to the exhibition available online here

Watch video documentation of the lectures here