31 May 2020

Drifting East - A journeyman’s travelogue by Paul Voggenreiter

Paul Voggenreiter documented his journey through Southeast Europe and in 2020 he published the book Drifting East which contains stories about his various collaborations with artists and cultural workers. Bulgaria was his 4th stop where he visited Sofia and Plovdiv. While in Plovdiv, Paul Voggenreiter met Vesselina Sarieva and she introduced him to Martina Vacheva, Mitch Brezounek and Dimitar Shopov. Paul visited their studios and wrote quite interesting stories about his experience in Plovdiv and the time spent with the artists.

"Day 73: In the evening I meet Vesselina in her Open Arts Foundation’s office. »I just have to finish one mail, I’ll be with you then«, she says handing me two books. Bulgarian Art Today and a book on the Open Arts Foundation, launched by her and her mother, Katrin Sarieva, in 2007. This is now a leading cultural institution in Bulgaria, aiming at a better recognition of the country’s contemporary art. Among other things mother and daughter managed to enliven Plovdiv’s cultural diversity by launching a »Long Night of Galleries and Museums«, carrying recognition far beyond the city’s premises. The associated gallery, managed by the family since the beginning, sits in the same street a few houses further on. In between those they have their Arts News Café. Along with a small stage and an exhibition area in an adjoining park this setup in a small street of the old town’s centre provides a lively environment for art and culture."


"Five countries. Seven cities."Drifting East - A journeyman’s travelogue" is the documentation of a journey through Southeast Europe. Inspired by an old ongoing craftsman tradition, the"Journeyman Years", I offered my expertise as a graphic designer outside of my usual environment. In the period from 16 September to 20 December 2018, it came to various collaborations with artists and cultural workers in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Bulgaria and Romania. Pursuant to the tradition of the "Journeyman", I received accommodation, a job and an authentic insight into the working and living conditions of young independent art institutions, artists and cultural workers in Southeast Europe." 

Paul Voggenreiter 

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