Justified Actions - Sofia Underground International Performance Art Festival 2012
In Memory of Ruen Ruenov
Created in 1997 by Ruen Ruenov, an art critic, journalist and curator, the Sofia Underground Art Festival has won a reputation of a major art event in the interdisciplinary genres of visual performance art, actionist art, happening and new media.
In 2007 the Sofia Underground organizer and director Ruen Ruenov is joined by Yovo Panchev to renew the annual character of the festival, now focusing on the relation between the new generation of artists and the different social and political context. The Sofia Underground “Remember Sofia Underground” 2007 edition becomes a success bringing together around 30 performance acts, sound art and several installations as well as a big exhibition of documentation and actionist works in matter. The 2008 Sofia Underground “Alone” brings together more performances and international crowd. 2009 finds the festival with no funding and a “Crisis Edition” is held with a series of lectures, screenings and few smaller scale nights of performances at several locations in Sofia.
The documentation of the festival has been presented on several special screening occasions in Sofia, Plovdiv, Berlin (2011), London, New York (2011), Rousse (2012) as well as the Cairo biennial in 2002.
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Photo: Sofia Underground
Sofia Underground International Performance Art Festival 2012 was organized by Yovo Panchev. It was dedicated to the memory of its creator and director Ruen Ruenov (1958-2011) and based on his concept Justified Actions.
The Festival took part in several segments:
- An exhibition dedicated to Ruen Ruenov and the concept of Justified Actions. Located on the
first floor of the Union of Bulgarian Artists’ building, the exhibition featured many video art works
as well as video documentation materials.
- Another small actionist exhibition opened before the Festival opening as a parallel program. It
involved an installation of various kitsch objects and artifacts brought by the public and a
speculative theorization on the topic of kitsch.
- The performances night that happened on May 19 (the International Night of the Museums and
Galleries) showed a 23 performances and interventions (5 of which by international artists).
- The Sofia Underground Academia was a follow up night of concerts and students’ projects at the
Applied Arts Faculty building of the National Art Academy on May 23. It gathered several
independent and conceptual bands/performers.
The festival is supported by Gaudenz B.Ruf Award, Goethe Institut-Sofia, Union of Bulgarian Artists, ArtExpress-2004.