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Water Tower Art Residency 2018

IME Assn., Sofia

IME Association was set up in 2004 by a group of artists, aiming at reviving and restoring important, but neglected Sofia landmarks and buildings, as centres for creative residencies. The first such landmark is the eponymous water tower in the capital’s neighbourhood of Lozenets, where in 2006 joint efforts of very practical origins – to clean and clear the space, making its design and architecture available for public viewing – led to the establishment of the overall project for a contemporary art festival in alternative locations. The artist-run initiative Water Tower Art Fest was on the map of important cultural events in Sofia, as well as in Europe, and grew from a small local initiative to a space of creative, personal and professional exchange for many.

Over the years, Water Tower Art Fest became the biggest international platform for ideas and arts exchange based in Bulgaria, attracting over 600 creative practitioners working in the sphere of socially engaged art from all over the world. The buildings discovered and integrated back into the society by IME Association are numerous and each of them presents a unique part of Sofia’s cultural identity. In 2016 WTAF celebrated its 10th anniversary.

In July 2017 IME Association curated the very first “site-specific” residency in Bulgaria, gathering under one roof contemporary artists from Japan, Ukraine, China, Serbia, Australia and the UK, whose projects were planned, developed and realised during their 1-week stay in Sofia, in accordance with the site specifications of the two partner locations, Poduene depot and Council Culture Institute House of Culture Iskar.


Phone: +359 898 312 030

Email: info@watertowerartfest.com

Website: http://www.watertowerartfest.com/


The Water Tower Art Residency banner
Image courtesy of WTAF

Water Tower Art Residency
Sofia, 14 - 16 June 2018

For a second year, Water Tower Art Residency (1-17 June 2018) offered dialogue opportunities between independent socio-cultural establishments and Sofia’s residents. Run by the IME Association, the residency aims at exploring the application of creative methodology for solving a specific social problem or at achieving considerable improvement of the premises of a specific venue and/or neighbourhood, with site-specific work.

For two weeks, Arosita Gallery for contemporary art, the former Despred warehouse  and Miasto 167 were the “research labs” and playground for urban interpretations for 12 participants: Valentina Sciarra (Italy/BG), Patrick Fenech (Malta), Ruby Cedar (UK), Marta Wlusek (Poland), Marc Schmitz (Germany), Maya Iotsova (BG/Canada), Juan Jose Valencia (Spain), Darena Georgieva (Bulgaria), Corinne Fhima (France), Eeva-Liisa Puhakka (Finland), Xiao Li (China), Gal Leshem (Israel).

All projects developed during the residency are within the context of the surrounding urban environment, as well as the specific space in which they are planned to be presented to the public at the end. More than half of the planned projects are based explicitly on close collaborations with the local residents – and remain unrealised without the participation and input from Sofia dwellers.