In September 2021, we set up the Center for Social Vision, a research and action platform in the sphere of art and related areas, a spin-off of Swimming Pool (Sofia), whose long-term goal is to create a field for the exchange of experience and independent policies on the places and things we all share. Since then, a group of curators, artists, architects, theorists, writers, and designers have turned the Center into an opportunity for in-depth conversation about rethinking the social, and especially about how art and related fields participate in the creation of relationships and social infrastructure. With Negotiation, the first public program of this new platform, we want to open up the conversation to a wide range of colleagues, and to look together for new approaches to the issues of the public realm, institutionality, cultural heritage, and the environment.
Negotiation is a key process in generating the world we live in. It is rooted in the concept of the antagonistic nature of democracy and the existence of multiple perspectives and subjectivities, both related to individuals, communities and views, and shaped by science, technology, ecological processes and politics. The balance that could be achieved is sensitive and short-lived, an expression of a specific constellation for which care and responsibility can only be achieved through negotiation. The role of art and its institutions in this process is crucial: it does not only decipher and make visible, without naming them definitively, intertwined materials, organisms, human and non-human beings. Art has the potential to integrate different worlds and views, but also to allow them to exist in freedom.
From April to June, Negotiation included discussions, exhibition projects, workshops and lectures. The program is a collective action of the participants in the first phase of the Center and a reaction to a tense and changing social, political and environmental situation in Bulgaria and abroad.
The Center for Social Vision was initiated by Viktoria Draganova in 2021 as a spin-off of Swimming Pool, Sofia, bringing together Ivan Bonev, Filip Boyadjiev, Vasil Vladimirov, Ivelina Gadzheva, Emanuele Guidi, Dessislava Dimova, Polona Dolzan, Stefan Ivanov, Rumena Kalcheva, Valentinas Klimašauskas, Rizaki Labrini, Andrea Popyordanova, Dima Stefanova, Slava Savova, Dessislava Terzieva. In 2021/22 the program is coordinated by Galena Sardamova, Rosena Ivanova and Jenny Decheva. Graphic design: Viktoriya Staykova. With the support of the One-Year Grant Program of the National Culture Fund.