Artists 2006:

Lecture by Barbara Heine Preface

Holding a Festival of Contemporary Art in Varna is an adventure. Varna is a city which has embraced the memories of ancient cultures, but it is also a partner seeking dialogue with the contemporary cultural
centres.
What could be the face of the contemporary art in this area? And to what extent can the forms, which are sustainable in this context, keep to some of the beaten tracks of the Western European cultural institutions?
The selection of artists and lecturers at this year’s Festival is not a universal answer to these questions, nor is it a guide for Bulgaria’s cultural integration. We sought a spontaneous experience of art, the creation of a forum and a basis on which new relationships can be built, as well as the improvement of the communication between artists and the public and also between art and institutions.
The Festival is what is happening. The artists respond to the new environment, they change and influence the environment; the public, touched by them, also changes. The different and the common are defined again. Thus the gathering between two cultures becomes a gathering between two individuals.
This is a decisive factor also in the selection of artists who are not only of different nationalities and cultures, but also of different age groups. Some of them are still undergraduates; others have been displaying
their art in renouned museums in the world’s cultural capital cities for quite a long time now.
The decrease in importance of the external homogeneity of the Festival’s paradigm as well as the maximum freedom of artists and public in regard to the interpretation of the subject accentuate the events outside the framework of the exhibition and to the understanding
of everything that happens as a complex process.
Thus the differencies have the opportunity to touch and get to know each other in order to find their way together.

Milen Krastev