The Art Residency at Paths



Berlin and Sofia do not consciously bear striking resemblance nowadays but when we look at them through the lens of time Sofia is like Berlin with a sweet delay of 20 years. This is the city of changes that is always ‘under construction’ and is currently developing its contemporary art scene through communities and people from diverse backgrounds with multiple ideas searching through their own way of expression and chaos (often abroad and then coming back). Unfortunately speaking about the Communist past is outlived, although this ‘foundation’ has greatly impacted many spaces around Sofia, both in architecture and mindset. There is the so called Red flat project and Communist tour that will enlighten you about the fruitful ideas of the time back then but these movements and people who still remember them co-exist happily together with the underground culture, folklore representation, rich history from the oldest country in Europe and activist actions and experiments in the field of performance. We are in the middle of ‘exotic’ patriarchy, social acts against violence addressed at minorities and simultaneously welcoming open-mindedness for big upcoming ideas. But all in all, let us not forget that the food is sinfully cheap.

The Art Residency at Paths is designed for visual, literary and performance artists to focus on their own practice in a supportive learning and experimenting environment. Participants are encouraged to explore new ideas, create, self-direct their research and time, and cultivate new directions in their work — all while surrounded by a community of peers. Your month long stay with us will culminate in a panel discussion with a local curator and a pop up exhibition at a reputable Sofia gallery

Paths’ home is located at the very center of Sofia, Oborishte Str. Once you go out of the house you are in the core of the urban chaos that can spark you creativity with buzzing noises, loud conversations, diversity of aromas and sounds all around you. The connotations related to the urban jungle will be totally transformed through finding your inner silence in the big city and directly drawing inspiration from the high-heels strolling around the roads, mixed architecture from Communist period to modern times, food preparation from traditional spices to zero-waste entering philosophy of limited consumption and encouraged sustainability. Very close to the city are situated traditional villages where you can find seclusion within the reach of the public transport.

Our hosting organization is Pateki (Paths) – a space for learning. It is exactly the reaction of a still held Communist educational system that has led many parents to state loudly ‘Yes, I want my child to have more freedom to express and to choose’ so the school where kids can explore had no other choice than simply to be created. So Pateki emerged from the founders’ experiences in New York City public school and psychological counseling of troubled teens so as to encourage the children to develop into inquisitive adults.

The full program with lectures, list of spaces for materials and creative hubs will be sent individually to all approved applicants.

How to come to Sofia:

Sofia has only one airport called Sofia airport with two Terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2). If you are coming from neighboring Balkan (or not) country you may come here by international bus which is cheap and comfortable for these who feel like long-way travelers.