Ruse + Sofia

Ruse ///
Shrinking Cities
Ruse Art Gallery
December 14, 2006 - January 14, 2007

Under Bulgaria’s communist regime, the city of Ruse, once a center of trade and innovation in the Ottoman Empire, lost most of its political significance and, in the last century, almost a quarter of its former population of 200,000. In addition, it suffered from a series of environmental disasters, de-industrialization, and centralization tendencies in the direction of Sofia that turned this Danube metropolis into a shrinking city. On a surface of ca. 600 square meters, the International Elias Canetti Society Ruse displayed 15 items from the exhibition “Shrinking Cities – International Analysis”.

The exhibition comprised chronologies and cross-section views that introduced viewers to the phenomenon of urban shrinking and presented the four investigated regions of Ivanovo, Halle/Leipzig, Manchester/Liverpool, and Detroit. It also presented cultural studies and artistic contributions that traced and depicted various facets of processes of shrinking from quite various perspectives. In a workshop, pupils addressed their city, Ruse. The themes were “Ruse – My City” and “Ruse – My Dream”. The drawings were on display in the exhibition along with the work “Places where the world breaks away ” by the Bulgarian artist Kamen Stojanov. More than 900 visitors saw the exhibition and took part in the accompanying program.

The exhibition receives financial support from the German Foreign Office and the Robert Bosch Foundation.
Head Curator: Phlipp Oswalt; Co-Curator for Ruse: Timo Köster; translation: Strahil Karapchanski, curatorial assistence: Füsun Türetken.

Sofia /// 
Shrinking Cities
Dauhaus - Independent Art Space
February 20 – March 1, 2007

After the International Elias Canetti Society showed the exhibition Shrinking Cities in Ruse in December 2006, the exhibition was presented in the capital, Sofia.

On view on 310 square meters were 15 exhibits from the analytical part of the project, including works by Antje Ehmann, Michael Baute, Harun Farocki, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Laura Horelli, Kathrin Wildner, Savva Miturich, Sergei Miturich und John Davies. Ivo Ivanov's "Sofia, Bulgaria" and Kamen Stojanov's "Places where the world breaks away" were also shown. The exhibition, attended by 500 visitors, was accompanied by three lectures with ensuing discussion in the Dauhaus: “Hot Visual City(ies)”, Lachezar Bojadjiev; “Biopolitics and Urban Space, Momchil Christov and Ana Antonova; “Patterns of Abandonment”, Veronika Tzekova.

Curators of the exhibition in Sofia: Vladiya Michailova and Timo Köster; with Yovo Panchev and Studio Dahaus. Design Flyer: Alina Hoyer, Berlin.

The Exhibition was supported by: Deutsche Botschaft Sofia, Goethe Institut Bulgarien, Robert Bosch Stiftung.