Izkustvo za promyana 1985-2015 / Art for Change 1985-2015

Editor: Maria Vassileva
Publisher: Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia
Content: 384 pages
ISBN: 978-619-7004-07-6
Year: 2015

Art for Change 1985-2015 is a project tracing the profound changes in Bulgaria’s society since the mid-1980s, as well as artists’ awakened consciousness with regard to their mission as correctives of the social milieu.

By means of an exhibition and a publication, it exposes the process of opening up new opportunities and waking up to art’s potential to impact societal attitudes. The project also aims at restoring and recording this thread in current Bulgarian art while seeking out opportunities to promote and deepen art’s impact over society.

Over the years, Bulgaria’s intellectual elite, and artists in particular, have been blamed for keeping aloof from social processes and for failing to react to developments promptly, sharply and adequately enough. It has also been alleged that their passive stance is a hindrance to the country’s growth and development. Indeed this is the cliché that the project is trying to break by displaying works and documents that trace crucial moments of the historic transition since the mid-1980s and vindicate artists’ role as an active element of social life. The publication will attempt, for the first time in this country’s recent history, to analyse the relationship between art and society, to seek out the root causes of integration or alienation, to probe deeply and get to the crux of those processes that are at the core of Bulgaria’s society and culture the way they are today.

The exhibition showcases works by contemporary Bulgarian artists, who from the mid-1980s to now have marked with their art profound moments of the transition period and present the artist as an active agent of social change.

The book comprises 384 pages of analytical texts, interviews and more than 390 reproductions. Its purpose is to present the historical perspective while also attempting to provide insight into current realities through past experiences.

This publication is available at ERSTE Foundation Library.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.