We have been invited to participate in the Sofia Underground International Performance Art Festival, Sofia (Bulgaria) with the performance PERPETUAL OMENS OF POETRY.

Poetic act becomes perpetual invocation;
reconnection with ancestry.
Magic in quotidian existence,
where bodies are esoteric space for communal knowledge.
Deborder the skin
transmute into animality.

Sofia Underground International Performance Art Festival is a contemporary art event, which has gained cult status during the years with its original form. Founded by art critic and activist Ruen Ruenov (1958-2011) in 1997, it first started as a widespread happening with a long-running performance program – a reaction to the social crisis of that time. Ever since, with a few short breaks, this event has developed a prominent sensitivity according public processes and the dynamics of the local art scene. For the past decade Sofia Underground appears with annual releases of the festival event – held in Sofia, Bulgaria, and also other smaller supportive events – part of the Sofia Underground platform, which are variable in their scale and format, and are realized throughout the year at different locations in Bulgaria and abroad.

The concepts of the festival editions during the past years exemplify how the event reflects ongoing processes happening within our social environment – visible also through the artists’ statements of the participants.

The topic of the next edition of Bulgaria’s oldest event for performance art combines two interpretations of the same word.

The creative process can be selfish and narcissistic. It can be filled with the need to express oneself, but it becomes useful when it means something to people. What if art can heal bodies, cure souls, or clean thoughts? In this aspect, the word Ascension can be found in “Psychomagic”, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s famous healing art practices. Unconventional and provocative, educational, often very scandalous, but having a higher purpose – to heal and make life better.

Another interpretation of the word hints at the spiritual side of the topic. It revolves around the philosophical term “Satori”, the Japanese word for “comprehension, awakening, sudden enlightenment”. Coming from Zen-Buddhism, it is described by philosophers as a normal everyday feeling, but walking a span above ground. “Light as a feather and free as air”, one has a sudden realisation that we all are part of the same universe and cosmic energy, contrasting to the “Chinese dream” or dictatorial selfishness of the modern world. Can this mere feeling be translated and transmitted with performance art? How can we rise to a higher evolutional level as human beings? Is there a possibility for natural Satori in times like these?

The festival will unfold over the course of 5 days, presenting performances, lectures, sound art, dance projects and collaborations exploring new and exciting spaces in Sofia.

Curator: Ivo Ivanov