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Ruins and Empires

22-30 October, 2022

Opening: 21 October, 6.30 pm at Largoto

Billy Mateeva, Henrike Naumann, Martian Tabakov, Nora Al-Badri, Oriol Vilanova, Renzo Martens, CATPC, Stefan Prohorov,  Zuzanna Czebatul

curated by

Vera Mlechevska, Vessela Nozharova, Dessislava Dimova, Stefka Tsaneva



The international exhibition Sofia Art Projects returns to historic site of Largo in Sofia with a second edition, which will take place in the last week of October and will once again transform the spaces and long forgotten empty shops in the underpass under the presidency. After the 2021 edition, Sofia Art Projects continues to reimagine through art one of the capital's iconic places where different layers of history and cultures intersect and where Sofia's life as a city actually began.


The second edition of the international exhibition Sofia Art Projects is dedicated to the theme "Ruins and Empires", which is inspired by the Largo as a place of memory for Sofia and its many thousands of years of history through the eras of different empires - Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and in the 20th century - between state socialism and post-communist capitalism.


Historically, the empire was a multi-ethnic state ruled by a dominant culture that was bent on expansion and conquering new territories. Parallel to the history of any empire runs the history of resistance to its rule. Empires in the current "decolonized" world are not always visible.  However, our history today literally unfolds on the ruins and remnants of empires whose shadows still compete for geopolitical, economic and cultural supremacy.  It is the idea of defiance, of resisting, and the quest to identify these shadows that are at the heart of the Ruins and Empires exhibition.


The exhibition includes different artistic positions by artists from Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Congo who are engaged in exploring the past and imperial heritage, be it material or immaterial. The works to be presented in the exhibition offer a critical assessment of the heritage of different empires and historical eras. The exhibition addresses themes such as historical artefacts and their value today, the role of museums, the resistance between public and private space, the legacy of colonialism, among others.


The choice of the Largo as the location of the exhibition is intended to prompt an awareness of the city's architecture as a site of memory and to reflect on cultural heritage, how we protect it, preserve it, and how we speak and think about it from the perspective of the present.


The exhibition will include installations, sculptures, screenings, and a site-specific performance. The exhibit will open on Friday, Oct. 21, at 6:30 p.m. and will be on view daily through Sunday, Oct. 30.




Sofia Art Projects is a project of the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation with the support of the Goethe-Institut Bulgaria, the National Culture Fund, SeeWines and the Zinger-Zahariev Foundation. Partners.

Friends of Sofia Art Projects: Sofia Art Week and Aether Art Space

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