Iara Boubnova, curator of contemporary art and art critic from Sofia, was born in Moscow, Russia, where she graduated the Department of Art History and Theory of the Moscow State University. Since 1985 she works at the National Gallery for Foreign Art in Sofia as a Curator of the Department of East European Art. In the fall of 2013 she's appointed Director i.a. of the National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia, Bulgaria by the Ministry of Culture. Since January 2015 she becomes the Deputy Director of the newly established National Gallery and is responsible for the International collection of the institution. Since 1995 Iara Boubnova is the Founding Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia. Between 2003 and 2006, she was the Project Leader of the Visual Seminar multidisciplinary project dedicated to the urban environment of neo-capitalism. Since 2009, Iara Boubnova directs the program of ICA-Sofia Gallery, www.ica-sofia.org, that among other events involves group and individual shows, lecture program, presentations, the BAZA Award for Young Bulgarian Artist and the «Essential Reading for Writers about Contemporary Art» award for criticism. Among her last curatorial projects are: “Discostent,” Ancient Bath House, Plovdiv (2015), «Present Unlimited, Sofia Contemporary Art Festival,” «the eye never sees itself,” the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial, Yekaterinburg, Russia (both 2012). «Roaming Images. Crossroads of Greek and Arab Culture through the Eyes of Contemporary Artists» as part of the 3rd Biennial in Thessaloniki, Greece; “After the Flight,” ICA–Sofia Gallery; “An Elusive Object of Art,” Dana Charkasi Galerie, Vienna (both 2011); “Photo I, Photo You,” Calvert 22, London; “Beyond Credit,” Istanbul, Turkey (both 2010); State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, Moscow; “Techniques,” inaugural show of the ICA Gallery, Sofia; “Common History and its Private Stories,” MUSA (Museum auf Abruf), Vienna; Nedko Solakov, Sofia Municipal Gallery, Sofia; «Liquid Frontiers» as part of «Europe XXL» in Lille, France (2009). “History in Present Tense” as part of “‘FOOTNOTES on Geopolitics, Market and Amnesia” - the 2nd Moscow Biennial, 2007; «Joy” at Casino Luxembourg and “Dialectics of Hope”, the 1st Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art in 2005; Manifesta 4 in Frankfurt am Main in 2002 – all as co-cutrator; "Talk with the Man on the Street" part of the 4th Biennial in Cetinje, Montenegro; “Double-Bind» in 2003, "Locally Interested" in 1999 – both in Sofia and “Ars ex Nacionem. Made in BG“ in 1997 and “In Search of the Self-Reflection” in 1994 – both in Plovdiv. Bulgarian National Participations at the 48th Biennale di Venezia (1999); the 3rd Biennial in Cetinje, Montenegro (1997); the 4th St. Petersburg Biennial (1996); the 4th Istanbul Biennial (1995); and the 22nd Sao Paulo Biennial (1994). Iara Boubnova is the President of the Bulgarian National Section of AICA; she is a member of CIMAM, IKT, as well as of the Academic and Artistic Council of MOCA-China, Honkong. Between 2002 and 20010 she was a member of the International Foundation Manifesta. She is a member of the Public Council for Culture to the President of Bulgaria. Iara Boubnova is the prizewinner for the best curatorial project of the Innovation All-Russian Contemporary Art Award for «the eye never sees itself,” the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial, Yekaterinburg, Russia in 2013, and is awarded for critical writing with the “Golden Pen” by the independent Bulgarian cultural institutions in 2014.
Sezgin Boynik (1977), lives and works in Helsinki. He has completed his Phd in Jyväskylä University Social Science department on the topic of "Cultural Politics of Black Wave in Yugoslavia from 1963 to 1972". He has been publishing on punk, relation between aesthetics and politics, on cultural nationalism, Situationist International and Yugoslavian cinema. Co-edited reader "Nationalism and Contemporary Art" (with Minna L. Henriksson, Rhizoma & EXIT, Prishtina, 2007), and co-authored book on "History of Punk and Underground in Turkey, 1978-1999" (with Tolga Guldalli, BAS, Istanbul, 2008) Apart from scholarly work he is also active as conceptual artist. Recent articles include "New Collectives" (Retracing Images, Brill, Boston & Leiden, 2011), "Cultural Policy of Dusan Makavejev" (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2011), "Discontents with Theoretical Practices in Contemporary Art" (Journal of Visual Art Practice 10:2, London, 2011) "Art of Slogans - in two parts"(TKH no 19 and 20, Belgrade, 2012), "Social Surrealism: Historical-Materialist Theses on the Mystery of Art" (open space journal, Vienna, 2013), "Marxist-Leninist Roots of Zenitism" (Filmkollektiv, Frankfurt, 2013), "Counter-Godard: On Makavajev's Anti-Formalism" (Kino! Journal No. 15, Ljubljana, 2015) and "Between Privileges of Unlearning and Formlessness of Anti-Knowing: Idoelogies of Artistic Education" (Inca Press, Forms of Education, Seattle, 2016). Also he is author of artistic books "Counter-constructivist Model" (co-authored with M.L. Henriksson, Labyrinth Press, Stockholm, 2012),"Still Stealing Steel: Historical-Materialist Study of Zaum" (Rab-Rab Publication, Tbilisi, 2014) and "Noise After Babel: Language Unrestrained" (Spector Books, Leipzig, 2015).
He is editor of Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art (www.rabrab.fi).
Juan A. Gaitán
Juan A. Gaitán (Canada/Colombia, b. 1973) is a writer and curator, based in Mexico City and Berlin. He was curator at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (2009–10), and Adjunct Professor in the Curatorial Practice Program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco (2011–12). From 2006–08 he was on the Board of Directors of the Western Front Society, and worked as external curator at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver. Gaitán writes for several journals, including Afterall, The Exhibitionist, Fillip, and Mousse. He is member of the acquisitions committee at FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais in Dunquerke. He is the Curator of the 8th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, 2014.
Miran Mohar (born 1958 in Novo Mesto, Slovenia) is an artist based in Ljubljana.
He is a member of the Irwin artists group and a co-founder of the Neue Slovenishe Kunst art collective, the graphic design studio New Collectivism and the Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre.
Together with four other members of Irwin (Dušan Mandič, Andrej Savski, Roman Uranjek and Borut Vogelnik) he has participated in all Irwin projects and exhibitions since 1984. Here are some of them: Planting Seeds, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdansk, 2016; From Kapital to Capital, Moderna galerija Ljubljana, 2015; Hans in Luck - Art and Capital, Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, 2014; Former West, HKW, Berlin, Art Turning Left, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, 2013; A Bigger Splash, Tate Modern, London; NSK Passport Office, Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), Manifesta, Genk, 2012, The Global Contemporary. The Art Worlds after 1989, ZKM /Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe; Impossible Communities, State Museum of Modern Art, Moscow; The International, MACBA, Barcelona, 2011 / Paris, The Promises of the Past, Centre Pompidou, 2010 / Moscow,Third Moscow Biennial, New Old Cold War, 2009 / Krems, Kunsthalle Krems, State in Time, 2009 / Taipei, Taipei Biennial, 2008 / New York, Museum of Modern Art, Eye on Europe: Prints, Books & Multiples, 1960 to Now, 2006 / Istanbul, Istanbul Biennial , 2005 / Venice, Venice Biennial, Personal Systems, 2003 / Berlin, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Retroprincip, 2003 / Berlin, Gropius Bau, Berlin-Moscow /Moscow-Berlin, 2003 / Hagen, Karl Ernst Osthaus Museum, Museotopia, 2002 / Rome, Galeria Moderna e Contemporanea, Le Tribu' del'arte, 2002 / Vienna, Museum of 20th Century, Aspects and positions, 1999 / Istanbul, Istanbul Biennial, 1997 / Rotterdam, Boyman Museum, Manifesta, 1996 / Ljubljana, Moscow, Apt Art and Ridzina Gallery, NSK Embassy – Moscow, 1992, Moderna galerija, Slovenske Atene, 1991 / Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 1988, London, Riverside Gallery, 1887
As a member of the New Collectivism graphic design team he co-designed numerous books, posters and other graphic design products for the following institutions: P.S.1/ MOMA New York, Museum of Modern Art Ljubljana, Kunst Werke Berlin, Irwin, Laibach, Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, En Knap Dance Company, Castello Di Rivoli, Kampnagel, and others.
Since 1983 he has made several set designs for the following theatre and dance companies: Randy Warshaw Dance Company, Scipion Nasice Sisters Theatre, Red Pilot and En Knap Dance Company.
He is also a co-funder and member of architectural movement Maja Farol and a member of European Cultural Parliament since 2001
From 2008 he is also an associate professor and vice-dean at AVA, Academy of Visual Arts in Ljubljana.
He is also a tutor at the SCCA World of Art curatorial school.
Borut Vogelnik, born 1958 is an artist based in Ljubljana.
He is co-founder of artists group Irwin and of the art collective Neue Slovenische Kunst. He is also an assistant professor at Academy for visual art in Ljubljana.
The Irwin group was founded in Ljubljana in 1983and consists of Dušan Mandić, born 1954; Miran Mohar, born 1958; Andrej Savski, born 1961; Roman Uranjek, born 1961; and Borut Vogelnik 1959. Irwin , along with music group Laibach and the performance group Gledališče Sester Scipion Nasice, comprises one of the core groups within the artists' collective Neue Slowenische Kunst ( NSK), established in 1984 in the Slovenian republic of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia. At the beginning of the 1990s the artistic collective NSK transformed from an organisation to a State in Time, in the framework of which Irwin played the role of protagonist as well as cronologist by analysing and recording the processes which had started in Europe after the fall of socialism. In the project East Art Map they created, together with collaborators, a history of contemporaty art in Eastern Europe.
Edi Muka (1969, Albania) is an art critic and curator. He is co-director of the Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennale (T.I.C.A.B.), a co-founder and curator of the Tirana Institute of Contemporary Art (TICA), and curator and artistic director (together with Joa Ljungberg) of Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art.
Yehuda Emmanuel Safran
Yehuda Emmanuel Safran studied at Saint Martin's School of Art, the Royal College of Art and University College, London. He has taught at the Architectural Association, Goldsmith's College, London University, and the Jan Eyck Academy. He was a fellow of the Chicago Institute of Architecture and Urbanism and Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, University of Illinois as well as at RISD and Harvard GSD. He has published in Domus, Sight and Sound, Lotus, A+U, AA File, Springer, Artpress, Prototypo, Metalocus and 9H. With Steven Holl and others he was editor of 32 Bejing/New York and is the author of Mies van der Rohe. He curated, inter alia, the Arts Council of Great Britain touring exhibition 'The Architecture of Adolf Loos' and the 'Fredrick Kiesler' show at the Architecture Association.Recentlty: Adolf Loos Our Contemporary was shown at Guimaraes CAAA Portugal, MAK Vienna and the at the gallery of Columbia University GSAPP and finaly at the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. He was a trustee of the 9H Gallery, a Founding member of the Architecture Foundation in London and a member of the College International de Philosophie, Paris. Currently he lives and works in New York, teaching at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University and Pratt Institute and also was a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Institute of Architecture at Nanjing University, and Shanghai University, Graduate School China. He is the editor and director of Potlatch a journal of inquiry into Art and Architecture as a gift. He is a consultend to Steven Holl Architects in NY.
Born in Pejë, Kosova in 1970 artist Sislej Xhafa is based in New York. He is known for his artistic investigation into the social, economical and political realities associated with the various complexities of modern society. Xhafa has over the years highlighted his artistic work on economic and social themes, political realities, as they interact with the protean variety of modern society. His investigations, for example, into phenomena of tourism or forced illegality use a minimal language and they are at the same time ironic and subversive, practicing indifferently a wide range of media, from sculpture to drawing, from performance to photography.
Xhafa has exhibited widely including at MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome Benvenuto! curated by Hou Hanru and Luigia Lonardelli (2016); BWA Sokół Contemporary Art Gallery in Nowy Sącz, Poland The Stillness of Thought curated by Anna Smolak and co-ordinator Monika Smyła (2016); harrova që fillova curated by Klod Dedja and Ema Andrea, Fondacioni i Artit M.A.M. Tiran, Albania; Informal Mind curated by M.A.M. Foundation, Elbasan, Albania (2014); Italian Pavilion of the 55th Venice Biennale Vice Versa Venice Biennale, Venice; 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art Kanzawa Borderline: Collection Exhibition II Kanazawa, Japan (2013); Galleria Continua Unpoetic Bride Le Moulin (2012); François Pinault Foundation The World Belongs to You Palazzo Grassi, Venice; Hardau City Park, Y, Zurich; MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art Donna Regina, Still Untitled Napoli; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery Rearview Mirror Toronto (2011); PRISM Misericordia West Hollywood, California; MAXXI Spazio. Dalle collezioni di arte e architettura, Roma; Il Museo Privato. La passione per l'arte contemporanea nelle collezioni bergamasche, GAMeC, Bergamo; Röda Sten, 2705 Baci..., Göteborg (2010); MART Rovereto Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Language and Experimentations; PAC Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Ibrido. Genetica delle forme, Milano; DEPO, Indefinite Destinations, Istanbul; MADRE Museum of Contemporary Art Donna Regina Barock Napoli (2009); Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba; Modern Art Oxford Transmission Interrupted Biennale of Gwangju, Gwangju, Korea; MOCAD Museum of Contemporary Art of Detroit, Business As Usual; Schirn Kunsthalle, All-Inclusive. A Tourist World Frankfurt (2008); Istanbul Museum Of Modern Art Time Present, Time Past, Istanbul; Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art Rethinking Dissent, Göteborg, Sweden; Mori Art Museum, All About Laughter Humor in Contemporary art, Tokyo (2007); PERFORMA05, performance biennial, New York (2005); I Bienal de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Fundación BIACS, La alegria de mis sueños, Monasterio la Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuervas, Sevilla; The Renaissance Society, New Video, New Europe, Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, St.Louis; Tate Modern, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks; Fundació 'la Caixa' la Sala Montcada, Barcelona; Haifa Museum of Art, Israel (2004), Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2003), Gwangju Biennial, Pause,Gwangju, (2002); Istanbul Biennial, Egofugal Istanbul; S.M.A.K., Casino, Gent; PS1 Uniform New York (2001); Manifesta III, Ljubljana, Slovenia, S.M.A.K., Over the Edges Gent (2000); Fondazione Olivetti, Rome (2000) and the Venice Biennale (1997,1999, 2005 & 2013).