Independent Curators International (ICI) supports the work of curators to help create stronger art communities through experimentation, collaboration, and international engagement. Curators are arts community leaders and organizers who champion artistic practice; build essential infrastructures and institutions; and generate public engagement with art. Our collaborative programs connect curators across generations, and across social, political and cultural borders. They form an international framework for sharing knowledge and resources — promoting cultural exchange, access to art, and public awareness for the curator’s role.
Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva (b. 1977) is an art critic and curator in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She holds a master’s degree in art history (2003) from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia. Her PhD thesis is on Socialist Realism in Bulgarian art in the 1950s and 1960s. The research focuses on the theory of the Socialist Realism, its interpretations by the Bulgarian artists in the period of Stalinist model dictatorship in Bulgaria and the mechanisms to exercise political control in the fine arts.
From 2003 to 2013 Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva worked as chief curator of the Credo Bonum Gallery, one of Sofia’s most reputable noncommercial art spaces. Since 2013 she has been working as a senior expert at the State Institute for Culture – an Associate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Currently Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva is working as artistic director of Plovdiv 2019 – European Capital of Culture.
She is a committed art critic and an independent consultant on contemporary art for several Bulgarian weekly and monthly publications.
In 2008 Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva co-founded the Art Affairs and Documents Foundation (A.A.D.F.), independent association of curators in Sofia.
In her institutional and independent curatorial practice, Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva is most interested in the art in public realm, and in new generation of artists who engage with contemporary social and political contexts. Through her curatorial work she encourage critical reflections on contemporary politics by organizing discussions and helping artists produce new works.
She has attended trainings, residencies, and courses in Belgrade, Skopje, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Paris, Gwangju.
This week, 13 alumni from one of the first Curatorial Intensive’s held in 2010 participated in a seminar via Zoom. Dialing in from 13 cities in 9 countries, the discussion allowed the group to reconnect and collectively think through some of the urgent questions that have arisen in the past month, and their responses to the needs of artists and audience.read more »
A series of artistic activities which aims at a critical reconsideration of the existing institutional system of presenting art in Bulgaria.read more »