Re:connect 2023 Plovdiv – Timisoara is a residency program, whose goal goes far beyond the independent organization of a collective exhibition.

For our team, it was essential to create an opportunity for artistic exchange between the two cities in order to build on and compare the accumulated experience in the field of visual arts of the two capitals of culture: Plovdiv 2019 and Timisoara 2023.

In November 2023, the Bulgarian group visited Timisoara, getting to know the cultural possibilities of the city – actors and spaces, common activities with the other authors and a public event for the project. In the following months the contact continued in the form of online discussions and informative meetings.

9 young artists from each of the two cities were selected – Ilie Duta, Dorian Bolca, Mihai Toth, Mirela Cerbu, Andrei Bucovanu, Bogdan Matei, Christian Graure Natalia Bica, Senziana Gheorghe. (Romania) and Ivelina Ivanova, Tsvetelina Angelova, Tsvetomira Borisova, Osman Yuseinov, Yavor Kostadinov, Valko Chobanov, Mitch Brezunek, Harita Assumani, Aron Roth (Bulgaria).

In the following months the contact continued in the form of online discussions and informative meetings. In this way, the participants had the opportunity to follow the work processes of their colleagues and exchange inspirations, experiences and ideas.

At the end of July, the same year, the Romanian artists arrived in Plovdiv to explore and participate in the art scene, in the form of gallery visits, collective workshops and the installation of the exhibition – the highest point of the exchange, – „Urban Mythology“. Together with the Bulgarian authors, they organized the public discussion “Independent artist-run spaces”, where they talked about the non-formal and non-independent spaces in the two capitals of culture and what their significance is for the creation of modern urban mythology as an alternative cultural core. The audience also had the opportunity to meet the authors directly and learn more about their creative experience immediately before the official opening of the exhibition.

Within the framework of the concept of “Urban Mythology”, fertile ground was given for the realization of the creative impulses of the 18 young authors from countries close in terms of territory and cultural-political situation – Bulgaria and Romania, which entered the European Union at the same time and share many fragments of history and present. The success of the residency program is visible in the quality of the works produced during the Re:connect 2023 process, as well as in the significant partnership relations and potentials between the artists from Timisoara and Plovdiv.

The project is implemented with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the Program for the Development of Private Cultural Organizations and the Municipality of Plovdiv.