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Open Call to support "Approaches to Happiness"

Open call for support of an ongoing web archive and a booklet about "Happiness" in contemporary art works

in the framework of the international exhibition "Approaches to Happiness II"
and the festival "Days of Happiness 2014" (Sofia/Bulgaria)

Days of Happiness is the first of its kind project in Eastern Europe that combines a series of seminars, talks, contemporary art and documentary movie screenings exploring the state of mind almost all human beings seem to pursue. The festival gathers leading international speakers, psychologists, scientists, book authors and creative thinkers, offering a range of perspectives on different factors contributing to happiness, positive thinking and psychology. Days of Happiness is an ongoing project conceived shortly before in 2012 Bulgaria was ranked as one of the unhappiest countries in the world, relative to its income per person, according to the World Happiness Report of the UN. Since the same year the event has been organized by the Credo Bonum Foundation annually in Sofia, in 2013 also in Plovdiv in a partnership with MitOst and the Art Today Association/Center for Contemporary Art – Plovdiv (CCA), where the first exhibition titled "Approaches to Happiness" was displayed. 20 international artists among others from Sofia, Barcelona, New York/Belgrade, Vienna, Tel Aviv and Düsseldorf showed 22 art pieces or serials of works of different media like photography, video and various forms of installations. With more than 1000 visitors and participants of the exhibition and the festival's program and much inspired feedback this small scale project became the most successful exhibition of the 20-years-old CCA and maybe also of the emerging contemporary art scene of Plovdiv so far. This November we are going to show parts of the exhibition of 2013 combined with new works of Bulgarian artists in the Credo Bonum Gallery in Sofia.

The exhibition is aiming to pose questions and present individual and collective ideas about happiness and related notions in different levels of experience. Artistic research on this subject can inspire to question our concepts of happiness, to unmask illusions and maybe to evoke more authentic ways of seeking emotional well-being.

How you can participate and support the project:

Web design and content support of an ongoing digital transnational archive of contemporary art dealing with notions of happiness.

Financial support and/or forwarding PR of crowdfunding activities to potential funders.

You can get involved in the development of the content and design of the new booklet/catalogue for the exhibition, e. g. by:

  • Text writing: reviews and concepts of art works ("Balloons of Bhutan", "Consumer Whore" etc.), interviews with experts and artists, introductions and interdisciplinary texts (ethnology, psychology, urban studies etc.), e. g. on tendencies and expressions of the subject in contemporary arts, an analysis of the emotional state(s) of contemporary Bulgaria and the role arts could play within transformational processes aiming at a happier society.
  • Creative proposals, how to translate concepts/quotes/visual elements of the art works and texts into tools, exercises or suggestions for pursuing happiness in everyday life. They can be serious, and e. g. linked to Positive and Art Psychology, Ayurveda etc., techniques for spiritual practice, but also humorous and playful. Art as therapy or therapy as art. Self-optimization and self-coaching become a game or an art of living. But never should they be taken too serious and become our only aim in life! Or to speak with Steve Keil's words: In 45 years of communism in Bulgaria "they told us to be really serious." But: "Play (in a wider sense) is the catalyst, the revolution, that we can use to transform Bulgaria for the better."
  • Translations of English – Bulgarian and/or text editing
  • Graphic design/layout of the booklet

Please contact evelyna.kokoranova(at)kulturmanager.net.