A PLACE BY THE WINDOW

EN A PLACE BY THE WINDOW

December 2020 – January 2021
Kateřina Šedá

From December 18, 2020 to January 31, 2021, the exhibition A Place by the Window will be on show in Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, a branch of Sofia City Art Gallery. It is the second part of the artistic project specifically created for Monastery Meadows West neighbourhood in Sofia by Czech artist Kateřina Šedá.

The project opened this October with an action organized in the form of a city game and held on October 31 and November 1 on Kazbek Street in Monastery Meadows West neighbourhood. More than 100 participants joined the game by drawing on the windows of their cars the things they would wish to add to the view or change in it. They shared their ideas and hopes for the development of their environment and improvement of the living conditions and the infrastructure in the neighbourhood.
Most of their wishes are quite simple, but important: the need to have proper pavements and streets, more greenery and free space between the blocks of flats, kindergartens and schools, bike lanes, skate parks, walkways and rest areas; the neighbourhood needing to change its colour from grey to green. Their ideas materialize in concrete suggestions that outline the future of the neighbourhood and are also sending out universal messages of quality of life, peace and safety.

At Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, you will be able to see these personal “views” and shared ideas as well as the artist’s perspective of the location.
During the exhibition in January, a book on the project will be presented and three participants will be awarded prizes for the best view in the form of a family weekend at The Red Riding Hood Hut in Vitosha Mountain. A special prize will be also provided for the most interesting idea about the place.

Monastery Meadows West is one of the most explicit examples of the adverse consequences of overdevelopment. Kateřina Šedá project will continue in 2021 with the goal to contribute to the change of the place by activating and giving a voice to its residents. The artist has extensive experience in working with communities whom she offers not only the opportunity to take a different look at their “normal”, everyday life but also to unite around their shared ideas and wishes.

Kateřina Šedá has realized her projects across the world: from the Silicon Valley in America to Chernobyl in Ukraine. Her works have been on display in Tate Modern, London, the Documenta in Kassel, the Venice Biennale and many other international platforms and art spaces.
For her participation in the key international contemporary art forum Documenta 12 in Kassel in 2007, Kateřina Šedá created a project in her home city of Brno that managed to bring people together by motivating them to turn to each other and see the common environment in which they lived. In 2011, the artist invited the residents of the village of Bedřichovice in the Czech Republic to move to the surrounding area of Tate Modern in London and for one day to do the same things they usually did on their days off. The purpose was for people to look at themselves from a different perspective in that new place, and to unite over common actions and activities that were binding their community together and bringing diversion to their lives, but could not be pursued on busy weekdays. Among her more recent projects was the Something for Something initiative in Norway in 2019, which provided tourists with a free Airbnb stay in a well-equipped caravan in exchange for some help or service for the local community.
The project A Place by the Window is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Czech Centre in Sofia, Sofia Municipality, Vitosha District, Sofia City Art Gallery. It is implemented at the initiative of Sofia City Art Gallery, branch Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, and the Together for Monastery Meadows West Association.
The prizes are provided by the Red Riding Hood Hut / Vitosha Mountain.

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