Though the entrance to the Institute of Contemporary Arts is at the back of an otherwise inconspicuous apartment building, this is one of the oldest un-institutional contemporary art institutions in town.
ICA is an association of some of the best known Bulgarian artists, curators and theoreticians that have more or less been the face of the country in this area. It moved into this place of its own three years ago, which was great news as spaces dedicated to contemporary art in the city are sparse.
So far ICA averages about 5 exhibitions per year, but if you don’t happen to be in town during one of them, it also has the ambition of keeping an archive and those who may be interested in Eastern European contemporary art may just ask around – the gallery host is enthusiastic about conversing with visitors.
ICA also hosts what hopes to be the world’s smallest gallery – “a gallery in a drawer”. It’s a good chance to get acquainted with the scene, and also visit this unpopular albeit central area in the city.
The format of the gallery is also a révérence to “apartment” exhibitions in the communist block where any art practices other than socialist realism were to be hidden.
From April 21st the Institute will host an event from Sofia Contemporary – Sofia’s biggest and youngest contemporary art forum (April 19 – May 12), where you can also get info and program for all its activities scattered around interesting spots in the city.