There are manifestations in our existence, divine whims of a sort, without which the survival of our biological body is impossible. Among them is sleep—the most mysterious thing we do, which takes up a third of our life. But without it, everything in us would be subject to suffering, would destroy us. And for that, no more than 265 hours of sleeplessness are necessary. The topic of sleep is inextricably linked to dreaming. In the last 150 years, figures like Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, and Felix Mendelssohn devoted decades of their scientific pursuits to trying to understand dreaming—its connections with life beyond sleep, the mechanisms of origination, its relationship to dying.
Shifting away from the medical aspects and the psychology of sleep and dreaming, we could state that because of its primariness and irrevocability in the existence of man, or perhaps precisely as an attempt to resist this inevitability, sleep inspires poets, playwrights, and musicians alike, turning it into a creative theme in novels, operas, and ballets. We see it as a key idea in cinematic masterpieces and plays. Nor does it escape the curiosity of visual artists, who often find inspiration in dreams, while in phenomena such as surrealism, it even functions as a manifesto. Logically, reflections on the dream can be seen in the history of Bulgarian art, as well as on the contemporary art scene in the country. We discover specific occurrences of it in the works of numerous artists from the Ottoman Liberation to the present day. In sculpture, in painting, in graphics, in contemporary art—sleep leaves its vivid imprints. These are the main focus of the Dream project, part of the newest platform in the development of Art Gallery – Kazanlak – “Art everywhere.”
The Dream project is an initiative in which past and present meet through a series of thematic exhibitions and installations deployed in multiple spaces, the majority of which are external to the Art Gallery – Kazanlak, such as private properties; other museums and cultural institutions like the Rose Museum, the Iskra Municipal Library, the Iskra –1860 Cultural Center, the Academician Dechko Uzunov National High School of Plastic Arts and Design; public spaces such as the DCC Regional Polyclinic Kazanlak Ltd, the Cultural and Information Centre at Ivan Milev Hall, Hotel Parisi, and Café Berry. In these territories of “one’s own” and “someone else’s,” the team of the Art Gallery – Kazanlak has specially invited artists united by the representative offices of the Union of Bulgarian Artists in Yambol, Sliven, Stara Zagora, and Kazanlak, as well as individual visual artists, among whom are Nikolay Karadzhov, Mariela Gemisheva, Lyuben Malchev, and Kiril Georgiev. The great Bulgarian sculptors Marin Vasilev, Anastas Dudulov, and Hristo Pesev are represented with works from the rich museum collection of the Art Gallery – Kazanlak, as well as the painters Nenko Balkanski, Dimitar Kazakov – “Neron,” Yanaki Kavrakov, Rumen Skorchev, and Elsa Goeva.
Online map of locations
The team of the Art Gallery – Kazanlak would like to thank: The Kazanlak Municipality, the Sliven Municipality, the Stara Zagora Municipality, the Yambol Municipality, the DCC Regional Polyclinic Kazanlak Ltd, the Iskra Historical Museum, the Iskra – 1860 Cultural Centre, the Academician Dechko Uzunov National High School of Plastic Arts and Design, the Iskra Municipal Library, Hotel Parisi, the team of the Stara Zagora State Archive, the Union of Bulgarian Artists, and Café Berry. We personally thank Hristomir Genchev, Teodora Georgieva, Father Dimitar Dimov, Teodora Ivanova, Dr. Momchil Marinov, Petya Minekova, Dr. Krasimir Peychev, Ivan Hubenov, Ventsislav Petrov, and Natasha Noeva.