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The CultureInstitut AM contemporary

is a platform for contemporary art, video and documentary production. The activities include organizing of art exhibitions and film or performance festivals, as well aspresentations by artists and authors.

AM contemporary focuses on the international exchange of artists from Eastern and Western Europe. 

AM contemporary was founded in 2009 by Albena Mihaylova as a result of numerous cultural events organized by her from the 90s to present day. The artist's studio in Basel is the headquarters where the projects are born and go on the path of realization. AM Contemporary works with guest curators and collaborates with a large number of cultural organizations and exhibition spaces.



Film documentation by REINHARD MANZ

/in memoriam 1951–2022/
DONAU/RAUSCHEN - TRANSIT & ECHO (2021/2022) is the last film work by Reinhard Manz. It documents the sound action of Daniel Ott and
Enrico Stolzenburg, performed in October 2021 along the streets of Donaueschingen at the source of the Danube. The film combines the sound action of 200 musicians
from all Danube countries with impressive landscape photos of the Danube between the Black Forest and the Black Sea.

Music clubs and institutions involved:
Donaueschinger Music Days, Aufen Music Association, Musikverein Grüningen, Musikapelle Neudingen, Pfohren fire brigade band, Donaueschingen town music, including Basel University of Music FHNW (Marcus Weiss saxophone class, Christian Dierstein drums class), Bern University of the Arts HKB and Freiburg University of Music (accordion class Teodoro Anzellotti),Theater Basel (costume collection) and others.

BASLER PREMIERE in Stadtkino Basel

TUESDAY April 16, 2024 6:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. 

with aperitif at 7:00 p.m

Personal Structure Closing Ceremony

On November 26, in Palazzo Michiel, Venice, took place the Public Screening program, starting with two special films - the documentary DISTANCIA, 75 min, by Albena Mihaylova and the film portrait Albert Scopin, 30 min, by Reinhard Manz.


On November 27, in Palazzo Mora, Venice, took place the ECC Award Ceremony, concluded at the 7-month exhibition Personal Structures - Reflections, Art Biennale Venice, 2022. 

Albert Scopin, one of the artists presented by AM contemporary, was selected for a special mentioned under the category Sculpture and Installation. 


I/we am very excited and grateful to the organizers for their correctness, professional work and wonderful relations.

Thank you Sara, thank you Katerina, thank you Lucia and Britt, thank you all ECC-team!

See more: PDF

Closing Ceremony


Here you will find a Video conversation with Iliyana Nedkova, art curator, and Dina Iordanova, professor of film history, regarding two works by Albena Mihaylova Bendji at the Personal Structures exhibition and the Public Screening program on November 26, 2022, 11 a.m., in Palazzo Michiel, Venice, part of the closing week 59th Arte Biennale.  

Click on to run the Video DEPARTURES_ARRIVALS, 30min: Link

To view all Public Screening program | Personal Structures: Link

59th Venice Art Biennale 2022

AM contemporary on Public Screenings | Personal Structures  

The European Cultural Centre (ECC) is delighted to organise the first cycle of Personal Structures | Public Screenings, an exclusive screening event presenting videos and films by selected participants of the Personal Structures exhibition 2022

The screening event will take place in Palazzo Michiel on Saturday, 26th of November, 2022. Two special film previews will open the screening day from 11:00 to 13:00. The event will continue from 16:00 to 19:00 presenting a selection of short films. 

The program is co-curated by the ECC team in collaboration with a committee of professionals from the photography and film festival industry, who selected the videos from an Open Call under three topics: Self-reflections, New ecologies – Back to the Roots, Social Panorama. The committee was formed by Elena Volpato (Photography Curator of ECC), Joaquin Ingacio Gomez (Producer and Director of ONA Film Festival), and Giulia Costa (Television Development Executive).

Morning Program 11:00 to 13:00

I. DISTANCIA (75m min.) 

by Albena Mihaylova

The documentary DISTANCIA tells a story of arrivals and departures which tear a family apart. Father and son collide across the ideological divide of Soviet and Western power politics of 1968. The hopes of the young man for a future of freedom shatter. As an act of protest, he commits suicide. Torn by feelings of guilt, the father dies from denial and dementia. Fifty years later, mother and daughter meet in an attempt to smash the wall of distance and taboo. Would they unearth the true reason for the departures of their father and son?

II. Albert Scopin (30 min.)

by Reinhard Manz 

Drawing brings the artist Albert Scopin into a flow, which allows him to express the painful experiences of his childhood. Art becomes a means of overcoming pain and presenting it universally. The inner liberation was the drive for his work since his residence in the art scene of the 1970s in New York. His latest work with the material asphalt take a stand on the relationship between man and nature.


Exhibition in Bayerisches Nationalmuseum

Openning: October 28, 2022

Albert Scopin, born in Freiburg im Breisgau in 1943, has turned to a rather unusual material since 2012 after a creative period characterised by film, photography and painting in New York, Hamburg and Frankfurt a. M.: asphalt. For a good ten years now, he has been creating two- and three-dimensional works of strong presence and expressiveness from and with it.


12 Chairs

I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2022

June 16, 6:30 pm, Kaserne Basel

Performance by Albena Mihaylova-Bendji with Eliza Riva

Based on the novel "Twelve Chairs" by Ilf and Petrov, 1928

The performance refers to the novel by Ilf and Petrov "Twelve Chairs". With a simple arrangement of 12 chairs, my performance breaks through the hierarchical order and creates chaos that calls political apparatuses into question. In the novel, diamonds are hidden in the chairs. In the performance they are replaced by words on white sheets. 

I chose this theme for my performance because the novel's plot takes place in Ukrainian cities and provoked by the image of an old woman who protested in Moscow with a white sheet and was arrested because of it.

I Never Read, Art Book Fair Basel 2022

June 15 — 18, 2022


Kaserne Basel
Klybeckstrasse 1b
CH–4057 Basel


Opening reception Wednesday 18:00 – 22:00

Thursday and Friday 15:00 – 21:00
Saturday 12:00 – 18:00
Entry is free and open to everyone


Radio Program I Never Read



«12 Chairs», 30 min

Based on the novel by Ilf and Petrov «Twelve Chairs», 1928

by Albena Mihaylova-Bendji with Eliza Riva

16. June, 2022,6:30 pm


Translocal hi:stories of performance art
An exhibition project by Revolving Histories/Performance Chronik Basel and Museum Tinguely

8 June – 21 August 2022

Art Biennial Venice 2022

Exhibition Personal Structures


Palazzo Mora, Giardini della Marinaressa

April 23rd - November 27th 2022

Participants: Albert Scopin, Albena Mihaylova, Peter Gospodinov

on the Frequencies of Beuys


10/02/2022 - 21/04/2022

Kvadrat 500 National Gallery Sofia

Curator: Vera Mlechevska

Participants: Adelina Popnedeleva, Albena Mihaylova, Alexander Valchev, Veselin Dimov, Vladimir Ivanov, Georgi Ruzhev, Gradat Group, Dobromir Ivan, Art in Action Association, Ivo Dimchev, Kamen Stoyanov, Lyuben Farzulev, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Monika Popova, Miryana Todorova, Orlin Dvoryanov, Pravdoliub Ivanov, RAB Group, Sasho Stoitszov, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Stefan Nikolaev, Stanka Tsonkova – Usha, and Tsvetan Krastev, among others.

Catalogue Women on the Edge

AM Contemporary appears with its first comprehensive edition - the catalog of the art collective Women on the Edge, translated into English by the excellent curator Iliana Nedkova, active in Edinburgh. From January 2022 here you will be able to get acquainted with the contents of the catalog as PDF.


See more:

Link >>>


Art Encounters Biennial

ISHO House
46C Take Ionescu Blvd.

Timișoara, Romania

Friday, 01 October - Sunday, 07 November 2021

Under the title of Our Other Us, The 2021 edition of the Art Encounters Biennial will focus on the various types of cohabitation that we can project, apprehend and put into practice nowadays, while simultaneously concentrating on the transformations and drifts that influence the act of self-perception, be it individual or collective. This year’s Biennial is heavily influenced by the reflections and the projections that we all build in relation to ourselves and the Other, to boundaries and distances, to proximities and  contacts, to the inward and the outward, and contemporary art is the most faithful reflection of all these dynamics. The Biennial will comprise a range of distinct components that will complement two curatorial projects proposed by Mihnea Mircan and Kasia Redzisz and will strengthen the collaborations and institutional partnerships that have been built over the past few years, enriching them with new sources of support and dialogue. Link >>>



MASISTERS. Healthy Mind Healthy Body

Exhibition - Performance - Video

Oct 29 - Nov 8, 2021


EDGE Women Group

Albena Mihaylova-Bendji
Veneta Marinova
Monika Romenska
Nadia Genova


Through this performative exhibition with video projections, the group «Women on the Edge» ask questions and look for visual answers. The title of the project unites, but also opposes the concepts of Body and Mind through the repetition of the word Healthy. Where is the home of our Mind, and can it be placed in isolation from external factors? The «Women of the Edge» remain in a creative, working phase, despite the global stupor.

In the exhibition «MASISTERS. Healthy Mind Healthy Body» they analyze their existence, reflect the social environment and the global situation. Healthy mind, healthy body is the motto of their work process.

The current appearance of the group Edge Women is a wink at the emblematic poster of the illustrator J. Howard Miller from 1942 - Rosie, The Riveter, which became an icon of the feminist movement.


The project is supported by Municipal Foundation "Plovdiv 2019" and is part of the LEGACY programme of Plovdiv - European Capital of Culture 2019



A project by Culturinstitut AM contemporary and Wildwuchsfestival Basel as a guest

in Kasko Basel,

The Scape of Sound

May 14 - 15 2021 / 18h & 19.30h

Concert: Junghae Lee: Theremin, Marie-Cecile Reber: Live electronics For listening, watching and taking part In the concert “The Scape of Sound” the audience encounters a “Sonic Meditation” by Pauline Oliveros, as well as a visual representation of sound through the theremin and live electronics. The audience is invited to take part in the Sonic Meditation at the beginning in order to sensitize their perception through «deep listening». This is followed by music that develops further as a spatial sound through live electronic transformation, be it through theremin sounds controlled by hand gestures, or be it through fine noise sounds created by an object game.


May 20-22 2021 / Thu-Fri: 16-20h, Sa 14-20h  Process workplace: Albena Mihaylova

The artist loads and unloads the space with elastic bands, ties, catches and places endpoints. The concept of their open “networking” embeds the idea that the network connects us, but also encompasses us. Everyone can join the work process. Welcome to the net!


Between sending and receiving

May 27–31 2021 Opening: May 27 from 4 p.m.

Thu & Fri | 4–8 pm, Sat & Sun | 14-20h

Women* in exchange Exhibition, participatory installation as part of the Wildwuchs Festival Basel:

Soumaya Batache & Isabel Raufenlin

In this project, the two artists and art educators created encounters between unknown women* on the subject of feminism. For several weeks they received parcels home regularly. It contained material and suggestions that invited artistic work and research. In this way, a lively mutual exchange has arisen about different experiences, personal stories, dreams and memories. A collective archive of artistic works that also invites visitors to join in and share their own stories.



Festival Art Positive, organized by Art Today Plovdiv March 17. – April 18. 2021

Video Installation by Albena Mihaylova Bendji

Fiktive Biografien

Ausstellung, Videoinstallation

Albena Mihaylova

13.11.2020 – 6.12.2020

Raum für aktuelle Kunst und Performance, Warteck PP Burgweg 7, 4058 Basel 

Eröffnung: Do 12.11.2020 um 18h

Öffnungszeiten: Do–Fr 16–19h/Sa–So 14–19h


FOOD #2 – between advertising, art, consumption and the crisis

16 September - 31 October 2020

20 videos from the following 19 artists or artist groups:

Paul Birchall, Sergey Bratkov, Dmitry Bulnygin, Lia Anna Hennig, Bernadette Huber, Ana

Hušman, Ji Su Kang-Gatto, Andreas Kressig, Biørn Melhus und Anne Maar, Alexandra

Meyer, Albena Mihaylova-Manz, Alexandra Mitlyanskaya, Shae Myles, Leah Netsky, Laure

Prouvost, Martina Wolf, Ezra Wube and Gyonyoung Yoon

Selected by the Baltic Branch of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Kaliningrad, Russia),Igor Grubic (artist, Zagreb, Croatia) and the team.

A cooperation between Andrea Domesle, Congress Center Basel, the media library FHNW Academy of Art and Design and Pro Innerstadt Basel.

Daily from 08:00 am to 24:00 20 videos without sound will be shown on the eBoard of the

Congress Center Basel at Messeplatz 21 near the Swissôtel Le Plaza.


Residency ONLINE

September 7-15, 2020 

Mentors and guests with presentations:

Bill Aichison (USA / China), Gary Hill(USA), Albena Mihaylova-Bendji (Switzerland / Bulgaria), Daisuke Takeya (Japan / Canada), Prerana Reddy (USA), Qing Cai (China/USA)

In times of post pandemic situation and social distancing we are opening platform for exchange and development of ideas surrounding our everyday strange life since the start of Lockdown.  

Some possible variations of themes to work on during residency:

A study of relationships and connections in the new everyday life, in which the physical element is subtracted from the equation.

Where do the boundaries of the individual and the collective consciousness shift when there is no physical boundary and / or interaction (ie the infinite online space)

How cultural heritage is formed without a physical aspect.

The aim of the residency with mentor program is not to finalize a complete art product, but rather define creative ways of dealing with the new situation after the lock-down and its personal and social repercussions.

Graphics Now

Group exhibition of selected graphic works by 19 authors.

Curator: Monica Romenska

19 Junе – 29 August 2020

Albena Mihaylova-Bendji presents in the exhibition Graphic Nowseven monumental graphic works, hand-printed.Kapana Gallery, Rayko Daskalov 29, Plovdiv

Three of Life

Genealogies of Bulgarian contemporary art Exhibition / Second Edition

9 July – 31 July2020

Mariela Gemisheva, Albena Mihaylova, Liliana Karadzhova, Nenko Atanasov

Curator Gergana Mudova

The exhibition presents works by four Bulgarian artists from different artistic genres andgroups, who, in addition to being artists, are distinguished experts in history and artcriticism. Using techniques and media typical of their respective fields – video art anddocuments, posters, photography, fashion, etc. – they have visualised and textualised aspecific period of Bulgarian art by each creating their own take on a “pedigree tree”. Theirresearch is based on historical facts that have then been refracted through personalexperience and participation in historical processes.

One Gallery

14 Ivan Vasov, Sofia (BG)

Der innere Spiegel

11. Juni – 3. Juli 2020

Peter Gospodinov 

Gallery Muri-ART 

Belpstrasse 6, 3074 Muri bei Bern (CH)

12 era - defining artworks that trace shiftings perspectives in modern Bulgaria

4 June 2020

Overview of Bulgaria’s modern art history from before, during and after the political transition of 1989.

Curator Vesselina Sarieva for The Calvert Journal: Link

Old Devils

On-line Laboratory. An international conversation about women, ageing and radicalism.3 / 4 June 2020 Albena Mihaylova - Bendji, video and performance artist with a great experience, is one of the selected four artists from Switzerland. The project was developed by Wildwuchs Festival (Switzerland) and SICK! Festival (UK), and funded by Pro Helvetia.Old Devils brings together women who are associated with radical changes in culture and society in the 1960s, 70s and 80s in the UK and Switzerland. Working towards possible new performance presentation at our festivals in 2021 (Basel) and 2022 (Manchester), artists from the UK and Switzerland will explore the role of protest, activism, sub-cultural movements, the arts and loud music in areas including feminism, race relations and LGBTQI+ identity.

Fictional Biographies

Solo Exhibition by Albena Mihaylova – BendjiPart of the exhibitions series Autobiographies, curated by Nadezhda Dzhakova in the Museum of Contemporary Art Sofia Arsenal.3 September – 17 November 2019 Albena Mihaylova-Bendji presents а monumental 4-channel video installation. She works in collaboration with the Korean new music composer Junghae Lee.

Sofia Arsenal, Contemporary Art Museum

Les Reines Prochaines (Future Queen)
Multimedia performance 
14. September 2019

The renowned Swiss multimedia group "Les Reines Prochaines" from Basel, Switzerland. 
Muda Matisse, Sous Zwic, Francie Magdorin, Michel Fuchs are video and performance artists and musicians who have won the 2019 Swiss Music Award.




13. - 27. September 2019

Expect the unexpected! In their consecutive fifth event, the four artists will show a live picture again – “Little White Cloud”, dedicated to Albena Mihaylova-Benji. The overall presentation includes a video, an installation and a performance by the group. The duration of the performance will be approximately 20 minutes and it will consist of two parts: the first one held in the hall and the closing part held in the adjacent space in front of the gallery.


EARTHBOUND. Tales of Man and Nature


28. August – 20. September 2019

Curated by Marie Himmerich
Artists: Tolia Astakhishvili, Dani Jakob, Albena Mihaylova, Ani Schulze, Radostin Sedevchev, Dimitar Shopov, Martina Vacheva and Nico Joana Weber

Main location: Goethe-Institut Sofia (BG)

Second location: National Museum "Man and Earth"


Open Art Files: Notes and footnotes


16. August – 30. September 2019
Kapana, Plovdiv

Plovdiv, Culture Capital of Europe 2019

Curated by Vera Mlechevska

Works by Adelina Popnedeleva, Albena Mihaylova-Bendji, Alexander Valchev, Alla Georgieva, Assen Ushev, Nedko Solakov, Neno Belchev, Oleg Mavromatti, Orlin Dvoryanov, Pravdoliub Ivanov and many others

LISTE Art Fair 19, Basel

Generation between Enthusiasm and Destruction

10.–16. June

Kaskadenkondensator Basel

Curated by Albena Mihaylova Manz

AM contemporary is pleased to participate in LISTE 19 Art Basel 2019, with works by EDGE Women Group, Dimitar Genchev, Velizar Dimchev, Lyubomir Krastev and Kaloyan Iliev


04. Apr - 30.06.2019

Plovdiv, Culture Capital of Europe 2019

Deutsche Telekom's collection presents contemporary art from East Europe. The project is curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher.

AM contemporary is pleased to participate with works by Bendji-Albena Mihaylova



13., 14., 15. September 2019

Museum and Galleries Night

Plovdiv, Culture Capital of Europe 2019

AM contemporary is pleased to present Videos by Swiss Artists Muda Mathis and Sus Zwick, and Music Performance by Les Reines Prochaines.

Curated by Albena Mihaylova Manz

Partner Cu29, Plovdiv



Albena Bendji Mihaylova

Solo Exhibition

Video, Installations

3.Oktober-18.November 2019

Arsenal Sofia Contemporary Art Museum



4. -10. April 2019

Kino Brotfabrik, Berlin

Short films by Reinhard Manz

Entschriftung der Greifengasse




Premiere Dokumentarfilm

from Reinhard Manz

22. Januar 2019

Kino Bourbaki, Luzern


The Other Things


5.12.2018 Gallery space in Plovdiv


Documentary DISANCIA, 75 min
30.11.2018, 6 pm
Czechoslovak club
15, Krakra Street, Sofia


Texturen, Schloss Pratteln CH

16.11.– 9.12. 2018


First price Winner! Best Foreign Film Award!

AegeanDocs International Film festival

Dokumentary by Albena Myhaylova

Cine Arion, Mytilini

01.10 - 06.10. 2018 



Premiere in Museum Trotte Arlesheim CH

28.–30. September 2018

Vernissage am 27. September 2018, 18 Uhr

PANCH at Liste 18, Young Art Fair Basel

Kaskadenkondensator, Burgweg 15, Basel CH

12. –17. Juni 2018

Vernissage 11. Juni


Peter Gospodinov at Museum Birsfelden CH

25.Mai bis 17.Juni 2018


Performance Gathering

Rosengarten Kunsthaus Zofingen CH

12. Mai 2018


PANCH zu Gast im Kasko, Basel CH

Workshop Performance and Presentation.

4.-6. Mai 2018, Kaskadenkondensator Basel


The Video Artist

Reinhard Manz at Freiraum in Basel CH

7. April bis 27. Mai 2018


«Thing, Nothing, Everything» 

by Bendji Albena Mihaylova

7. April 2018 

The Great Boudha Stupa Bodnath, Kathmandu, Nepal

Kunsthaus Zofingen

10. Februar bis 25. März 2018

General Guisan-Strasse 12 / 4800 Zofingen CH


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