Photo source: Gabrovo Municipality
Photo source: Gabrovo Municipality
The House of Culture – Visual Archive project aims to present one of the architectural masterpieces of the town of Gabrovo – the House of Culture Emanuil Manolov, before its renovation. The theme unites cultural organizations and artists in the common task of creating video and photographic content that gives visibility to the unpopular interior of the popular building, paying attention to its cultural value.

The House of Culture is a distinctive building for the architecture of Gabrovo, built in 1964 by architect Karl Kandulkov. To this day, it evokes memories in several generations of residents and guests of the town, with its impressive exterior in the style of neoclassicism. Shortly before the building enters a new stage of its existence by being modernized, its interior spaces were photographed by Rosina Pencheva. She created a visual archive of the cultural monument and its 1960s characteristic appearance.
To present the authentic interior, Rosina also collaborates with the established platform for music video sessions Urban Tapes. Thus, the video team shot its first session in Gabrovo, and the musicians from the legendary band OSTAVA were invited as the main characters of the production. The choice of the band is indisputable – almost 30 years ago OSTAVA started their career from the stage of the House of Culture in Gabrovo, the town where the group was founded. 

That's how the idea to shoot the band's iconic song London? Paris? Berlin? from the album Mono came up. The 2004 song is a favorite of OSTAVA fans, but has never, until now, been broadcast on radio and television. Urban Tapes also shot an interview with the musicians, and both materials can be watched on the platform's channel.
Our goal is to create a new perspective and feeling for the popular urban space in Gabrovo through a combination of architectural heritage, contemporary music, video, and photography. How it can be used, what feeling it could bring, how the arts can unite and revitalize old, forgotten places and affect the audience, is the answer to our creative search – say the team of the project.
As a consequence of this project, composer Dimitar Pentchev, who lives and works in Toronto, was inspired by the interior photographs of the building and created a unique piece of music. The result of the collaboration of the two artists is the poetic video Pavane for a People's House in which those photographs seem to be dancing with the beautiful music.
House of Culture — Visual Archive (2021)


Rosina Pencheva
video concept: Samuil Petkov and Boyan Simeonov, DOP: Georgi Kazakov, sound production: Petar Zhelev and Slav Simeonov, video postproduction: Samuil Petkov, still photography: Rosina Pencheva

Milena Dimitrova


In collaboration with:
House of Culture Emanuil Manolov, Gabrovo

Program Culture 2021
Gabrovo Municipality

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