Maria Nalbantova


photo by Peter Raijekov
2020 | Cleanse

video, tiles, stone, wood, synthetic fibers, water, soap, asphalt, gold leafs, acrylic, rubber gloves, mirror, test tube, mesh body sponge, metal basin
camera and photography: Peter Raijekov

“cleanse” is a complex installation, framed as a “cleaning” program, involving video and objects. It explores topics related to ethics and the hygiene of the human consciousness. The work is made of hybrid appliances consisting of organic and synthetic elements, that form cleaning devices. Those “devices” are used in the cleaning procedures, demonstrated in the video, exploring issues related to corruption, lack of dignity and abuse of power.

The project won the BAZA 2020 Award for Contemporary Art

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2019 | DRY HANDS

renaissance-style towel holder, mirror, towel, used gloves
510 x 445 cm

One of the important part of person’s daily routine is to wash your hands. Clean hands often carry the sense of the clean and pure mind. Perhaps almost all of the self-doubt is washed away and now one can easily forget when, because of what and why got dirty in a first place. Within the ever accelerating currents of our present-day, we grow comfort, while trying to silence our fears and re-forget our mistakes, as if we look towards better times. Nevertheless, it is not enough to wash and clean your hands, one must also dry them.

photo by Rossina Pencheva
2019 | Wallpaper roll "Romance"

print on wallpaper, found images
328 x 445 cm

Love novels are the bestselling genre of books. Annual sales of the pink literature in the United States amounts up to $ 1 million. In these books, the woman is portrayed as the weaker subject, who is the men’s object of desire. Sometimes she is almost raped, which is not perceived as humiliation but rather the embodiment of passion. The covers of these books represent a muscular male body that harbors the delicate beauty that becomes an icon of passioned love for dissatisfied women seeking supposedly ardent feelings. The work is presented as a set of wallpaper rolls mounted on a wall consisting of a pattern formed by a selection of found love novel covers, with removed texts, where the male and female figures are always in a similar position.

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2019 | Multiple use

used construction tools & materials, acrylic paint, found photography, herbarium
800 x 343 cm

The installation "Multiple use" examines the topic of instrumentalization and hopes to be a departing point for a discussion about the relationships between creation, destruction and responsibility. The work consists of several interconnected separate segments. Each segment is including altered "Found object" (objet trouvé) such as old construction tools and materials, photography or herbarium. On the objects is being applied additional visual transformation by over-painting, attaching other objects or photographic fragments in attempt to invoke a rather ironic metaphor of the instrumentalization occurring between us, as humans and the one between the human and its environment.

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2019 | "What's next"

herbarium, plastic bags, wooden frame, canvas, coal
100 х 130 сm

The work "What's next?" discusses some of the major problems of the present which are fundamental for a sustainable future, such as environmental protection and the rational use of natural resources. The work approaches, as an ironic reading, the practice of the landscape painting. Nature is a constant object of interpretation and such paintings are emanation of natural beauty, which contrasts with our contemporary times, where the importance of environmental issues are often widely ignored. The interplay between herbarium and nylon-bags with printed landscapes embroidered on the detached canvas from its frame, is becoming the interpretation of the paradoxical moment we are in.

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2019 | Happy Days

herbarium, naylon net, glue
105 х 112 сm

Part of the exhibition "Carbon" [08.05.-04.06.2019] at The Red Dot Depot & Gallery - Sofia, Bulgaria, curated by Slav Nedev.

photo by Radostin Sedevchev
2018 | Disaster

textiles, paper, stone, glass, acrylic, ink 135 x 110 cm

On 22nd of May 1960 in Chile 6000 people lost their lives in several disasters happening at the same time: a 9.5 degree earthquake, an open volcano crater and a 25-meter tsunami waves – an unpredictable cataclysm. How do we determine the level of the strength of the personal disasters?

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2018 | Spider web / Barometer

cord, silver thread, beads, pearls
130 x 100 cm

The spider is particularly good synoptic. His web is like a sensitive radar. He senses the changes that are about to happen from afar. When the spider is knitting his web fast, the weather will be nice. The spider can predict the weather changes several days ahead, even the very kind of the upcoming weather.

photo by Thomas Soucek
2018 | Red rain

textile threads, styrofoam, plaster
295 x 98 cm

The work was part of Maria Nalbantova's solo exhibition "Weather Forecast" (2018) at Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia, curated by Daniela Radeva

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2018 | Window

site-specific video installation
digital HD video, 15 min.

The video installation is part of the exhibition "Weather Forecast" in Vaska Emanouilova Gallery. The work uses the visual contact between the exhibition space and the Zaimov Park in Sofia, where the gallery is located. I t includes a video projection of the weather changes recorded during several months of the outdoor environment seen through the physical window next to the projection. The video projection is augmenting the physical window in the spatial as well as in the temporal dimensions, as a timespace displacement intervention where time passes different, often in a non-linear and non-uniform fashion.

photo by Maria Nalbantova
2017 | Angle of Refraction

photography, digital printing of transparent polypropylene, PVC profiles
120 х 33 сm

Every surface represents the reality in a distorted way. The mirror image plays with the characteristic of the representation and turns left into right and vice versa. The obtained picture is real, but at the same time imaginary. Reality is there and at the same time is missing, reality is volumetric and flat, space is three-dimensional, but in this case – two dimensional, time is reversed. The work represents the refraction of just a fragment of reality in a natural mirror – the water surface. This is an artistic view of the feeling of being at the border of reality, sleep or death.