Maria Nalbantova
Cleanse, 2020
photo by Peter Raijekov

Cleanse, 2020

video 7 min, tiles with defects, 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

2021 Part of the exhibition “US and THEM”, curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher, Kapana Gallery, Plovdiv, Bulgaria (photography by Maria Djelebova)
2020 Part of the exhibition BAZA, curated by Maria Vasileva, Sofia City Art Gallery, Bulgaria

“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 a fictional program divided into three phases, which can be followed in a seven-minute “demonstration” video. The steps include cleansing the feet, hands and face, followed by soaping, brushing, washing, and wiping. The wastewater after washing changes its “structure” and becomes a certain substance that elicits personal benefit. The work is made of hybrid appliances consisting of organic and synthetic elements that form cleaning devices. These “devices” are used in the cleaning procedures, demonstrated in the video, exploring topics related to corruption, lack of dignity and abuse of power.

The compound of soap and asphalt turns into golden particles. That is connected with the enormous corruption of building the roads and highways in Bulgaria.
The compound of soap and fingerprints turns into white gloves protecting us from leaving a trace. What kind of traces do we leave?
The compound of soap and mirror turns into grayscale chess pieces and removes the image of power.

The project won the BAZA 2020 Award for Contemporary Art and was presented in the exhibition of the nominees [28.07.–30.08.2020] at Sofia City Art Gallery, curated by Maria Vassileva.
BAZA Award is organizaed by: Sofia City Art Gallery in collaboration with Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia and Edmond Demirdjian Foundation, The Foundation for a Civil Society, New York and the Young Visual Artists Awards international network

"cleanse" (teaser)

concept, artworks and performance: Maria Nalbantova
camera and photography: Peter Raijekov
HD Video, 7"

press: - "Portal for culture, art and society" Interview by Rada Ezekieva
Capital / "20 questions" Interview by Svetoslav Todorov
ArtSofia by „въпреки.com” editoral team
Bulgarian National Radio, program "Time and a Half" Interview by Radoslav Chichev