Residency Unlimited

Tracing the Hidden Memories

Maria Nalbantova, Bookmark Project, 2022, New York

Thursday April 21, 2022 | 6:00 – 8:00pm

Residency Unlimited
360 Court Street (main green church doors), Brooklyn NY 11231

Tracing the Hidden Memories presents the pop-up exhibition Bookmarks featuring new work by the Bulgarian artist-in-residence Maria Nalbantova, and a discussion with RU Program Manager and curator Maryam Ghoreishi focused on Nalbantova’s practice and her notion of collecting.

Over the course of her residency, Nalbantova compiled bookmarks that she was able to access at book-sharing boxes in New York through the Free Little Library network (an organization that promotes neighborhood book exchanges). This new series of works will be exhibited at RU for the pop up show on April 21. The artist’s interest in developing this project started in 2021 at the library of the International Summer Academy in Salzburg where Nalbantova was researching the meaning of objects, and randomly fell upon bookmarks. This process intrigued her enough to trace their connection to the books where they were located and to their readers.

In their conversation, Ghoreishi and Nalbantova will examine how the artist deals with found objects and recontextualizes them—and their transformation into traces of time and memories as a means to address critical social, political and environmental issues. By removing the objects from their original context and installing them with a fresh narrative, Nalbantova creates possibilities for the viewer’s imagination to relate differently with the objects—based on their memories and life experience, not the objects per se. This dialectic between the audience and the artist’s experience is emblematic of Nalbantova’s fundamentally social approach in her artistic practice.

In addition to Bookmarks, the artist will give an overview of earlier works with Post Tools (2021), Drought (2021), Cleanse (2020), Dry Hands (2019), and Pop-Up Past (2017).

Click below to see images from the exhibition

Tracing the Hidden Memories

Maria Nalbantova (b.1990, Sofia, Bulgaria) works in the field of contemporary visual art. She experiments with various media and techniques such as drawing, collage, found objects, installation, video and performance. In 2015 she graduated with a master’s degree from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, Department of Book and Printed Graphics. Nalbantova is a winner of BAZA Award for contemporary art in 2020. Her artistic practice is focused on the idea of hygiene that spans beyond the body and inhabits the territories of the human mind. In addition, she seeks to construct a speculative reality where nature and the artificial intertwine, foregrounding critical social, political and environmental issues. Very often she works with found objects and all the traces of time they carry.

Maryam Ghoreishi (Iranian, b. 1983) is an independent artist, curator, and Program Manager at RU. She received her B.F.A and M.F.A in Iran and her M.A in Visual Arts Administration from New York University. As an artist she participated in various solo and group exhibitions in Iran, Lebanon, Italy, England, Canada, and the U.S. She was a curatorial fellow at Asia Contemporary Art Week and organized Open Studios, in New York and FIELD MEETING Take 6: Thinking Collections, in Dubai. Most recently Ghoreishi curated The Pleasure of Futile Cycles at Twelve Gates Arts in Philadelphia. Other curated shows include Out of Sight, Beyond Touch, at the Center for Book Arts, New York, 2021, Who Really Cares, Cathouse Proper, Brooklyn, 2019. She also co-curated Pop-up Exhibitions, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, 2019 and MAPPING OUT A FIELD, Zanbeel Art, Los Angeles, 2020. She was featured in Special Week of Shows-within-a-Show on Art at a Time Like This online platform in 2020. She is one of the committee members of The Other Art Fair, Brooklyn, 2022.

This program is made possible with support from The Trust for Mutual Understanding. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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