Pusha Petrov creates works that go far beyond the physical gesture of pressing the shutter button. This exhibition is a brief overview of her intense activity in recent years, including a new artwork. Her research follows a path from object to individual and is revealed through photographic series, as the artist herself states, and unveils a hidden identity that hides behind what we perceive in a first view.
As part of a community of Bulgarians in Banat, the artist’s attention is focused on the idea of belonging and identity, approached in its broadest sense, highlighting a clear attraction for cultural singularities. As the artist herself confesses, “I am interested in observing both details and gestures of everyday life, as well as attitudes that continue to mark and preserve the singularity of each one. Behind the accumulations and diversity of carefully manufactured and collected objects, the individual is simultaneously absent and present, a paradox of our modernity. ”
The exhibition consists of works belonging to 3 different series:
During the annual celebration of St. Lazarus, in a familiar female setting, the girls are assisted in putting on the dress, according to a rite of teaching customs. Their clothes become an armour, heavy to wear. Therefore Pudgasnić, the booty pillow, is an invisible element fixed on the upper part of the buttocks, creating an ideal feminine shape, otherwise unattainable. This beauty standard applies to girls according to the tradition of the Bulgarian community in Banat.
Adjjima(Berenice) Hadar(Hadja) Luise(Hadja) Tijana(Hadja) Touza(Hadja) Nirveda(Berenice)
Pusha Petrov managed to be accepted in the privacy of the African hair salons in Paris, questioning their multiple social and community functions as a testimony of a collective affirmation. To reach the final shape of some hairstyles, extensions and ponytails are fixed with thread which is then taken down. For these threads that appear in this series, she asked “other artists to choose a colour and to intervene each in turn”. The artist left them as they are, as a personal analytical contribution.
Pišćir is a peculiar prop, an ornament placed on the head. Built on a metal and cardboard structure, the headdress acquires a volumetric sculptural status, a magnificent piece that gives the wearer prestige and pride. Strongly and brilliantly decorated, it gives the feeling of a pretentious gold ornament to wear.
With a history of almost a century and a half, composed of meticulously embroidered and hand-woven elements, with gold thread inserts, the traditional female costume is entirely designed and created by the women of the family to be part of the dowry and is supposed to be inherited from generation to generation.
The village of Dudeștii-Vechi is the modest home of a small community known as the Palćene or the Bulgarians from Banat. The identity of this group, forged in tradition and religion, is imbued with a great community spirit, and their traditional feminine costume is a distinctive and special sign.