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BULGARIAN ARTIST SILVIA VLACHOVA RECYCLES CIVILIZATION'S REFUSE

Trash makes beautiful art


BULGARIA is known for its remarkable and controversial artists. Most notably, Christo is currently in the spotlight with the blooming of 7,500 fabric panels in New York's Central Park with his installation, The Gates.

VLACHOVA's glittering planets from recycled plastic.
photo: Courtesy of Silvia Vlachova

BULGARIA is known for its remarkable and controversial artists. Most notably, Christo is currently in the spotlight with the blooming of 7,500 fabric panels in New York's Central Park with his installation, The Gates.

Bratislava is about to get its own Bulgarian infusion. In a week of events celebrating Bulgaria's Liberation Day, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute opens Silvia Vlachova's exhibit, Messages From the Future.

Vlachova transforms subculture into high culture - a highbrow way of saying that she makes lovely art out of items thrown in the trash bin. Working primarily with plastic bottles, Vlachova takes something common and ordinary and turns it into something sublime.

An empty two-litre bottle holds no charm. Certainly it may retain its usefulness as a bird feeder or a dog food scoop or a garden whirligig. Yet Vlachova creates a political statement, a fairy tale, a message from the future, warning us about our overfed society with its throwaway mentality.

THE ARTIST's Summer.
photo: Courtesy of Silvia Vlachova

But what a message. Vlachova's pieces shimmer, float and dance before our eyes like stars or light sparking off a body of water. She transforms plastic bottles into a homage to the four elements, which, according to ancient philosophy, are the pillars of the world.

These days, while the material world suffers from a chronic deficit of spiritual ecology, Vlachova's fairytale about Water, Air, Earth and Fire resounds like an optimistic message.

Messages From the Future opens March 1 at 17:30. The Bulgarian Cultural Institute (Gallery BKIS, Bulharské kultúrne a informačné stredisko) is at Jesenského 7 (near Eurobooks), Bratislava.

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