The BAZA 2023 Award for Contemporary Art winner for 2023 is Viktor Petrov.
Walled-Up Wife, 2023
rebar steel, a ring, a siphon plug, lathe steel, porcelain plates, iron chains, varying sizes
The sculptural series “Walled-Up Wife” refers to a legend from Bulgarian folklore. It tells about the ritual murder of the wife. The murder is aimed at strengthening the ever-collapsing building of her husband, the architect and master builder, by building in the bride. This motif is defined in folklore as a sacrifice during construction and to this day occupies an important part in the cultural mythology of the Balkans.
The main items in the series resemble two of the characteristic buildings found in the ballad plot – the church and the bridge. They are constructed from 600 meters of rebar iron that is tied into the shape of dish dryers. “Walled-Up Wife” combines and aestheticizes objects and materials from household work and architecture. It thus focuses on the patriarchal structures that to this day determine which work and which members of society are valuable, and hence these norms predetermine which goal is worth the sacrifice.
Viktor Petrov was born in 1991. He grew up in Pleven, Bulgaria. He currently lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the University of Art and Design in Halle, Germany, as well as at the Berlin University of the Arts, where in 2021 he completed his studies under Prof Monica Bonvicini. His thesis was awarded the UdK Art Prize, the Ursula Hanke-Förster Award, as well as the Karl Hofer Scholarship. In his work he explores the relationship between the social, architectural and political bodies. His installations and sculptures reveal the dynamics of power inscribed in objects, structures and interpersonal relationships. Viktor Petrov's creative process is based on scientific study and is characterised by subtle humour and dedication to the material. The starting point of his long-term projects are the different types of structural violence and their banalised forms of manifestation in everyday life.
Nominated artists 2023: Alina Papazova, Ivelina Ivanova, Kalina Mavrodieva, Martian Tabakov, Nikola Grozdanov, Veronika Desova, Viktor Petrov.
Members of the jury 2023: Eileen Jeng Lynch, Vasil Vladimirov, Dimitar Bojkov, Mariela Gemisheva, Maria Nalbantova and Martina Yordanova.