(Chisinau, Republic of Moldova)
I filled up a window with bars of laundry soap in a similar way to laying bricks. In using soap I reference its protective function, as well as that of defence and purification, and try to find and identify the hidden treasure that is discovered in self-isolation. By isolating the inside of the building, I attract outside attention precisely to this wall of soap, which by itself is already a kind of treasure trove, as it symbolises that rare occasion when one can go deep into one’s own thoughts, put everything in order, cleanse away the unnecessary and through that prepare oneself for something new.
According to legend, the word ‘soap’ is derived from the name of Mount Sapo, where ritual sacrifices took place. The mixture of melted animal fat and wood ash from the sacrificial fire would be washed away by rain into the clay soil of the banks of the river Tiber. For a long time, soap was a luxury item and valued similarly to expensive medicines and potions. Soap was first introduced to Russia during the time of Peter I; however, due to its prohibitive price, only the wealthiest members of society could afford it. Soap, “a gift from the gods”, being out of reach for many, could be seen as a treasure in and of itself, just like the time for self-understanding and self-introspection that we never seem to have enough of, and which we often sacrifice. A treasure can sometimes simply be the time constraints that we create for ourselves in order to discover something new in ourselves, then take this lost and/or newly created ‘other’ and purify it, protect it.
Ciprian Antoci is a painter based in Kishinev, Republic of Moldova, who works with various styles and messages. He creates installations using domestic items, attempting to open up the hidden meanings that they can generate in an unfamiliar context or through a new angle of perception.