Black Bears For White Days / White Bears For Black Days
Black Bears For White Days / White Bears For Black Days

Черни мечки за бели дни / Бели мечки за черни дни

“Black Bears For White Days/ White Bears For Black Days”
Original author’s pop-up picture book

Author, Illustrator: Maria Nalbantova
Published by: "Tochitza"

 
“Black Bears for White Days / White Bears for Black Days” is an artwork, which presents its idea through the capabilities of pop-up books and space. The main topic focuses on traditional proverbs, an integral part of the Bulgarian folklore. Accompanied the people throughout the centuries, shared from mouth to mouth, carries the centuries-old, experience-based wisdom of life, they teach and represent that part of the language that has survived the test of time. Are these proverbs universal or a reflection of the language, the soul and the prejudices of the people? Their truthfulness is controversial, but their actuality is indisputable. They connect the far past with the recent, the present with the future.
In this book, I am using as a key concept the mechanics of wordgames, by replacing one of the words in each proverb with black or white bears, I change entirely the meaning of the original proverb. If one of the words becomes a “bear”, the initial logical meaning crumbles, but the words of the proverb leave sense of connection so strong in our minds that one immediately begins to seek the error to correct it. Thus the reader unintentionally enters the wordplay in which one must discover and decode the message. The Balkan* turns into a Bear, so that the collaborative group manages to lift it up by the force of unity, water** takes on the shape of a bear and so “drop by drop a bear is made” and the eyes*** of your loved one become two bears that easily drop out of your mind, if they’re out of your sight. The twist in the original interpretation and the underlined associations provoke the readers to discover the hidden message on their own.
The book contains twenty-six pages with illustrations and spatial three-dimensional black and white elements that could be viewed from the beginning to end and vice verse. In fact, it is impossible to determine which one is the end and which one - the beginning, since Black and White represent the two mutually complementary opposites of the same thing, meeting each other in the middle of the book where they exchange their places. The image of the bear is a major compass in Bulgarian tales and folklore, but also in world religious beliefs, mythology, heraldry, etc. The applied compositional technique, in which there is virtually no beginning and end of the book, alternates the altered proverbs and associations, white and black, truth and fiction.


Bulgarian sayings:
* A mountain can be lifted by a united group.
** Drop by a drop a sea is made.
*** Far from the eyes, far from the hearth.
Black Bears For White Days / White Bears For Black Days
40
538
1
Published:

Black Bears For White Days / White Bears For Black Days

Pop-up book
40
538
1
Published:

Creative Fields