SARLATAN by Cristina Milea

Sarlatan is a non-profit art platform Upcycling (creative reuse), where studies, debates, experiments, and social comments are mixed in the form of pictorials- performances using conceptual costume-installations.

During the lockdown, we have asked ourselves if art has a healing feature when the world is “falling apart”.

Șarlatan (Engl. Chrarlatan) became a movement focused on raising awareness using Up-cycling experiments. The intentions are to “break down” stereotypes through art and “upload” them into sculptural costumes. We see the beauty in places where we did not search before and our curiosity needs a trigger to excite the mind and seek opportunities to understand the level of toxicity in our daily lives caused by manipulation, fake news, or fake products and “upload” them into costume installations. 

Each pictorial has a story and research behind its visual aesthetics. Sarlatan reuses organic waste: sugar, candy, bones, wax, and synthetics, such as: plastic, textile waste, toxic edible pigments, nitrites, additives, latex, silicone, processed with different technical procedures and chemical reactions. Creativity based on Upcycling has no “censorship”.

It started as a new idea to extend our “ theater life” on a roof in the center of Bucharest. Now, after a few months, the team has expanded and each pictorial is based on a different subject, with an artistic and social research behind it. 

So far Șarlatan has created 8 costume-installations: Organ..Waste (a mixture of colours and textures inspired by the underwater world, combined with plastic waste); The Real Salmon (fabric waste, edible salmon pigments, rubber); This is my church. My beliefs are inside (a Byzantine jewellery collage, “flooded” with plastic waste); The Sugar dress (contains 15000 kcal, 4 kg of candies, turned “inside out”); It’s not like Barbie doesn’t have a broken heart and Hello Kitty doesn’t bite (provokes the stereotypes and the change of the perspective regarding women`s position. It contains 3 parts: the real “Barbie” (natural beauty), the plastic “Barbie” (the fake look that we want to build around our inner self) and the truth about the harmless kitty: sometimes she bites); The Time Keeper (candle wax costume). 

Cristina Milea: costume designer 

Bogdan Dincă: photographer 

Bogdan Catargiu: photographer 

Cătălin Mares: photographer 

Alex Halka: composer & visual artist (webpage design & video)

Vlaicu Golcea: music composer (video)  

Alina Rotaru, Beatrice Peter, Irina Lăptoiu, Mihaela Velicu, Ioana Bugarin, Raluca Mara, Ótvós Kinga, Olga-Diana Tórók: (model/performer)