Exhibitions and events:
Working primarily in installation, film and text, Marianna Christofides studies the multiplicity of images that form consensus and collective memories, treating each as an imaginary document. Her collection of moments, objects, places and physical experiences – sometimes brought into gallery spaces wholesale, sometimes represented in poetic imagery - creates an illusion of traveling through a familiar yet fictitious world. Events can unravel at geological speeds, and whole lifetimes appear in singular objects.
Christofides co-represented Cyprus at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Her recent solo exhibitions include Basis Frankfurt, and Kölnischer Kunstverein, and group presentations at Akademie der Künste Berlin, Halle 14 Leipzig, 5th Thessaloniki Biennale, Benaki Museum Athens, National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest, National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Kunsthalle Bremen.
She is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including Hartware Kunstverein, DAAD, Stiftung Kunstfonds, Akademie der Künste der Welt Cologne, Villa Aurora Los Angeles, Iaspis Stockholm, Kölnischer Kunstverein Imhoff Stiftung, and Onassis Foundation. She trained at the Academy of Fine Arts Athens, Slade School of Fine Art, and Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
‘Perennial Limbo’ consists of over 400 sheets of cardboard cut out by Christofides and her father are held together by two screw clamps to form a female head. Written on the sheets in the artist’s hand is a dense covering of notes originally written by her father. The artist transferred these diary entries to the sheets after his death.
A wasps’ nest was sitting on a beam in the roof timbering of a house in a mountain village in Cyprus. On an August day the temperature rises up to 50ºC in such a roof. At the onset of some previous winter the colony had died away, the nest abandoned; its fragile construction renders it uninhabitable after a year. Having only a bread knife handy, Christofides detaches it carefully from the site on that late summer afternoon. The nest weighs just a few grams. Mount Penteli in Attica towers above the suburbs of Athens, the quarry is known from antiquity as the site where the marble blocks for constructing the Acropolis derive from. Between the crags there still lie bones of prehistoric animals, long since extinct. The stone is of a pristine white hue. A wasps’ nest is sitting on a marble beam.
‘Shelter Cove’ juxtaposes two encounters on a 15.000km road trip along the seam of North American and Pacific Plate and touches upon quests on the impossible unity with nature and the dichotomy of protection and threat, being-at-home and being-at- somebody’s/something’s-mercy. Given that a state of unfading instability in manifold manifestations of social life has become the norm, ‘Shelter Cove’ examines the uncanny feel of dread as a fear of the possible.
‘Paphos Blue' is a species of butterfly endemic to Cyprus. In the prologue to the film ‘April’ it denotes a wavering and fleeting existence. An object of indefinite shape (for some a boat keeled over) made out of folded paper rotates around itself illuminated by the beam of a torch mounted on a microphone stand.
To make ‘Days In Between’, the artist has been visiting the Balkans for four years, at first seeking out sites along borders lying by rivers and lakes, where the course of the boundary remains indefinite. After having lost the entire first block of footage, the data on the hard drive not being retrievable, she set out anew, only to witness that the places do not exist anymore in the same way. Topography changes insomuch that landscapes seem to vanish and observations ‘antiquate’. The approach of the film extends accordingly, now focusing on loss, omissions, disappearances without trace. The spiralling vacuum of stereotypes and metaphors, the appropriation of geological terms in justifying contingent cultural facts that characterizes the gaze of the West onto the region comes to the fore. Rivers become amphibious, both solid and liquid, as they separate bank from bank whilst connecting along their course. The film itself gets into flow: As a recurring attempt of approaching – the very constant failure and beginning anew within this process becomes part of an immersive narrative.
Glass lantern slides dating to the beginning of the 20th century have been collected, digitised and transferred back onto celluloid 35mm slides. Different pairings of images and single shots were edited together to form a film in 200 still images. A text in the off is heard at times in the intervals between the images - fragmented, yet in a state of reflecting on its own becoming of a story: “I want to find a story. A story in images. Images that carry with them a sense of arrival and onward journey - trace a path, become movement. To search for images which steer sight towards a threshold. […]”