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Marianna Christofides

Against the Grain

My artistic research practice deals with entangled stories (human and other-than-human) that constitute the different layers of multi-authored spaces. Imprints of seeping violence in the spatial fabric and manifestations of precarity are negotiated in long-term observations and a material engagement with these geographies. Deceleration processes, recursive returns, pensive time, durational exhaustion and open-ended narrative structures become tools to sensitize the present and the act of being present. Before the backdrop of a prevailing rhetoric on the inescapability of a state of emergency, the project “Against the Grain” mirrors an effort to illuminate a dynamic in-between space, abandoning conformist talk of uncertainty and moving towards a more affirmative thinking through a diffracting lens of doubt. Calling for a material, situated understanding, such a thinking will set off to reimagine widely tolerated dichotomies and eliminating binary structures of thought in favour of multiplicities and energy (ἐν-έργον) as an ethics of forces. To reflect on complex ramifications of geographies is to explore the artist’s fringe terrain of knowing-not. The research will contribute to discourses related to ways doubt (and by extension vulnerability and contingency) can couple wonder with skepticism to reiterate agency and steer critical enquiry in the arts. Listening to assemblages of material memory and how they are made visible, audible or sensed is decisive here. The emergent essayistic 16 mm film, slide, text and sound constellations venture on making a step towards coming to terms with the overwhelming transformations of our times by embracing a material, fragile reality manifested in the uneventful and the parenthetic.

Marianna Christofides is an artist, filmmaker and researcher living and working in Berlin. In 2011 she represented Cyprus at the 54th Venice Biennale. She has been awarded numerous grants and scholarships, among others by the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (IfA); i-Portunus; Akademie der Künste der Welt; Outset Greece; Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst; Stiftung Kunstfonds; Kölnischer Kunstverein; Onassis Foundation. In 2019 Christofides was finalist for the Berlin Art Prize. She participated in residency programs at Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa, Kyoto; Tabakalera – International Centre for Contemporary Culture, San Sebastián; Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen, Innsbruck; ENSA Bourges; Light Cone, Paris; Iaspis, Stockholm; Villa Aurora, Los Angeles; Gasworks, London. Exhibitions, screenings, collaborations, publications and talks in 2020 include Ravensbrück Women’s Concentration Camp; VIS – Nordic Journal for Artistic Research; in 2019 Berlin Art Prize, Display, Berlin (s); National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (s); tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf (coll. with A. Waierstall); Videonale.17, Bonn; Schwarz Foundation, Athens Conservatoire; in 2018 Goethe-Institut Kyoto; Kunstpavillon – Tiroler Künstlerschaft, Innsbruck; Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen; in 2017 Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka; GAK, Bremen; Temporary Gallery, Cologne (s); Batroun Mediterranean Film Festival; in 2016 Akademie der Künste, Berlin; in 2015 Museo Riso, Palermo; 5th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art; Museum of Yugoslav History, Belgrade; in 2014 National Museum of Visual Arts, Sofia; in 2013 Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig; in 2012 Kunsthalle Bremen; BOZAR, Brussels.