Maria Varela

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The work is an interactive projection creating personalized beasts. Greek traditional motifs depicting beasts are collected in a database. Each time the installation is activated in the presence of the viewer, a new unique beast is created which exists as a projection only for the time the viewer is standing in front of it. By the time the viewer has gone, the projection switches off and the ephemeral presence of the beast is completed. In traditional art the use of beasts becomes an artistic euphemism. People used to depict with respect and adoration whatever caused them fear. Imaginary beings are associated with prejudice, superstition and witchcraft. The bearer of the pattern manages to borrow its magical power. Beasts turn from threats into protectors of guardian importance. This becomes a kind of transition from magical practice to a more rationalized version of protection provided in a symbolic way.

Maria Varela is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on the creative applications of new technologies, data visualization through the act of weaving and the collaboration with women communities. She experiments with ways in which the archival event is transcribed from the digital environment into the physical world. She creates digital and physical objects, systems, environments and live events exploring concepts of identity, memory, tradition and their constructions. She has presented her work in numerous exhibitions in Greece and abroad, in museums of contemporary art such as EMST in Athens and Bozar in Brussels, and art festivals such as Festival de Arte Contemporânea Sesc_Videobrasill in Sao Paulo, Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, Siggraph in Vancouver, Transmediale in Berlin, ISWC in Seattle, Piksel in Bergen, Visual Dialogues (Stegi – Onassis Foundation) in Athens and more. In 2021 she was awarded with the Selected Award of the Taoyuan Museum of Fine Art in Taiwan.

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