Postcards from Athens, Mariana Bisti, 2010 - 2016, digital photography, inkjet prints, hand-made booklet.
An ongoing project, based on a big archive of black and white photos that have been taken in the Greek capital within the last 6 years. They depict the marks of the economic and social turmoil that the crisis has inflicted on the body of the city and the bodies of its citizens.
At the moment 45 instances have been printed as postcards. These souvenirs are separately dispersed with a guerrilla-distribution tactic in various galleries and museum shops in London and Athens, for people to acquire and use for free in whatever way they wish. In addition, an open edition of a hand-made & self-published booklet with all 45 postcards, is being sold frequently, to support the ongoing production and free distribution of the postcards.
Future Proof, Mariana Bisti, 2015, performance, still from single screen HD video (5 mins 16 secs).
The New EU flag, Mariana Bisti, 2016, 4 used aluminium blankets collected from Lesvos/ Greece, hand-made metal pole, 2.40 x 4.00 m (flag), 40 x 6000 mm (pole).
The European Union was formed to share democratic, humanitarian and liberal values. Yet, on today's real life, Europe's ideals and values sound like a parody and its foundations look shaky. Several EU states have closed their borders to thousands of refugees and, as Syria’s humanitarian crisis is spinning out of control, more borders are likely to close. Europe is undermining its moral values by turning its back on hundreds of thousands of people who are in despair. In this regard, the making of the ‘New EU flag’ is a means to comment on the death of the European Dream, principles and values.
The flag was raised at the Slade School of Fine Art, after an initial request to use UCL's central pole was rejected. The act attempts to underline how a 'dream of unity' has turned into a nightmare. The idea of turning the raising into a spectacle, accompanied by the sound of the ‘Ode to Joy’ (EU’s anthem) amplifies the irony in this otherwise dramatic situation.
Three fans, eighteen markers and two sheets of paper, Mariana Bisti, 2015, installation (fans, markers, fishing line, paper).
An experimentation/research on the notions of:
- Contingency, unpredictability and the determinism of external factors that affect and define an individual’s path. - Traces (random ones) that are left behind in every move/decision an individual makes/takes and how these movements, after a certain time, turn into something shaped, in this case, a (quasi)circle. - Uniqueness, identity and the thin line between individuality and individualism, all explored through a simulation that celebrates the differences between the concepts of group and community.
We are not in the clear yet, Mariana Bisti, 2015, series of digital images, inkjet prints, 48 x 32 cm.
marianabisti.com instagram: murplejane Artist's Statement
My practice can be described as an exploration of the contours of meaning and identities, through the processes of their equivocal formations and contingent representations.
Traces, marks, manifestations of temporal presence are recorded and manipulated in an attempt to investigate the ubiquitous absence of certainty in our contemporary world. Implications of political and social issues are juxtaposed with solid forms and concrete spatial references, informing each other of the current human condition and its contextual ambiguities.
This play of contradictions returns as a question regarding the scope and the pleasure involved in creating and crafting art, a question that remains essentially open and insurmountable.