Maria Papadimitriou

Untitled, 2008, (installation view), acrylic on canvas, 100×100 cm

Underpinning the work of Maria Papadimitriou is the will to reconsider the role of art in contemporary society as a means to investigate notions of individual and collective identity. By predominantly using ephemeral or reproducible media (photographs, sound or found objects) she undermines received ideas about the ‘unique’ status of the art object. By installing her work in public or transitional spaces (like train stations or airports) and involving the viewer as an integral part of her work, she forges compelling links between artistic practice and everyday life. By using her own effigy, disconnected from her biography, as the subject of her work, she instigates a subtle process of emotive disclosure with which to engage the viewer. She has taken this process further by employing billboard advertising, part of the language of mass communication, to challenge and subvert the usual content of such media. By temporarily occupying public spaces for the projection of her work, Papadimitriou is able to articulate discourses with the broader public that communicate alternative values to the standardised norm of commercial media. In doing so she elicits reflection and self-recognition in the viewer.

The scope of Papadimitriou’s investigations of identity is broadened by her concern with the nomadic movement of peoples and the implications such experiences of travel may have in creating individual or collective memories and their correlative identity. Whether Papadimitriou draws the viewer’s attention to the experiences of travellers of the past or the present, whether they are engaged in the standardised experience of modern travel or are refugees engaged in perilous sea crossings, her concern is to reveal the connections between experience and the creation of identity, while inviting the viewer to reflect on his or her role in the creation of that identity.

Installation view at TFA Cortona showing Untitled # 1 and # 2, 2008, acrylic on paper, 35 × 45 cm, and Untitled 1 and Untitled 2, 2008, photographic prints, 32 × 42 cm, each number 1 of an edition of 10 by Maria Papadimitriou

Maria Papadimitriou lives and works in Volos and Athens, Greece. Her most recent solo shows have been at: the Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid (2004); Olivetti Foundation, Rome (2004); Riflemaker Gallery, London (2005); Arte y Paisaje de Canaias, Canary Island (2006); Borgovico33, Como (2007); Teseco Foundation, Pisa (2007); Mercato Coperto, Regio Emillia (2009); Aliver, Volos (2009). Since XXXX she has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, including most recently at: ANCI, Milan (2007); Macedonia Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2007); BAC – Bâtiment d’art contemporain, Geneva (2007); Benaki Museum, Athens (2007); 7th Gwanju Biennale, Gwanju (2007); La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2007); Casa del Lago, Mexico City (2008); Beltsios Collection, Magaris Foundation, Amfilochia, Greece (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai (2008); Centre of Contemporary Art, Sete, France (2009); RIBA, London (2009).