Visual Artist

Maria Papacharalambous

Video Installation

  • text by Achilleas Kentonis (english)


    "Here & tHere"


    From the cave of Plato up until a cosmic sympathy for the Rennaissance, and as an 

    extension towards quantum analysis of the present day, we witness a consistency of 

    humans in  their efforts to handle the mystery of existence. Each effort always 

    has a constant as a basis  on which it sets its viewpoint, based on ethics, 

    theology, mythology or even time as an independent entity.  The truths are as many 

    as the planets surrounding us.



    One of the values of Art is that it is more concerned with the questions rather 

    than the answers. Artistic creation presupposes ‘absolute freedom’ (detachment 

    from the ‘constants’ that predetermine the result). With the trilogy «here & there», 

    Maria Papacharalambous bridges here and there in an utmost personal manner – I 

    would even call it confessionary- not only through the use of a wealth of 

    experience which has been forced-offered to her in a complex and destructive mode, 

    but mainly through her vast underlying inner strength which builds, destructs, 

    auto-desctructs and rebuilds, returning her to the exact starting point.   

    She finds herself at that same point, but now having the wealth and luxury of 

    feeling that <i’ve been here before>.  She works with new codes that do not 

    overturn the old ones, but with a pervasive / investigative mood and free from 

    the fear of the unknown and the risk of no return. Because in the end, we always 

    return somewhere.



    From her previous collection entitled «re-tales», light as a feather and free as 

    the wind, which goes in depth into a catharsis from the process of painting and 

    producing colour [paint = pain + t ] she traces the factor of time (t) in relation 

    to pain (pain). She chooses the free fall into the depths of the subconscious and 

    there she encounters her relationship with the object as memory, as energy and as 

    an element which reflects the private, which is being transformed into a universal.

    She creates hanging ‘banners’, with a narration whose semiology is on the one hand 


    overturned by itself, but on the other it is integrated within the inner self of

    the viewer. 

    A consistency in the respect of her work is obvious, but mainlytowards the spectator as a soul.  


    For Maria, the frame has been for many years the window overlooking the primitive 

    origins.  Known as a strong painter, she has used organic and inorganic materials, 

    has created artwork ranging from huge monumental pieces to very small, but always 

    transforming the humble and ephimeral material  into a new poetic dynamic which 

    shows its personality through time. It is my evaluation that her previous 

    collection, and as an extension all her previous collections, has contributed in 

    her centrifugation from her dynamic orbit. A liberation from her own self, 


    her achievements, the pain, the fear.  


    The trilogy «here & there» is filled with interiority and spirituality, but this 

    time through an experiential approach.  With the intelligent title ‘here & there’ 

    and borrowing again the symbol «t» which symbolizes time, she juggles on the 

    "here" and „there“ wordplay: by subtracting the factor of time, they co-exist 

    simultaneously. She has managed, one more time, to essentially prove that which 

    she has defined already (among others): the more personal, the more it is 

    universal.  With a freed body and spirit, she manages to charge this creation, 

    not through the loneliness of her workshop, an element which is seen through older 


    collections, but with an energy that flows from her own life itself.  


    She is clearly closer to the human as the «other» and at the same time closer to 

    herself as «Ι». The optimism, the childishness, the intentionally  creative 

    naivity and the daring of the consciously released which is completed „elsewhere“ 

    and certainly within the inner world of the viewer, give an ambiguity which may be 

    targeting initiated souls and personalities.  It is obvious that Papacharalambous 

    conquers a lost landscape of herself and that makes the specific works so direct. 

    This is the exact reason which causes an almost immediate resonance with the 

    viewer, due to its meddling with the creative ambiquity that we carry within us 


    in relation to our inner self, perhaps even our higher self.  


    Her language is concise, immediate and penetrative.  Selected «minor-discharges» 

    leave behind them «multi-layered» narrations which lead to personal trips into the 

    memory of the past and the future.  It‘s as if the soul has no more space within 

    the body and transfers experiences inducively.  The various layers and levels of 

    interpretation of her work constitute magic to the sences, where words loose their 

    interpretive meaning and touch upon feelings that usually come about through 

    music, scent and intuition.  The symbols, the materials and the forms are 

    immediately autonomized, taken beyond their semiological interpretation.  

    She chooses to present “here & there” as a trilogy which takes place in three 

    different locations, three different spaces, thus creating a triangle in dialogue. 

    The „coincidence“ as a mind game produces another narrative, by realizing that all 

    three exhibition spaces start with the letter «Α»: Argo, Apotheke, ARTos.  

    The ‘aaa’ is for others the sound of creation, the sound of joy, of unforced 

    perfection.  It’s a type of algorithm that creates the global question, whether 

    the “random” truly exists.  She uses various disciplines of expression, three 

    dimensional wall works, caleidoscopes, video art, sculpture and video 



    The wall works are autonomous, humble and infiltrating exercises of intuition.  

    An infiltration into the depths of the subconscious, collective memory, the deeper 


    truth of the world.  Irony and homor are ways towards self-awareness  and balance.  


    Enjoyment of the game/ trip with the acceptance of conventions but also their 

    overturn.  By shutting out that which is obvious, references to symbols but also 

    the cosmic tree, the pylon which supports the mysteries of the sky.  This symbolic 

    tree, originally planned in 2006 to become a sculpture, re-emerges now, as a dire 




    An interactive game with caleidoscopes acts as multiplier of  images which create 

    virtual carpets which alternately reflect endless rows (symbolizing the endless 

    truths), reminding us of the connection between opposites.


    Video art which was created out of the hatching of an egg and borrowed exerpts 

    from Kazantzakis ‘Askitiki’, ‘Saviors of God- spiritual exercises’, whereby the 

    artist is involved in an all-encompassing process of doubting, and simultaneously 

    in an opening of a window, a suspision, a belief.  A balancing is created between 

    the material and the immaterial –ephimeral  and eternal- important and unimportant.


    A multiple video installation includes the house (womb), the table (body), the 

    frames (will), the caleidoscopes (truths) and the banners (statements).  With 

    biographical / experiential evidences, she deals  with the marginal relation 

    between life and the other dimensions, the untold secrets of our body and the 

    inner landscape. 


    In the context of the formulation of contemporary Art History, where the 

    (usually sociological) research is the work itself, undoubtedly these kinds of 

    in-depth examinations provide it with essential nutrition, due to their freeing 

    of the element of time in a ‘natural’ way.  I stress this, being fully conscious 

    of its meaning, having knowledge of the philosophical approach with which 

    Papacharalambous remains consistent in her creative manifestations in all the 

    artforms she has dealt with through her artistic course (painting, sculpture,

    installations, video art, film, architecture, icon painting, photography, 

    design, music, engraving).   


    It would not be an exaggeration to characterise the multifarious «here & there» 

    as a sample of the law of attraction where the element of recreation is intense. 

    It communicates directly with what we tag as hidden mass intelligence and that is 

    certainly accomplished through exceeding honesty and authenticity which the artist 

    is presenting.  



    Text for Video Installation


    Video Installation

    "Our body is the garden in which our will is the gardener"

    William Shakespeare


    The video installation, part of the trilogy «here & there» is a kind of personal 

    writing which encloses the basis of her inner psyche.  It is made of five independent, 

    but inter-dependent entities:


    1. The House [womb]

    2. The Table [body]

    3. The Frames [will]

    4. Caleidoscopes [thuths]

    5. Banners [statement]


    The house,  a passion as wreckage, as shell, as womb, as an action of rebuilding and 

    exorcism of the wounded memory, from its deepest symbols, it appears one of its first 

    creations.  This time, it's a wooden childrens house, build with proportions that 

    almost force you to assume the fetal position if you wish to enter.  The inside is made 

    of a table (body) –horizontal axes- and fitments of old frames (will) – vertical axes-. 

    A secret is enclosed within. A secret that has always been there but there was a lack 

    of consciousness to locate it.


    The table has a horizontal surface as seen, which projects landscapes from the heart 

    and soul.  The wounds are part of the landscape and as the embroidery proceeds they 

    create a personal garden.  The needle and thread stitch and write the senario / plan 

    for reformation.  A herioc exit, from psychological „turmoil" to „joy".  A corporeal 

    healing exercise, a regroupment, a discovery and a revelation of the space of future 

    memory. A series of small deeds that deconstruct and then reconstruct the whole. The 

    embroidery acts as a series of small codes which destort and at the same time reverse 

    memory fields.


    The frames which are, in vertical axes in relation to the table, function as windows of 

    another dimension. They take on the part of surrounding knowledge for the liberation 

    from excess and negativity as a decelerating mechanism, but also the dynamic force 

    between not letting anything go to waste. Embroidered fabrics from old craftswomen are 

    placed in old frames after an interference with emboidered sentences such as "Now you 

    see me now you don't", "Όνειρα γλυκά" (Sweet Dreams), "90-10 principal", a beginning 

    which makes us responsible for almost all that which happen in our lives.  Phrases 

    which fuction as the thread of Ariadne, a necessary survival tool for the psychological 

    labyrinth of our contemporary life. "Lonely chicken footprints at the margin of our life." 

    Allen Ginsberg.



    Her relationship with caleidoscopes dates back to 2001 in the work «West Never 

    Apologizes» and then in 2005 with her creation of feather caleidoscopes. Now she 

    chooses caleidoscopes that function as multipliers of images and take the form of image 

    carpets. They are reflected alternately in infinite rows and remind us of the connection

    between opposites as mentioned before. This constitutes another approach in the same 



    The banners

    Diptych work 350 c.m. Χ 75 c.m. each, are from the series «re-tales light as a feather 

    and free as the wind» from 2006. It accompanies the house as a shown statement, an 

    experiential certification of existence in time and space: I am here, I was there...