Women’s Stories are the focus of an exhibition opening on Wednesday by artist and academic at the University of Nicosia Maria Christoforou.
Maria approaches Women’s Stories by presenting them through the narratives of those who break away from stereotypes of the female condition as seen through her own perceptions. Freeing herself from these particular stereotypes, Maria offers her own messages through immersion in the virtual and physical world, which exudes a theatrical atmosphere and combines, in an experimental way, new methods of visual expression through digital art, 3D, 360 immersive video, music, mixed materials, constructions, sculpture and performance. The innovative use of immersive 360-degree video takes the viewer one step further, to a story experience.
The exhibition consists of many projects together that are directly or indirectly related to the female condition. It combines the Corona Haikus Visual Poetry Project, which was conceived by academics Dr Sandra Gaudenzi and Sandra Tabares Duque, and has grown to more than 1,000 participants from 30 countries, artists, poets, academics and writers, from all over the world who felt united because they face the same enemy at the same time and share the same feelings, fears, problems, while they are all ‘trapped’ in their homes. Cyberspace becomes a tool of expression and leads them to a creative journey, experience and self-reflection. Each of the participants, during the quarantine of the pandemic, shares three photographs and a haiku composition that reflect their daily life. Maria as a member of the corona haikus project but also as a co-curator experienced the project as a form of catharsis and as a chance to redefine her senses.
The second project is the immersive storytelling Women’s Stories where the user with a QR code will connect to their mobile phone and navigate through the story. At the same time, the experience can become even more immersive with the use of a VR helmet or VR cardboard. Women’s Stories is a journey through a narrative that includes 360-degree immersive videos with glimpses and views of the natural world that aims to reflect the high emotion, aesthetics and dynamics of the beauty of nature. From Helen to Antigone, from ancient to modern womanhood, the present connects with the past and outlines the future through a magical digital journey in an immersive environment where space, time and human senses are redefined, evolved and challenged.
The third project is a virtual narrative titled Leave The Hens Alone and is a three-dimensional digital artwork with sound and transition also presented as a framed printed artwork. The artwork aims to explore women’s struggle to meet society’s stereotypes such as fertility, mating and so on. All the artworks are presented in various ways. For instance, the same story is approached with a different visual methodology such as virtual poetry, prints, sculptures, constructions, 3D artwork, VR 360 Immersive Video, QR codes or visual intervention by performers. All these coexist harmoniously while each artwork keeps its individuality. The week-long exhibition is an endless journey of imagination and creation.
Immersive storytelling exhibition by artist and academic Maria Christoforou. October 13-20. ΕΚΑΤΕ (Cyprus Chamber of Fine Art), Nicosia. Opening night 7.30pm. Opening hours: 5pm-9pm. Tel:22-466426