Eva Papamargariti

Eva Papamargariti‘s artistic vision encompasses the creation of 2D/3D rendered spaces and scenarios that trigger narratives based on the obscure events occurring simultaneously in everyday life, straddling the line between digital and physical realms and blurring the boundaries between them.

Her work delves into themes such as simultaneity, the fusion of our physical environment with the virtual world, the constant interplay of artificial images shaping our identity and experiences, and the symbiotic interactions between humans, nature, and technology. She also explores the impact of our online presence, the imprint of our actions on objects and environments through our continuous engagement with devices and technological artifacts.

Eva Papamargariti was raised in Greece and graduated from the Department of Architecture at the University of Thessaly with a Diploma in Architecture in 2012. She furthered her education by earning a Master’s Degree in Visual Communication Design from the Royal College of Art in London in 2016. Her artistic practice revolves around time-based media, as well as printed materials and sculptural installations, all exploring the intricate relationship between digital space and tangible reality.

Her art has been showcased in various cities worldwide and esteemed institutions, museums, and festivals such as the New Museum, Whitney Museum, Tate Britain, MAAT Museum, Museum of Moving Image, MoMA PS1, Museum of Contemporary Art Montreal, Athens Biennale, Thessaloniki Biennale, and Transmediale Festival.

Eva Papamargariti’s work has been featured in private collections like the Dakis Joannou Collection (Deste Foundation) and PCAI Collection. Over the recent years, she has collaborated with and created works for various renowned brands such as NIKE, Kenzo, Boiler Room, MTV, Diesel, and River Island, showcasing her versatile talent and unique perspective across different creative platforms. We reached Eva for an exclusive conversation x COEVAL:

Can you tell us about your journey into the world of immersive and digital arts? What initially sparked your interest in these fields?

I think since I was a kid I have always been imagining different kinds of worlds and situations. From non-existing scenarios to shape-shifting creatures and places. I was always trying to put myself into these uncanny ecosystems, in cities and apartments I have never visited, in forests and seascapes, in other bodies and identities. Digital tools and the type of immersion and flexibility they can provide, seemed quite tempting to me and helped me at first to convey these feelings and this flowing sense and they also pushed me towards the actual action of worldbuilding.

How would you describe your aesthetic and the overall vision behind your creativity as a multidisciplinary artist?

I like to consider my process and creativity as a liquid/fluid existence that occupies and takes different shapes – depending everytime on what I want to make apparent, what I want to construct in terms of atmosphere, feelings, aesthetics and meaning.

I always say that the characters/creatures/cryptids/chimeras I create are inhabitants of the same ‘cinematic’ universe somehow despite the fact that they are involved in different stories and scenarios… I like to think that they all live in a world that always changes itself and along with it, they shapeshift as well. They are also always in limbo, in a fruitful meandering that produces matter, stories, voices. The places and creatures I create are mythical but at the same time contemporary, they are liminal. My beings wonder and wander in order to understand their corporeality and their intra-connection with their surroundings.

Can you elaborate on the inspiration behind your visuals and immersive works? How do you approach the process of designing these pieces?

I can definitely say I observe a lot. And I collect recordings, videos, sounds, images from my surroundings, situations I find myself in, people I encounter in random places, online communities, memes and comments. I always embed personal memories and stories and feelings in my works as well, but they are also filtered through this current intensity and urgency lens. All these incongruous extracts get revisited, rebuilt, informed and transformed through notes and texts that I write myself, through books, essays and articles I read, through the worlds and sound environments I create. My inspirations are chaotic fragments and my process is usually non-linear. Things are happening simultaneously and I like to follow the process itself sometimes as an observer as well.

If something doesn’t work I abandon it, and I leave space and time for other things to occupy its place. Sometimes I might get inspired by a sound that I will hear while walking for example, a song, a voice, a phrase, a gesture that I will observe or a comment that I will read online. Sometimes I might have a very elaborate plan in my head of an atmosphere, a notion or a creature that I want to create beforehand and I will build everything slowly around that. I really allow things to happen by themselves, mainly because I know that the ideas are slowly shaping themselves inside me and there comes a certain time in the process when everything finds its way and its place into the work.

Future eco-systems and surroundings are becoming increasingly important in art and design. How challenging is it for you to incorporate these values into your work and process?

As an artist that gets inspired a lot by the current timeline and reality, I always try to keep my gaze directed through the present and future – while taking past stories and events into serious consideration. I like to work through a process that blends timelines and creates poetic intra-actions and densities through these different realms. My work intends to speak about the future while constantly reflecting on the present, while blurring the boundaries and trying to situate ourselves into these ever changing scenarios, histories, facts and myths. There is a certain difficulty nowadays to imagine the future though, it feels that it is somehow already present in an uncanny and unsettling sometimes way that we ought to observe and speculate on.

What role does collaboration play in your work? Have you collaborated with other creatives, and if so, how has that influenced your creative output?

In certain parts of the process, depending on the work I am creating, if it is sculptural or if it demands 3d printing or embroidery and textile production, or AR and VR for example I will collaborate with practitioners and technicians. Because they will know how to execute specific parts of the process much better than me. I always learn through these processes and I find myself getting disciplined in a different way which I find quite precious. But to be honest sometimes I want to be able to open the process more and collaborate with people and peers at an earlier stage of the production as well.

I want to learn how to leave from time to time behind the very idiosyncratic way I am working and involve more people in the creative process.

How did your childhood background influence your journey? Are there any specific elements of your roots that inspire you?

Definitely. I grew up in a city in central Greece that is very much surrounded by natural and rural landscapes. Since I was a kid the images of vast fields, forests, rivers and lakes have occupied my summer memories and I think they formed this longing for connection with non-human agents that exists in many aspects of my work. Also tales and myths that exist in small villages and mountain areas around the city I grew up in have shaped me in ways that I would only understand later – while creating my works or reading other stories and tales etc. I find a certain magic and otherworldly element in these that always guides me when I create and build my works. Apart from that, the strong bonds we had and have within my family have always helped me push myself forward without much fear, something that I find very precious.

Are there any exciting projects or collaborations on the horizon?

Of course! I am in the process of working on new commissions right now, like for example the work I am preparing for the Gherdeina Biennale and an upcoming new solo presentation to name a few. Also I am part of the important immersive group exhibition ‘Sea Change’ that started on February 15th at the Pérez Museum in Miami and I am excited for this as well. The exhibition will last until mid-August.

A letter to your future self. What would you write?

Hmm difficult question! I hope I will manage to retain an open mind and approach towards art, life, people and be honest with my intentions towards myself and towards others as I move along. Also I hope I will eventually manage to get better in some things like for example organizing myself (and my files!) more effectively and not getting bored so easily haha

EVA PAPAMARGARITI

@gifnugget

interview MIRA WANDERLUST

@mirawanderlust



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