Starting with new artworks by artists, that are on exhibition or are ready to exhibit or that are work in progress… we are visiting their studios, interacting with them and we present you this path… I first met Ioanna Myrka 1996, at the exhibition ”Spring Collection”, in the House of Cyprus, where Elena Papadopoulou had organized an exhibition for the Deste Foundation, with new artists and she participated with the video “Hairdressing Salon”. An artwork discussed much, bought by the collector Mr. Dakis Joannou and showed the path that would take Ioanna. We maintained our relationship, occasionally I was watching her artworks, but the occasion to see a series of videos that confirmed me, not that I like much the media, but it is very difficult to see good videos, as Ioanna’s, where the one is better, more concise, more meaningful and more circumstantial than the other, is our recent collaboration this Summer in Hydra, with the artwork from the series ”Bonsai Body”, which as explained by her itself, she embroiders her body…
By Efi Michalarou
Photo Ioanna Myrka Archive
Ms. Myrka knowing your work from the first video, the ‘Hairdressing salon’ until today, we realise that since 2004, you are using yourself as a model, to express the issues that concern you, from what need of you, arose?
I passed to a next stage in my life and my work followed me, there is a direct relationship between life and art. I could not always do hairdressing Salons I would be lying to myself and to others. At some point looking back my job I realized this separation. All this din’t happened deliberately just happened.
However, while in the previous video, was narration, here we see that movement and emotion play a narrative role fully replacing the voice, why is this?
There was no specific strategy neither all this formed from one day to the other; I did not change the style of the work or the visual languages that I used. In my video, I do not think there is narration, more there is the recording of a situation or of a way of life, sometime I put and the emotion to it, which until then I was afraid.
The world you describe is quite personal, but it is also a social psychogram, since it contains and reflects the contemporary human, his fears, anxieties and agonies…
Is personnel psychogram, my life is a little different from the rest of the world, I found a way to open some issues and to show them doing an overstepping, it was time to do it and I did it without having to think about it a lot…
Simultaneously, it is the first time you embroider stories on linen, the series ”Bonsai Body”, how arise?
I do not embroider stories; I am embroidering my body, a body limited from motion and amenities, trapped like a bonsai, these little trees with such beauty. Through all this, I recognized in my body, its beauty. The embroidery I used, has reference to the scars from my surgical operations.
It is complementary to the video, since we know that the Japanese culture and history, have touch and influence in your life and work, directly and indirectly.
I stand out the Japanese, as culture, as essence and as peoples. I admire them and I use everything that comes from them, to satisfy me eyes and my soul. I have seen many things from Japan, so full of beauty and simplicity that I am ashamed to look. I borrow things and include them in my work, watching the dosage so that there is harmony.
Are you thinking to continue it in parallel … trending the yarn on the edges and boundaries of art and life?
I do not know, every one of my projects is different, I do not use every time the same things. I say and show something once. If some time I use something, I do it in another way for another reason.
Observing several of your video, they quite moved me, the one that standout, is “Sorry Mum», is an homage to your mother, our mother, the mother of all of us and the relationship with her? It’s exceptional the way that through two movements with the lens, you capture the entire semiology of this relationship.
This video is a move in the silence. It is a very personal moment of confession and catharsis.
The rope that I hold in my hands ties and slips knots, sometimes becomes umbilical, sometimes bronchus together with the apologies that I have to tell her.
* Ioanna Myrka was born and lives in Athens. She is an artist who has worked with various art forms, each time using the medium that serves her idea. She has created many video-based works with social and personal character as well as computer interactive works. She has attended seminars on the japanese dance «butoh» with Japanese tutors, she has directed performances and has paricipated in other artists’ performances. Her works are in the collection of Dakis Ioannou and in other private collections. She holds a Masters degree in Digital Arts and a BA in Sculpture (under G. Lappas) from the Athens School of Fine Arts. She has also studied Graphic design at the Vakalo College and fashion design at the Veloudaki College in Greece. She has been awarded prizes and has exhibited in solo and group shows in Greece, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Serbia and New York.