VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Kelesidi, Maria

Maria Kelesidi
UK based videoartist


Interview;: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I am from Athens where I studied Visual Arts and then moved to London where I’ve been living since 2005, to continue my studies at a postgraduate level at Central Saint Martins where I received and MA in Communication Art & Design (2007). A couple of years later I completed a second Masters degree (again in Central Saint Martins) in Performance Design & Practice (2010) specialising in filmmaking.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

When I was still in the second year of my undergraduate degree I took up photography classes. When I started developing photos in the photo booth, shooting with analogue cameras I ended up being obsessed with the frame. I was framing everything and I then started experimenting with stop motion photography.
My passion for video art developed during my first Masters back in 2005. I came across the video art world and I was extremely fascinated and intrigued by it. I started storyboarding, filming and editing although I had no previous experience. Once I completed my very first video, I knew that this was the medium that I was looking for.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

My work involves the creation of abstract imagery set to symbolic and stylised manners and structures. In my videos I intervene in people’s daily routines with non–naturalistic fragments, which I create by juxtaposing familiar and unfamiliar daily life situations. Moments of daily life are deconstructed and rearranged, and as a result new languages, dialogues and relationships are created.

By creating new conceptually layered pieces, I reflect on the deception of the individuals’ reality and perception in general. Also in my work there is a constant reference and emphasis on human nature. I consider structures of influence and perception in order to examine connections between experience and significance. I focus on the relationship between reality and perception and how the narrative’s manipulation generates value and meaning. I am really interested in exploring humans’ behaviour, society’s structure, individuals’ taboos and identity, and the significant role of the end of freedom and privacy.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I feel that my work has been continuously progressing especially as I am getting more involved with different disciplines and art forms. The influence from music, dance and theatre is becoming more and more evident in my work.

Anything that is related to the human subconsciousness and can be subverted into something else is always on the top of my list. And then of course, the frame. I’m always looking for the right frame and once I find it, I don’t change it.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I usually use my HD camera as it’s easy to carry around all the time. It’s also so much easier when it comes to editing. But I’m always looking forward to getting my hands dirty with my Super 8 camera when I have the luxury of time.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

Video art started in the late ‘60s. Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Vito Acconci to name a few, have already established video art’s position within the art world and they did that by the 70’s. Forty years later do we still need to establish or re-establish video’s art position?

7. How do you finance your films?

I usually finance them myself, it’s also really important to have good friends that can help you and then I am always chasing funding from organisations.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

It’s great working both individually and also within a team, actually it depends on the project. I think when it comes to really personal, private work then I have to go with working solo. When I feel that I expose myself or when I’m trying to explore myself, I prefer to do it just by myself, I need to take my time to see how things work, I need to be just with myself. But again, it always depends on the project.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

I really admire Bill Viola’s work. I like his images, the way he chooses to show human moments and worries. I find the fragility and the straightforwardness in his work extremely elegant. I also find the way he is playing on rhythm exceptionally captivating on repetition and on series. To me his videos have a dual entity. I see his videos as an image-slash-sound work of art, which is extremely interesting to me. I’m also a huge fan of Keren Cytter’s and John Smith’s work. Ever since I met John Smith, he has had a great impact on my work and in the way I’m thinking. He is an extraordinary man with great values and beliefs. He’s a kind of a mentor to me; he even influences the way I’m thinking and I’m always looking forward to his advice.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I just want to keep creating art, keep getting inspired, keep wanting to share stuff. I just want to be able to do what I am doing and be fulfilled and happy about it. (That’s the John Smith influence I was talking about!)

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where?

Video works are being broadcasting in HD Video Art TV Channel
in France (Orange 125, Free 133, Alice 123, SFR/Neuf 185) and in Germany (Unitymedia, Kabel BW).

List some links & resources