Cristiana De Marchi
Cristiana de Marchi (b. 1968, Italy) is an Italian/Lebanese visual artist and writer who lives and works between Beirut and Dubai.
Cristiana de Marchi explores (through performance, video, and installations of embroidered objects and tapestries) issues related to verbalization and translation, to the correspondence between physical and nominal dimensions.
A writer and poet, Cristiana shows through her work a deep attention to the power and influence of words, to the role of narratives, to the possibilities of word associations, and to meaningful breaks by embracing the idea that
storytelling ultimately needs a gap from which to originate. Some of her themes are the use of languages in propaganda, the transition between ‘territories’ and contexts, the redefinition of memory and identity.
Some of the themes of interest I am consistently developing include:
1- mapping, fragile geographies, Geo-poetics
A map is by definition an approximation. The level of precision a map achieves is questionable and ultimately irresolvable.
Through the exploded maps, which are characterized by being non-sequential and partial, I don’t retrace the actual profiles of a city, a country or a region but I rather choose specific areas to address issues of partiality, individuality,
and personal approaches to a seemingly unbiased exercise of creating a map.
Whenever I fly over the Middle East, I watch the map unroll beneath my eyes. Borders are "marked", they are "inscribed" on the map but they disappear once we move over and through the ground. Checkpoints are set in specific locations,
but otherwise and elsewhere transitions between a country and its neighboring ones are unperceivable.
I do translate this perception of artificial separations due to historical circumstances rather than to a sense of self-determination into number of projects, including my monochrome maps, where the borders melt and a recomposed picture
of regions characterized by strong cultural relations appears; the Doing and Undoing videos and audio installations.
3- gender identity
Identity is an often-abused concept, which conjugates public and private, collective and individual, cultural and social aspects, just to name a few. In several of my works I do reference the multiple
interpretations of the word, feelings related to the concept of identity, and the multitude of individual identities this concept aims at synthesizing… There is a profound discrepancy between the perceived
meaning of the word and the intimate sense of identity each individual feels and embodies. Nevertheless, the nationalistic idea of identity is often the prevailing one, and citizens from certain countries
are often targeted because of their identity and the passport one carries.