Maria Louizou. Six Breaths per Minute

Is our body always a safe space? How can we experience safety in order to make our inner voice heard, liberated from the constrains imposed to ourselves? How can we allow space being one with our body so as to disturb the image we project on ourselves? Where one feels safe to express? How does the breath become a medium of communication?

These are questions posed by the sculptural installation of artist Maria Louizou, a work which propose to the visitors an unexpected reading of sculpture. Creating a tender and fragile ratio between the monumentality of the sculpture object and the vulnerability of the matter, the ceramic clay, these impressive, large, vessels which compose the installation were inspired by the Greek tradition, reminding us of pottery forms. However, they act independently. They become performative, accommodating the bodies of female performers, which temporarily occupy the ceramic sculptures, covering them partially in order to activate differently the viewers senses. The sculptures turn into acoustic shells, enhancing the performers’ voices when playing the composition written by the artist—a piece which reminds of the polyphonic song of Epirus. The installation succeeds in merging the material (the form) with the immaterial (the sound), triggering the embodiment of breath as a healing process which may be associated with slow breathing techniques investigated by various researchers and clinicians for their beneficials psychological effects. However, Six Breaths per Minute (2020–2021) gets its inspiration from the rituals and the practices of mourning, proposing a shift towards the understanding of breath as a form of utterance. Maria Louizou’s installation reconsiders art’s experiential and therapeutic dimension, pointing towards the need to dwell upon a more intimate and personal space where the sonority of voice leads towards a new awareness of the experiences of the Self and the sculpture’s physical reality as a form of encounter and reciprocity.

Curated by Alina Șerban

Maria Louizou's sculptural installation & performance - Six Breaths per Minute, is opening at Cazaram U on October 20th at 7pm.

Performing time for the opening day:

7:10 pm; 7:20 pm; 7:30 pm

8:10 pm; 8:20 pm; 8:30 pm

Vocal performance by: Maria Louizou, Maria Busuioc, Aliki-Vaia Siousti

Maria Louizou is a Greek sculptor, born and based in Athens. Her artistic practice connects the sculptural form with expressive performative vocal compositions she creates herself. She studied sculpture at the Athens School of Fine Arts and theory of composition of classical and electronic music at the Athens Conservatoire. In 2020 she received the Artworks Award by Stavros Niarchos Foundation, while her research entitled The Body in Contemporary Sculpture, Greek Tradition, and Polyphonic Composition was funded the same year by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, YPOA. In 2019, her work was presented in New York at the annual Tabula Rasa exhibition under the artistic direction of Robert Wilson, as well as in Beijing, where she won the China Taiyuan International Youth Metal Sculpture Creations Award 2018.

Her work has also been presented in group exhibitions AthenSYN II, Gallery Steinzeit, Berlin (2022), Rebetiko, The National Gallery, Athens (2022), Theorimata, The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens—EMST(2018). In 2019 her first solo exhibition 22°C took place in Rome, at the Sinestetica Gallery, whereas her second solo Six Breaths per Minute was presented at the Ileana Tounta Contemporary Art Center in Athens in 2021. Louizou was part of a collaborative project with Columbia University and the Victoria Square Project Group as an artist in residence in 2021. In 2022, she was a fellow of the artist-in-residence programs at The Watermill Center, New York, Atelier des Arques, Les Arques, as well as Delfina Foundation, London.

Credit foto: Gerasimou Pinelopi

*Wednesday – Thursday: 13:00 – 20:00 (by appointment at +40 (744) 774 724, valid only for organized groups)

This project is part of the national cultural programme "Timișoara – European Capital of Culture in the year 2023" and is funded by the City of Timișoara, through the Center for Projects.

Part of

Encounters For Sculpture

Encounters For Sculpture