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MARIE CIVIKOV (1979)
Marie Civikov (NL 1979) graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam in 2002 in the direction of autonomous visual art. Civikov's work includes paintings and, more recently, installations, videos and performances. Since 2017, in addition to her individual practice, she has been working with Voin de Voin, with whom she also runs Æther Haga, an independent art space in The Hague, related to Æther Sofia (run by Voin de Voin).
Her work has been shown a.o. at TENT Rotterdam, De Kunsthal Rotterdam, Galerie Nouvelles Images The Hague, The Royal Palace Amsterdam, The Triennial for Graphic Arts in Novosibirsk, Kunstgebäude Stuttgart, Sofia City Art Gallery. Civikov has been awarded The Royal Award for Modern Painting (2011) and the Buning Brongers Award (2004). Her work is generously supported by Stroom The Hague and The Mondriaan Fund Amsterdam (2016-2020).
The core of the disciplines in my work is painting. At the same time, it’s a medium I use as a component with a defining role within the performances and videos I make, mostly in collaboration with Voin de Voin. Our joint work originated from a link we found in our family histories and is part of the substantive deepening I seek by relating my personal background to ethical issues of origin, history, ethnicity and family ties. An important element within the transformation of my paintings I’m currently working on, is the 80-year-old Singer sewing machine from my grandmother's inheritance. Every piece stitched together with this Singer sewing machine has indirectly passed through my grandmother's fingers and thus through the fingers of the generations of mothers who came before her.
That in this way, my paintings like a shell from the past, transform into a skin that I can wear, is a development within my work that is completely in line with the desire to make my family history my own and to pass on a story that doesn’t stand on its own, but to which ultimately every person can connect in their own way.
In the period of 15 years that preceded this, my work consisted for the greater part of large figurative paintings of scenes from contemporary life and the more extreme forms of the commercialisation of existence in relation to aspects such as religion, security, social control and deprivation. This was followed by a phase in which my paintings were mainly concerned with humanistic questions in a surrealist-like setting in which "ordinary" figuration was alternated with abstract components in nearly irradiated bright color schemes. These subjects, which relate to today’s Western society with its social codes, rules and rituals, have always had my interest and played a role in my work.
What has gradually changed is that where I used to approach the subject from a greater distance, I now make a translation from a more personal perspective, through my own, but above all a shared history. The combination of opposites between the tangible and metaphysical to which I am attracted and which I like to play with in my work, I incorporate in this."