Maria Mavropoulou

Maria Mavropoulou’s multimedia project Family Portraits (2017-ongoing) originated as part of a quest to understand the new, emerging realities created by the ubiquitous connectible devices we use. Presented here are a series of photographs that depict interior domestic spaces devoid of people, with a focus on the screens they own, as well as a triptych, Holy Trinity (2018), images of a smartphone, tablet and laptop, the three bastions of contemporary communication, work and entertainment. All together, the works reflect on the influence these apparatus have had on how we experience the world and how we interact with those around us. These screens have fundamentally changed our lives; from the simplest task to the way we perceive the world around us. They guide us through the real world, answer our questions and keep us company day and night. They also re-define our social and amorous relationships and determine new ways to engage in them. Acknowledging these facts prompted Mavropoulou to look at these devices from a different perspective: as a series of “family portraits” of them, in which the subject/object relation is reversed. Within the domestic scenery of our everyday private lives, this multitude of glowing immersive ‘gates’ promises limitless possibilities. Information, entertainment, human connection and more are available anywhere and anytime, breaking the physical bond with the reality that surrounds us. Never before has communication been so easy. Social networks and countless applications serve our need for human interaction, but could it be that we have achieved the opposite? Have these apparatus made us wiser or have they just created a multidimensional mirror of ourselves where we mostly seek out our own reflection? Have these ‘’extensions of our hands’’ facilitated new and meaningful experiences and relationships, or have they simply replaced our best friends, family or even lovers? Family Portraits prompts us to think about all these questions.

Maria Mavropoulou