Experimental filmmaker

Maria Klonaris

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Klonaris studied fine arts at the National School of Fine Arts Athens, English literature at the University of Athens, egyptology at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, experimental film, art history and philosophy of art at the University Paris I, Sorbonne, computer graphics at the National School of Decorative Arts, Paris.

Based in Paris since 1975, Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki, filmmakers, visual artists and theorists of Greek origin are the co-authors of an interdisciplinary œuvre which comprises more than a hundred works and is structured in cycles — La Tétralogie Corporelle (The Body Tetralogy, 1975-1979), Le Cycle de l’Unheimlich (The Cycle of the Uncanny, 1977-1982), La Série Portraits (The Portrait Series, 1979-1992), Le Cycle des Hermaphrodites (The Cycle of the Hermaphrodites, 1982-1990), Le Rêve d’Electra (Electra’s Dream, 1983-1990), Le Cycle de l’Ange (The Angel Cycle, 1985—), Les Jumeaux (The Twins, 1995-2000). They have also co-authored an important body of publications.

Widely recognised, the artists’ pioneering work has been showcased internationally (MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, National Gallery of Art Washington, Cinémathèque française, British Film Institute, Kunsthalle Wien, Fo­ndation Joan Miro, Barcelona, Benaki Museum and Onassis Foundation, Athens, Museum of Contemporary Art Taipei…) and is studied by researchers from a broad range of academic fields. The Museum Jeu de Paume in Paris recently presented the retrospective Klonaris/Thomadaki, Manifeste : Le Cinéma Corporel. 

As cultural activists, Maria Klonaris and Katerina Thomadaki curated the three seasons of the quadrennial Rencontres Internationales Art cinéma/vidéo/ordinateur and co-edited the booksTechnologies et imaginaires (Technologies and Imagination, Dis/voir, 1990), Mutations de l’image (Image Mutations, A.S.T.A.R.T.I., 1994) and Pour une écologie des médias  (Towards a Media Ecology, A.S.T.A.R.T.I., 1998).

Their works are part of various state collections (Centre Pompidou, Fonds national d’art contemporain…), their films are restored and preserved by the Archives Françaises du film / CNC, their texts and audiovisual documents are assembled in the Klonaris/Thomadaki Archive at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and their broadcasting creations are part of the archives at Institut National de l’Audiovisuel.

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