Marta Klara is a self-professed artist, filmmaker, and funeral director.
By Emma Moneuse.
Next in the spotlight for Mission’s Sarabande series is multi-disciplinary artist Marta Klara, who merges art with technology by contrasting physical objects against the digital realm. Klara is one of the artists in residence at Sarabande, a charity founded by the late Lee Alexander McQueen.
Klara was selected to join the Sarabande Foundation after she received her degree in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins University and describes the organization as a “creative biome.” Klara’s current project focuses on what she calls “prehistoric futurism,” whereby she brings elements of the past into the future through virtual reality. “I have been developing a future-oriented project. My storytelling suggests an eclectic union between vanishing rituals of the past and the future of parallel universes,” Klara explains over email to Mission.
Klara sums herself up as “the fusion of an artist, a filmmaker, and a funeral director.” She explains that she is interested in rites of passage, a topic Klara was so consumed by that she worked for a year in a funeral home. But the matter is more tangibly addressed through her creation of virtual worlds. She quotes Francis Bacon, “the job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.” “I am not aiming for one specific message. I want people to live a one-of-a-kind experience,” she adds.
Klara’s work is experiential. Her website opens with a film of a young girl climbing up the edge of a cliff, video camera in hand, where a goddess-like entity cleanses her with a liquid that transforms her into a new person. The film symbolizes all that Klara is— an artist working to expand the human experience through virtual possibilities.
For Klara, the virtual world is full of power, only beginning to be unleashed. “The ongoing research sharpens my curiosity. I see the importance of being a kind of birth doula while this technology settles in the world,” she says. “When telephone engineers designed the first loudspeaker, it changed culture irreversibly. While TV did not kill theater, it changed it. Cinema is not killed by video games; it is changed by them.” In that sense, Klara is an artist working to help VR reach its potential, an explorer on the edge of something new.
All images courtesy of Marta Klara