Marianna Simnett is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist who works with video, sculpture, installation, drawing, watercolor and performance. Her initial training as a musician is reflected in the media-based work, which often turns out to be a sensorial experience due to its vivid sound. Marianna’s work is centered around fable-like storytelling, often blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Her films are focused on the perception of the body as a site of transformation, including elements like animals, children, organs, milk, blood, or human characters often performed by the artist herself. The installations are intimate and visceral, embarking the public on a surreal and uncomfortable journey.
Simnett has gained international attention and her work has been shown in many museums and galleries including Julia Stoschek Collection (2021), the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane (2020), Kunsthalle Zürich (2019), Copenhagen Contemporary (2019), Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, (2019), New Museum in New York (2018) and Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2018), among others. Currently she’s part of the Venice Biennale central exhibition, curated by Cecilia Alemani, with a video installation called The Severed Tail.
In order to give you a bit more insight into Marianna’s life and career, we invited her to answer a few questions:
When and why did you decide to become an artist?
When I was three, it freed me from home life.
Art became my superpower, my best friend and my savior.
How would you define your relationship with music?
I have played music since I was five, and it continues to be integral to my life and art practice. Playing the alto flute during lockdown helped me to breathe deeply through difficult moments. No matter what the situation, I always feel better after playing. I make playlists for all my projects. Music helps me to identify things I can’t put into words.
Tell me how you’ve developed your art career so far?
Through perseverance, by going to the furthermost limits, by having something to say, by being honest and by caring about the people around me.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
What is your favorite medium to work with and why?
I can’t choose. Film for its unpredictability and collaboration, watercolor for its chance and fluidity, performance for my inner thespian, sculpture to feed my need for curvature and form, music for purity.
Text by Maria Nitulescu