Maria BelovaInterdisciplinary Artist


Upcoming Shows:


Group show at Deichtorhallen Hamburg Falckenberg Collection (DE)
27 April–15 September 2024

In the gaudy and colorful installations by Austrian duo Jakob Lena Knebl and Ashley Hans Scheirl, nothing is as it seems: in a mix of fashion, painting, sculpture, photography and film, they create walk-in, seductive worlds in the aesthetic of the 1970s that captivate visitors.

The exhibition will be complemented by works by students from Prof. Angela Bulloch's Time Based Media class at the HFBK and works by students from Jakob Lena Knebl's Transmedia Art class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In addition, works selected by the artists from the Falckenberg Collection will be on display.

About Maria Belova is an interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. After earning a BA in linguistics in Moscow, Belova moved to Austria where she subsequently started her artistic practice. She has studied Transmedia-and Fine Arts in Vienna (prof. Brigitte Kowanz, Jakob Lena Knebl, University for Applied Arts) and London (Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts). Recent exhibitions and contributions took place at Kunsthalle Vienna, das weisse haus, Council Memorial Church (Konzilsgedächtniskirche), Phileas Projects, Georg Kargl Parmanent as well as through multiple performances and interventions in public spaces.

Maria’s multifaceted practice reveals a blend of performance and objecthood, where the two are in a constant state of dialogue and exchange. It is predicated on her ability to make the invisible visible, to give form to the formless, and voice to the silent. Her works, imbued with a sense of absence, explore human desire for connection and transcendence, as well as the power structures that shape and constrain those aspirations.

Education Transmedia Art (Brigitte Kowanz, Jakob Lena Knebl), University for Applied Arts Vienna, 2020–now
Fine Art (Mary Evans), Chelsea College - University of the Arts London, 2023

Art Photography (Anja Manfredi), Schule Friedl Kubelka Wien, with the teaching contributions by Elfie Semotan, Josephine Pryde, Timm Rautert & others, 2019–2020

Selected exhibitions & PerformancesPASSAGE, Falckenberg Collection Deichtorhallen Hamburg (DE), Opening: 26 April 2024
Villa Mautner Jäger, Vienna, Opening: 30 April 2024
Interspace, Galeria WY, Łódź (PL), 2024
ReA! Art Fair, Milan (IT), 2023
Figures of Imagination. Trans..., Georg Kargl Permanent, Vienna, 2022
Soft Machine, Phileas – The Austrian Office for Contemporary Art, Vienna, curated by Jakob Lena Knebl, 2022
Anti–Anti–Anti: de-visibility, unbiased biases and friends, Angewandte Festival, Vienna, curated by Mauricio Ianes de Moraes, 2022
Get It While You Can!, Never At Home, Vienna, co-curated by Maria Belova, 2022
Search for Your People, performative action with Mariya Vasilyeva, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, 2022
A shop is a shop is a shopbeta. Conceptual store, Kunsthalle, Vienna, curated by Klaus Speidel, 2022
Maria Belova: Unspoken, solo show in Konzilgedächtniskirche, Vienna, curated by Gustav Schörghofer SJ, 2021
The 8th Catholic Arts Biennial, The Verostko Center for the Arts, PA (USA), 2021
REALITY, Kunstsalon FLUC, Vienna, curated by Anna Zwingl & Brigitte Kowanz, 2021
Stille Räume, das Weisse Haus, Vienna, curated by Itai Margula, 2020
Bingo!, performative solo intervention, Belvedere 21, Vienna, 2020
Net Works, with Darja Shatalova, Kara Agora European Art & Research Center, online, curated by Julia Hartmann, 2020
Ya I Ona, performance with Darja Shatalova, in the framework of Question Me & Answer, Improper Walls, Vienna, curated by Smaranda Krings, Osama Zatar & Justina Speirokaite, 2019

Cooperation & ProjectsDigital Communications & Branding, viennacontemporary, 2021–now
Freelance art documentation & Content creator (with viennacontemporary, Phileas, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN gallery, das weisse haus, Question Me & Answer, Improper Walls gallery, festival, multiple individual artists), 2020–now
Co-Curator, Get It While You Can!, Never At Home, Vienna (with Ganaël Dumreicher, Isolar Mesec, Felix Schellhorn, Marlene Stahl, Iris Writze), 2022

PR & Communications Responsible, A shop is a shop is a shopbeta. Conceptual store, Kunsthalle, Vienna, 2022

Watch Over Me, 2020

Street art project in Moscow
Stickers. 10x10cm

Documentation by the artist.

In traditional Russian society (later destroyed in the 20th century), icons – sacred images used in orthodox Christian devotion – were essential for every family. They were commonly situated in the corner of the room and due to the talent of their painter, those in the household would be constantly followed by the eyes of the painting’s subject throughout their daily activities. This fully corresponded to how religious consciousness was depicted at the time: a belief that something hidden from view, which has the right and power to punish for misconduct, was always watching. Thus, such icons appeared as a peculiar but effective moral regulator, encouraging socially responsible behaviour.

With industrialisation, religious consciousness then collapsed. People took power from religious institutions and transferred it to governmental ‘special services’. The need arose to apply other methods of legitimizing power which became now bureaucratic-administrative, one of them being ubiquitous surveillance. Today, introducing CCTVs into urban environments is named one of the most plausible explanations of the ‘great crime drop’. Urban environments became safer and inhabitants acted for the benefit of each other; but the freedom as we perceived in the 20th century, became lost. Overall non-loneliness, universal visibility and the fragility of human ethical choices: those are the subjects the artist raises with her work.