Maelstrom / Graduation Project (2021)

The maelstrom is a natural disaster. A whirlpool in the ocean, which pulls every object, human or creature of the sea, down to the bottom. It maintains its existence through constant movement; swirling and relentlessly moving water, spiraling down into the sea.

The title Maelstrom symbolizes the overwhelming feeling of being out of control; as the spiraling water is so powerful, there is no use in resisting its movement. Only in surrendering; going down with the elements and everything else that gets caught in its movement. Hoping for the best, while the water pushes and pulls relentlessly. The creation of this environment is my attempt of surrendering to the inevitable movements around me. And hence partly, letting go of my necessity of control and trusting my artistic intuition. It is an attempt to break to more freedom.

The title was inspired by the short story of Edgar Allan Poe; A Descent Into The Maelström (1841). In the story, two brothers are caught by the overwhelming movement of the enormous whirlpool; one surrenders, while the other fights its movement.

Maelstrom; floor piece (2021)

The floor was site specifically created and entailed an endless and intuitive process of placing squares of cut-out burlap on the floor, after dipping them in plaster. I connected the pieces one by one, which resulted in a sculptural intervention in space.

Some visitors were unsure if they were allowed to walk through the space. At the times I was there, my permission to enter was asked frequently. The floor seemed fragile, breakable even. But there is a beauty in the hesitancy of people to surrender at first, the doubt to start walking. As after entering, doubt is replaced by curiosity. Each step becomes conscious; the floor creaks and cracks, shoes leave spots.. An inevitable transformation is set in-motion, as a consequence of these visitors. It is almost as if the floor wants them to give something back. Their own traces and conscious steps.

This is something that has always been important in my artistic practice; questioning how to create an experience that is immersive, in the sense that every visitor has the possibility to contribute to the existence and transformation of an artwork.


Claudia Moraru

July 2021

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