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Artist: Maria Burns

Growing up within a generation having to face the idea that there is no God led me to create the piece entitled VAKUUM. So far, I have not found a substitute that might fill the void left behind by the absence of a God. It is a vacuum that most don’t even identify with nor understand, yet frenetically try to fill with the help of modern technology, using electronic gadgets or social media to provide a sort of satisfaction through instant gratification. In 1882, Nietzsche declared that “God is Dead” at a time when no one was ready to hear it. Some may be able to relate to it today, and I wonder how they handle the challenge of being human. Nietzsche saw the challenge of being human in the following way. He spoke of the human condition as being “zwischen Tier und Übermensch”, that is being between animal and superman. And the challenge of the human condition is: What do you make out of your endowment as an animal and how far can you go towards the journey of becoming god? This question is the structural backbone of the video. An animal led by his drives, will simply follow the drawings of life. A human, however, is capable of fighting life. A human has the capacity to think for himself and now that God is dead, no longer needs to live according to values that are not his. A human now can become the creator of his own values.

Born and raised in Switzerland, Maria Burns completed her sensible study of psychology at Berne University before moving to Brooklyn to pursue photography. While studying at the International Center of Photography in NYC, Maria began exploring human nature through image. Maria found her niche combining her newfound art with her love of psychology, creating work that attempts to understand how modern social dogmas affect perception and behavior. With her first short film, TENDANCE BRUTE, followed by others, Maria brings her defined aesthetic sense into the motion world.

Vakuum was Screened at VAEFF 2017 as part of On The Margins program 

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