After the C24 digital residency in 2021, Johanna Invrea and MaggZ continued collaborating and worked on a performance featuring MaggZ wearing and interacting with one of Johanna’s past creations, “The Armor.” Inspired by the armors of Vikings and Amazonian warriors and thus weighing around 25 kilograms, the wearable ceramic armor sits between fashion design and sculpture and explores the influence of body armor on balance and movement.
This performance marks the beginning of a long-term collaboration between the two artists. Wanting to evolve the project further, the duo has worked on a striking series of visuals encompassing CGI, photography, performance, and sculpture. “What motivates me is to create a heroic body that depicts a surreal reality and goes beyond its physical nature,” Johanna tells C24. Allowing the viewer to identify with the figure in the series, “The Armor” covers only parts of MaggZ’s body, such as her head and arms, alluding to the fragility of the human body in contrast to the heavy, rigid material of the body armor. By adding 3D elements to and modifying the environment, the series plays with the friction between technology, humans, and nature.
“Working with Johanna has been such a pleasure, everytime I’m more mesmerized by her talent, passion, and kindness. Her take on the physical and virtual body of works is uniquely situated in her upbringing and background, further polished by her skills in makings in-real-life and digitally. Our collaboration has been an inspiring change and learning on my relationship with bodily and virtual experiences,” MaggZ reflects.
Since taking an optional class in cinema during her studies in Industrial Design, Johanna has been fascinated by video and animation and started experimenting with the medium in her spare time. The relationship between the body and its environment has been a reoccurring theme in her research and work. Playing with various forms of creative expression, such as CGI, photography, and collages, the Italy-based visual artist pushes the boundaries between the analog and the digital, reality and fiction. This research led her to create the film “Strata Trip” in 2023, a surrealist, dream-like exploration of the Italian landscape.
For MaggZ, the past five months have been “filled with curiosities, learning, releasing, and accepting.” Next to her upcoming international tour from June to October 2023, where she will be visiting ten different locations in Canada, the United States, and Europe, the Melbourne-based movement artist, creative director, and producer has been working on two major projects this year, “World +” and “New Reality.” “World +” is her final curation as a producer in residence at Next Wave, a series of conversations, development, and in-person events aiming to reimagine and reconceptualize the notion of “battles” within the street dance culture based in Naarm. The second project, “New Reality,” is a multi-sensory futurist hybrid performance at the Immigration Museum in Melbourne. The project calls attention to the diverse immigrant experiences in so-called “Australia” and re-examines shame-based cultural identification under white supremacist societal norms in the West. The large-scale exhibition has been 18 months in the works and will launch in November 2023.