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Marik is killing fears

Photo credits: Rudolf Van Der Ven

Photograph by Rudolf van der Ven

"MaRik is killing the fears" by Maria Pappa, ***English Translation***

2 months ago 6 min read 182 Shares

Find the article of Maria Pappa at ΓΚΡΕΚΑ for the interactive installation "Kill fears" in Athens, Greece. Original interview in Greek,

The artist Maria Kontogiorgou (MaRik) explains what is "Kill fears ®", the interactive large-scale installation that will be presented to “Romantso” on October 26th.

Amsterdam based MaRik, a designer of innovative products, software and applications, illustrates original ideas and blends new technologies with traditional media to test new ways of visual expression. Along with her personal work as an artist, she creates digital applications on behalf of companies such as Coca-Cola, Intel, H & M, Jaguar, Hilton among others. Her work has exhibited in places such as The Royal Academy of Music (London), Concert Hall (Athens), Expo2005 (Japan), Olympic Games 2004 (Athens), Arbet (Luxembourg). She describes herself as a "hunter of freedom and hostage of the dream". We asked her to talk about her latest project about “fear” that she calls "Kill fears ®" and the important message behind it.

What is "Kill fears ®"?

"Kill fears ®" is a project that started in 2012 with the creation of the book "Kill it or it will kill you" and attempts to give its lights to people suffering from panic attacks. The overall goal of the project is to create a smooth ground for people suffering from panic attacks or other forms of fear to overcome them and get rid of the unpleasant feeling of rejection or marginalisation by their environment. Killfears, places the viewer in the core of a thinking process in a direct and entertaining way, to help him gain self-awareness and evolutionary spiritual development.

How did you think about this project?

Myself I have experienced the unpleasant feeling of fear through the form of a panic attack at an early age as a consequence of PTSD post-traumatic stress and I have overcome this myself by using imagination and logic as weapons. I visualized my fears and designed a strategy to trap them. I gave to myself superpowers so that I would be prepared when they attacked me (fears) - because that's how the panic crisis works, comes whenever she wants it, wants to find you unprepared and to terrify you, to trap your mind and soul - Oh yes, trust me on this one… - it is very unpleasant to think that you may die because you entered the aeroplane or the metro or because you lie down on your bed. I do not like at all to be trapped, not even by my own creations, so I decided to tackle my problem by setting up a strategy. I’ve created a "battlefield" ground and instead of me being scared by my fears, I would scare them and try to get rid of them for good. I reversed the roles. 'So it happened. I suggest a solution that I know that works. It worked with me and with many others who tried it. From a slave to fear I became again a free person, and the method has shown how it helps in dealing with fear, as well as a source of inspiration for freedom. Our truth (what we really are) is the goal of prosperity and liberation of the man, but unfortunately, they do not all stand up for themselves (but this is another debate). Of course, I should mention that the method of visualisation of fear I propose is a manual of fear intervention and in no way replaces the advice of mental health specialists, but it creates a complementary tool.

Was it difficult to get it done?

It's hard to beat the fear, to fight with your darkness, you feel like you're sinking and approaching the abyss, but fortunately, in my case, I brought a handful of sand back. If you manage and defeat your own destructive thought, then there is nothing that can stop you from following the light. By "light" I refer to the creation and total satisfaction of being as a person. The "Kill fears ®" project and the creation of the book "Kill it or it will kill you" took place some years later and is a spontaneous explosion of visualization of the subject we are discussing.

What resonance does it have?

So far very positive, from a wide range of audiences. According to psychologists experts, Kill it or it will kill you, the manual that the installation is based, approaches the fear from the point of view of the "sufferer" rather than the "expert" side. The project speaks with a voice describing the anxiety of the person suffering from panic attacks with a great dose of humour, thus creating a normalisation of the condition rather than dramatising it.

What should the viewer do during the installation?

The viewer is invited not to remain a mere viewer, but to become the creator. We co-create in an environment of thoughts and emotions to entertain and challenge the mind. The viewer / co-creator of "Killfears" is authentic in thought and comes in good faith to find that he is not alone. So what will anyone see at “Romantso”? The interactive installation is an exposure to the walls from large-scale designs and white space for the visitor to express himself. Drawings and messages invite him to share his thoughts and anxieties by writing or drawing with markers as a continuation, evolution of the writer's thoughts. The visitor, a vital part of the creation of "Killfears", participates in a puzzle of fears and anxieties, seeking redemption.

Can you kill your fears?

Of course, you can if you really want that. But you have to be free, or love freedom, which means you have to deal with your truth. What you truly are and not what you think you are or what others would like you to be. Embrace what you are and be authentic. Of course, it is not easy, but it is feasible. If personal serenity was easy, we would all be happy! right? But many are the ones who enjoy their fearful existence because it builds a drama and drama is what gives them a pleasure as it triggers intense feelings (and negatives can be much more intense than the positive ones) - so they feel alive. This option seems less painful (at least temporarily, than exploring the truth). These people “live their drama”.

What's the best thing you've heard about this project? And the oddest?

The best I've heard is that some people have changed their lives for the better and helped them get to rid of their fears. The most bizarre that I’ve heard is why a "happy" person like me writes about something so "dark". The answer is that I'm happy just because I faced the darkness.

Kill it or it will kill you

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