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Interview with Martha Gogakou, creator of “Dharmadhatu”

Dharmadhatu.
(Courtesy of Martha Gogakou.)

“You are my universe.” is the line that touched me the most in the 16-minute short film by Martha Gogakou, Dharmadhatu. I first saw the piece at the 2021 New Media Film Festival® and enjoyed talking to its creator last weekend.

Born in Thessaloniki, Greece, Martha Gogakou has an impressive CV. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University in London on the Thames, an MA in Audio and Visual Arts from Ionian University and currently holds a PhD. candidate at the department of audio and visual arts of the Ionian University. She specializes in digital drawing, experimental video art, live film performance and drawing in front of a live audience.

“Being an artist is my way of understanding the world around me.” She tells me via Zoom from Greece, 7 hours ahead of my time zone. It’s 10 a.m. where I am and 5 p.m. where she is. “It’s the only way to identify myself and not lose my identity.”

Gogakou described the New Media Film Festival® as being similar to the famous Parisian café Le Chat Noir. “[It’s a place] where famous artists and scientists met and exchanged views on art and science. about art and exchanging opinions on new media and technologies. “Find out more about the New Media Film Festival® at newmediafilmfestival.com. (If you’re a creative, there is still time to participate in the 2022 festival.)

Dharmadhatu was inspired by the origins of the universe and her love of the microcosm. The piece explores and questions the extent to which human perception is objective through non-pictorial art and storytelling. “Dharmadhatu means” sperm of life “in Hindu. It is the journey of existence, mainly before and not after the soul enters the body.” She said to me: “Like Rig-Veda mention, everything that exists in this world, the entire universe, is in us. All we have to do is search inside for the answers we are looking for. It is also the central axis of my story. Visually, it’s cosmogony, framed by images with vivid and intense colors in abstract landscapes. The images of rivers, trees, animals were created from the flow of liquid colors on the canvas. Gogakou tells me that making the film has taught him to let go of control of the art and, instead, to enjoy the journey of creation.

She continued, “My love for the microcosm and for what is happening on such a small scale has led me to create a very small canvas in which we can see a whole new universe. With this work of art, it is like saying to my viewers: Hey! Let me take you by the hand and look through that keyhole! Behind that keyhole, the whole universe is hidden!

When asked if she had a quote that she lived she referred to Nikola Tesla: “My brain is just a receptor, in the Universe there is a nucleus from which we get knowledge, strength and inspiration. I haven’t penetrated the secrets of this core, but I know it exists. “With that in mind, Gogakou remarked,” Inspired by Tesla’s quote, I would like to note that an artist should not try to follow modern art or whatever is in fashion, but rather try to be the means by which the core can express itself. This is something that no one can teach us to do, but if we seek to l ‘Within ourselves we may be able to find the core, the one that is the same as the core of the universe.

Currently, she is working on her new series of Cosmogony videos (available on her YouTube channel, link below), as well as live drawings in theaters or festivals. For these performances, it uses the same technique as that seen in Dharmadhatu. The drawing is shown to the public using a projector and music; called “optical meditation”. To verify Dharmadhatu on Youtube (here), and discover more of Gogakou’s work on his YouTube channel (here) and its website, marthagogakou.com.