Areas of Maria Crispal’s research include the mysteries of femininity, whose archetypes are revisited with an imaginative reflection on the role of new communication technologies in society, by means of a global ancestral theory developed through ritual performances involving the audience, which blend various cultures.
As a performer, she interprets the deified icon of the “web machine” perceived, in her characteristic processes, as the surrogate of the “cosmic machine” and, simultaneously, the “Great Mother”, represented in every era and culture with diverse but similar female imagery (Shakti, Mary, Isis, Juno, Demeter, Ceres, Maya, Mother-God, Io, Stella Maris, Adonia, Insoberta, Rhea, Cybele, Tonantzin…). Hence the coining of the idiom that presents her as the Connective Icon.
Maria Crispal redraws female icons in world cultures with the aim of presenting the image of woman in a continuous transmutation in which the id regains its complexity and is freely integrated. The gold of the throne as an unassailable sacred space is a repeated element of dialogue, and her icons descend from thrones, calling into question their role in history and their image, immobilised by time and by untouchable canons, becoming connective fluids.
Her art highlights certain aspects of the postmodern and post-human era, such as the synergy between technological advancement and the return of archaic forms, human hybridisation and the feminisation of society, a prerogative that belongs to everyone, not only women, and calls into question the theocratic and patriarchal model.
Her performances, often connected with people through both real and virtual reality, are an expression of today’s society, evidenced by the new forms of web communication and restoring woman’s throne and her role as sovereign cognitive mediator and connective icon for the people. The symbolic act of sharing the body is multiplied by the communication methods of today’s society, leading almost to a secular and shared “eucharistic” experience.
The artist’s body is always in communication with the exhibition spaces, which are interpreted in a symbolic fashion.
Moreover, her performances are emphasised by incisive phrases uttered in resonant vocalisations described with the neologism slogong (slogan + song/gong); their tone seductive as a siren’s song and annoying as an alarm clock. The slogongs mix popular texts with slogans invented by the artist and seemingly nonsensical, incorporating current socio-political issues and returning the performance to its roots as a declamation of poetry.
The first slogong was officially presented for Ted Riederer’s Never Records project at the 2010 Liverpool Biennale.
With regard to this key period for Maria Crispal, the role of performer-artist gains particular importance as it places her in a dimension that showcases her acting skills. Her performing body is not only a paradigm of the social body, but of the body of the world itself, of Mother Earth.
In her performances, she presents her body as a connective icon, a neutral space able to encompass and transfer “subtle bodies”, mimicking the process of insemination – gestation – birth, from the unbridled sexual act to enraptured motherhood.
The capacity to receive is exchanged for the gift, and vice versa.
Maria Crispal’s iconic body is also conveyed through gadgets, logos, drawings and stories, abstracting artistic thought in favour of mythical imagination.
In 2007 Maria Crispal exhibited a performance piece including an encounter with Derrick de Kerckhove, and since then her actions have contained the concept of introduction.
Her art blends with the research of art networks, founded in particular with the artist Giuseppe Stampone, which attracted well-known professionals like Derrick de Kerckhove, expert in international mass media and head of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology in Toronto.
In conjunction with these, she uses her relational art to create special projects – a mix of art and education – to address social issues in various parts of the world, with the involvement of private and public institutions. Her presence is accommodated in various places in international spaces dubbed “neo-dimensional”.