If sugar, spice and everything nice does a girl make, Daria Marchik opted to create herself a candy colored, plastic, glitter cake to jump out of.

Dame Marchik's (aka DAM) world to her is hyperactive, saturated with color, excitingly risqué and quite utterly fantastical. She stands there directing two professional arsonists, the man of silver Lamé and a human sized lipstick. Blink thrice and you'll find she’s already collected a new character to add to her unfolding story. Cock your head to hear more and she’s disappeared - engulfed by an supportive, eclectic ensemble. One can not help but desire to join her on an adventure even if it is for just an evening performance.
We had crossed paths in Kiev but it was in Berlin that Marchik wrote the role she planned me to play. I hosted the performance she ran void of inhibitions or rules.

From afar, I watched with growing curiosity. This experienced debutant of pseudo reality gave her innocent, sincere, genuine self to every stranger looking. It was not an act.

An Interview with 
by Leah Stuhltrager

DAM \DAM\ (D[A^]M), N. 
[OE. dame mistress, lady; dam. See {Dame}.]
A female parent; used of beasts, especially of quadrupeds; sometimes applied in contempt to a human mother.  (Source: Daria Machik.)

Dame [dAm, deɪm] n.
Courtesy title for a woman in authority or a mistress of a household; married woman; matron; matronly or elderly woman; nun who has taken the vows of her order, esp a Benedictine; wife or widow of a knight title of woman who has been awarded the Order of the British Empire or any of certain other orders of chivalry. 

DS: You are a woman of the world with your hands in projects across Europe. What keeps you returning to Berlin?

DM: Berlin is an epicenter for creative minds detached from other regions - utopia and Bermuda Triangle of Art combined. It is my BERLOPIA ® - a lively, imaginary world seen and experienced by very few adventurous souls.

BERLOPIA is an art performance that portrays feminine subjects as forbidden fruit, taboo, gestures and inanimate ideals. This work explores concepts of  identity through photography, dance, theater  and costumes. It is Marchik's homage to Burlesque performance artists of Berlin.

DS: You have several aliases that you create under: Daria Marchik: DAMTATIC, DAM, DAMES. What do these personas mean to you as the artist embodying them?

DM: DAMTATAC is a Label created with costume designer Tata Christiane that redefines “Grotesque-wear”. DAMTATAC encapsulates indulgence and exploration . The works in this series is a a pure amalgamation of Berlin's androgynous core and deviant sexuality, Huxley's future and tribal rituals, the dark cover of night and neon light, live performance and impromptu encounter; physical and metaphysical human nature.

DM: DAMES is a project in Berlin introduced to embrace the androgyny of the Burlesque world, the DAMsels in Distress.

Pictured: "Masques" from "VARIATION CHAMANES", 

DS: How would you describe the aesthetic uniting your photography, design, performances and style?

DM: Grotesque.

DS: The projects place you – be it your face in photos, your body center stage or your voice directing – physically in works that require an ensemble of others to produce. How do you see the role of other artists (models, designers, video artists, dancers, musicians) in your art?

DM: The performances are staged based on the inner creativity of each Berliner.

"DAMTATAC" by DARIA MARCHIK & TATA CHRISTIANE, 2011. Photo by: D. Marchik.

DS: Do you see your tangible art as a separate entity than the performance art you create?

DM: Photography, Visual Art, Costume Design - they are all elements of Performance Art.

"AEROSPY" by DARIA MARCHIK, 2010. Performance by: Roman Ermakov.

DS: How is the business of professional photography different than staging a performance piece?

DM: Photography is a moment in time. Performance is an even shorter lapse to which only the live show holds true.

"AEROSPY" by DARIA MARCHIK, 2010. Performance by:Roman Ermakov.
DS: Fashion has always been a pivotal aspect of your identity as an artist and art. Last month you premiered a series of wearable art. What are your plans for this body of work and direction?

DM: Costume Design has always been a part of staging the DAM Photography, Video Art and Performance projects. The DAMTATAC Label was created to document and recapture the methods.

DS: What impression do you leave with those who see your work? Is it the same impression you wish to leave once you exit a room?

DM: __________________________________________________ .

"DARIA MARCHIK" photographed by Valquire Veljkovic, 2011.

Daria Marchik has directed performances / exhibited at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Chelsea Museum in NYC, State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Gogol Festival in Kiev, and had solo multimedia projects in esteemed, international galleries and fairs. Interlacing being a visual artist, photographer and director Marchik has created a role, entity and persona all her own under the moniker “DAM” or “DAMES”. (www.DariaMarchik.com)


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