Mara Palena: Oikeiôsis – A study on introspection

  • Photography  Mara Palena
  • Words  Max Barnett

Memory is imperfect; indistinct and hazy images of the past permeate our minds. On the one hand, memory is something so powerful, and on the other fragile. Our memories of the past erode over time and our minds fill in the blanks with evermore elaborate or mundane connectives. Our memories rule our perceptions of the lives we lead and help us to build an understanding of our character, and these concepts collide beautifully in Oikeiôsis – A study on introspection, an on-going life long project by Mara Palena.

Palena is currently preparing to open her first solo show at Pananti Atelier, the Milanese headquarters of the historic Florentine auction house Pananti (the private view will take place on January 16th, you can rsvp at

Since first working with Palena as a contributor for PYLOT issue 02, 07, 08, and subsequently as our graphic designer of issues 09, and 10, she has become one of our favourite working artists at the moment. Her approach is multilayered and engaging, and her talents far-reaching. If you find yourself in Milan in the coming month, take some time to visit what is set to be a memorable exhibition.

You can see Oikeiôsis at Pananti Atelierfrom January 17th – February 17th 2020. This exhibition was brought together by Mara Palena, curated by Twenty14contemporary, and supported by Pananti Casa d’Aste. To find out more details about this exhibition please click here.

Oikeiôsis (from the Greek οἰκείωσις) is a term introduced by the Stoic philosophers (ca. 300BC) to indicate the realisation, the ultimate goal of living beings. According to the Stoics, it is the knowledge of the self, through the synaesthesis, or internal perception.

Oikeiôsis was originally featured as a cover story for PYLOT issue 09, the ‘How-to’ issue, and the sound design for this exhibition was created by Donato Panaccio, who’s work was featured in PYLOT issue 10, the Liberation issue, if you would like to see more, head to our online shop and grab yourself a copy.