Mara Palena’s artistic process revolves around a research on human emotions in relation to time, memory and identity. Experimentation is a constant of her method which sees the combination of different techniques, mediums and languages. In installations and mixed-media works, the artist uses photography, sound and video as a starting point, to then manipulate and alter them, questioning the concept of memory and individuality. The awareness of human frailty haunts her research: the study of emotional states becomes central in the design of multisensory and multimedia installations. Conscious and unconscious; present, memory and projection are confused in the existential fragments that the artist combines within his projects, relying on different methods of studying the self:  from psychoanalysis, to sound therapy, to EMDR, processes crossed by the artist herself and then return to her own personal elaboration. However, the intimate sphere opens up to the collective, in the construction of immersive scenarios that empathically welcome the viewer in a large, potentially infinite mnemonic archive. Collecting moments and recording states of imperceptible vulnerability opens up towards the hope of tracing a shared feeling.


Mara Palena (1988) lives and works in Milan. Her research focuses on themes such as memory, remembrance and identity. The artist’s aesthetic, clearly influenced by the field of fashion where she worked for several years, is combined with an intimate and poetic vision. Using photography, video and sound, her work aims to involve the viewer in sensory experiences. Using and reworking archival material, she seeks a link between personal and collective, between introspection and connection. Her work, represented by the Twenty14 gallery, has been exhibited in various international festivals, spaces and galleries such as: Art Society, London; Marsèll Paradise, Milan; MOPLA, Los Angeles; Nowhere Gallery, Milan; Pananti Atelier, Milan; Etherea Gallery, Genoa; Recontemporary, Turin. Between 2021 and 2022 she arrived finalist at Etherea Art Prize, Combat Prize, We Art Open and Arte Laguna Prize. Her short film “Fermasi Umani” is the winner in the Vesuvio Film Festival 2021. Her work is reported in Exibart’s publication 222 emerging artists to invest in 2021. In 2022 she was nominated by Giangavino Pazzola and Camera Torino for FUTURES Photography.


2021 A Study On Behaviour, Recontemporary, Turin, IT

2020 Oikeiôsis curated by Twenty14, Pananti Atelier, Milan, IT

2017 1915-1999, Marsèll Paradise, Milan, IT

2016 Undertow, Memories Of An American Journey, Twenty14 Contemporary Gallery, Milan, IT


2023 Art Nova 100, Guardian Center, Beijing, China, CN

2023  MIA PHOTO FAIR, New Post Photography, curated by Gigliola Foschi, MI

2023  Arte Laguna Prize, Arsenale Nord, Venice, IT

2022 Premio Francesco Fabbri, Villa Brandolini, Pieve di Soligo, IT

2022  E Trallallera, curated by Susanna Baumgartner, Artphilein, Lugano, CH

2022 Ask Me Why, curated by Virginia Monteverde, Etherea Art Gallery, Genoa, IT

2022 COMBAT PRIZE, curated by Paolo Batoni, Museo GIOVANNI FATTORI, Livorno, IT

2022 Opening Italy Art House with FUTURES Photography curated by Giangavino Pazzola, Verona, IT

2022 FUTURES Photography, curated by Giangavino Pazzola, Camera Torino, IT

2022 You may say I am a dreamer, curated by That’s contemporary,Twenty14, Condominio, Milano, IT

2022 “Vedere il sentire” curated by Mario Cresci with Spazi Fotografici and Matèria at Lunigiana Land Art, IT

2022 Arte e Impresa curated by That’s Contemporary, Fondazione Serbelloni, Milan, IT

2021 Combat Prize, Spazio Art Contemporanea, Livorno, IT

2018 PYLOT, Magazine Launch Issue 10, London, UK

2019 AMBIENTE 1° – LA MISURA curated by Orio Vergani at Nowhere Gallery, Milan, IT

2018 PYLOT, Magazine Launch Issue 09, London, UK

2017 The Floating Piers, Lucie Foundation for MOPLA at the STNDRD View, Los Angeles, USA

2017 Undertow, Memories Of An American Journey, Art Society, London, UK

2016 Between the lines, curated by Archipelago, Roz Barr, London, UK

2016 Ouvrage, curated by Archipelago, Twenty14 Contemporary Gallery, Milan, IT


2022 Art Nova 100, Beijing, China, CN  (winner)

2022 Premio Francesco Fabbri, IT (finalist)

2022 Arte Laguna Prize, Venice, IT (finalist)

2022 Combat Prize, IT (honourable mention)

2022 Cramum Prize, IT (honourable mention)

2022 FUTURES Photography, selected by Giangavino Pazzola at Camera Torino, IT

2022 Eterea Art Gallery, Genoa, IT (artist residency)

2022 Vedere il sentire, workshop Mario Cresci with Spazi Fotografici and Matèria at Lunigiana Land Art, IT (selected)

2022 We Art Open, No Title Gallery, GAD Giudecca Art District, Venice, IT (finalist) 

2021 Combat Prize, Livorno, IT (finalist) 

2021 Etherea Art Prize, Genoa, IT (finalist)

2017 Lucie Foundation x MOPLA at the STNDRD View, Los Angeles, USA (winner)

2021 Etherea Art Prize, Genoa, IT (finalist)


“Fermasi Umani”

2022 Bordeaux Shorts Biennale (Honorable Mention)

2022 Texas Arthouse Festival (Award Winner)

2022 Kalakari Film Fest  (Official Selection)

2022 Masters of Cinema (Official Selection) 

2022 Kiez Berlin Film Festival (Honorable Mention)

2022 8 & Halfilm Awards  (Official Selection)

2021 Stockholm Short Festival  (Semi-finalist)

2021 Vesuvius International Film Fest (Winner)

2021 Rieti & Sabina Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

2021 Pompei Street Cinema Festival (Official Selection)

2021 Hollywood International Golden Age Festival (Nominee)

2021 Boden International Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

2021 New York Neorealism Film Awards (Official Selection)  

“A Study On Behaviour, In Isolation“
2022 Masters of Cinema (Official Selection)

2022 Kiez Berlin Film Festival (Winner)

2021 Rieti & Sabina Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

2021 Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival (Honorable Mention)

2021 Hollywood International Golden Age Festival (Honorable Mention)

2021 BIMIFF – Brazil International Monthly Independent Film Festival (Nominee)

2021 International Aft Film Festival (Official Selection)

2021 BLOW-UP International Arthouse Filmfest Chicago (Semi-finalist)

2020 Venice Shorts (Semi-finalist)

2020 AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

“A Study On Behaviour, Sequences Of Performangst” 

2021 FLICKFAIR Film Festival (Official Selection)

2020 Independent Shorts Awards (Winner)

2020  Cinema of the World International Film Festival (Winner)

2020 New York Cinematography AWARDS (NYCA) (Finalist)

2020 Kosice International Film Festival (Finalist)

2020 Indie Short Fest (Finalist)

2020 Los Angeles Cinematography AWARD (LACA) (Semi-finalist)

2020 AltFF Alternative Film Festival (Semi-finalist)

2020 London International Motion Picture Awards (LIMPA) (Official Selection)

2019 Feel The Reel International Film Festival (Finalist)

“A Study On Behaviour, Sequences Of An Ordinary Day”

2019 Indie Vision Film Festival (Official Selection)

2019 BLOW-UP International Arthouse Filmfest Chicago (Finalist)

“My answer is a lie, the truest lie of all”

2019 Aesthetica short film festival York UK (Official Selection)

“Everything that happened, happened before”

2018 Screened at Fashion Film Festival Milano

“Dialogo, serie di racconti privati”

2019 Screened at Fashion Film Festival Milano

“The Floating Piers” 

2017 MOPLA, LA Photomonth and Lucie Foundation Los Angeles (Official Selection)


2023 Il Sacro e Altre Immagini, Giulio Lacchini, VIAINDUSTRIAE

2022 The Futures Annual Publication

2022 Combat Prize, exhibition catalogue, Sillabe, IT

2022 Cramum Prize, La caduta come cadere in alto, IT

2021 Combat Prize, catalogo della mostra, Sillabe, IT

2021, 220 artisti su cui investire, curated by Exibart, Exibart editions, IT

2018 OIKEIÔSIS, PYLOT Magazine 09, Feature Editorial, London, UK 

2019 PYLOT Magazine, Fanzine, London, UK 

2018 IDENTITY, curated with Twenty14 Contemporary, Milan, IT (workshop and fanzines)

2017 Undertow, Memories Of An American Journey, Milan, IT (photo-book)

2017 Undertow, PYLOT Magazine Issue 02, Feature Editorial, London, UK