Old earth, no more lies, I’ve seen you
This is the title of the Cyprus entry for this year’s 52nd Venice Biennial, which had its opening reception at the
Cyprus Pavilion last night at the Palazzo Malipiero and will open to the public from June 10-November 21. It is
curated by Denise Rrobinson
Haris Epaminonda and Mutafa Hulusi are representing Cyprus.
There is a film screening
programmed by JalalToufic, tonight Friday 8 June at the Multisala Astra Cinema Venezia Lido.
The programme states
old earth, no more lies,
I’ve seen you…" brings us to the territory of the unconscious, of dreams, precisely
because it comes to us from a breach – between one archive and another – in a strange a timely twist on what remains
of modernism’s fascinations."
It also states …
"What else could this pavilion for Cyprus represent
than the risk of making work that raises doubt as to the truths of a culture? The works of Haris Epaminionda and Mustafa Hulusi
in this pavilion show what might be at stake in the manipulation and circulation of images, while all the while being ‘possessed’
The question remains, how to construct a new ‘scene’ that is not compromised by the absorption of
the failures of modernity. Failures also born of the fantasies of the enlightenment, and the international diplomacy that
has trailed in its wake to leave a constellation of divided countries.
Haris Epaminonda is an artist whose work is steeped in the play of time and image. Her intense short video sequences
have been screened widely in Europe and throughout the Eastern Mediterranean over the past few years, often exhibited alongside
her scathingly beautiful collages.
All Epaminonda’s works give a dark twist to their sources. Whether the collages
composed from 1950s French magazine or found images of civic and religious monuments that, in her hands, lose their iconicity,
as if attracted by space.
The three short, synchronised Tarahi videos in the exhibition are a montage of fragments taken
from 1960s cinema. All of her work finds its source and appropriative force in the imagery that arises like a regular beat
into our lives: through the transmissions of mass media. Here however the sources take on a potentiality, embalmed almost,
for a different enervation of the sense.
Mustafa Hului is an image-based conceptual artist. In the pavilion
he presents an asemblage titled, The Elysian Paintings. These paintings have a tender, luminous quality, yet with a faint
trace of the techniques of fascist propaganda, the bucolic ideal in communist propaganda, and the double nature of kitsch.
A Turkish Cypriot, part of the Diaspora, born in London, he returns to Cyprus regularly, taking photographs of fruit and
flowers indigenous to the region. These photographs are transformed to become richly seductive large-scale paintings. While
heightening the reality effect of their subject, they nevertheless picture a less solid flesh than we expect to find in this
The paintings move between techniques of commercial art and an intensification of the emotions, between rustic pleasure
and something far darker - what the artist calls ‘enchantment and estrangement".
Remember Kikos Lanitis is one the artists in Faccia Lei – portraits in transition –in between cultural areas
of contemporary art and is in the spaces of Spazio Thetis at Venice. Curated by Elena Agudio.
Dinos Michaelides and Stelios Votsis are showing at Gallery Morphi
Dinos makes sweet
little figurines showing realistic poses but all (I think so) never completely in the buff. Stelios, the master of lines (note
the discreet phallic border patterning) is always on the verge of saying no to fully frontal close ups. Both are rather
shy but at least the sculptures and drawings can be put up on the wall in the dining room and will not upset the kiddies.
Eros ? Cypriot males are more at home painting males.
There is a fine exhibition at Tehnis Dromena Gallery with very painterly paintings by newcomer Maria Spyrou.
It’s the season of school exhibitions. Falcon had their’s last night
while the American Academy, Larnaca have theirs this evening. This will continue until 12th June .
Masala is an exhibition by three Cypriot-based artists whose work has been profoundly influenced by experiences
in India: Lazaro Hadjisoteriou, Mary-Lynne Stadler and Raymond Wilson.
This closes tonight.
They all come from very
different backgrounds and happened to met in Cyprus!
While each approaches the subject from a completely individual viewpoint,
all successfully convey something of the essence of their experiences in India, whether through colours, subject matter or
choice of medium.
Varnava shows at Kypriaki Gonia, Larnaca. He was born in Kythrea and studied at the Thesalonika School of Fine Arts, Greece
and has participated in many group exhibitions. His Kypriaki Gonia exhibition is his first one-man show.
the Art Critic comments on Varnava’s paintings:
" Varnava’s talent and inner wealth is almost immediately understood
when someone first sees his painting. It is a kind of painting full of colour and simplicity, free of ostentation and self
projection. It sounds self-evident, and perhaps it is somewhere deep inside, but nowadays when the artist is swamped with
information, with a variety of images found everywhere, with the excessive image of reality as it is shown through the media,
it is not self evident that one uses the austere means of painting to express complex issues.
A characteristic of the images
that Varnavas puts on the surface is the chromatic scale which seems to defy the mainstream applications. He sometimes matches
dissimilar aspects with the inner necessity of colours and not their aesthetics."
Until 15th June
Christa Loucaidou Efstathiou has an exhibition which will open on Saturday at Zavos Coco de Mer (old Rousos Hotel), Yermasoyia
, Limassol which will continue until June 12.It is titled ‘ROPES’
" Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s
invention (sketches) of a concept for a rope making machine, but just likes many other of his inventions they never got built.
I focused on different ways where a rope could be used. I mainly focused on old fishing boats and ropes, however the use of
ropes is unlimited, so is my work…"
Romania Society in Cyprus
Daphne Mavrovouniotis Trimikliniotis will open the exhibition Reflections by the Romania Artist Rodica Lomnasan at
Opus39 on Monday 11th of June