Glyn Hughes

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Christodoulos Panayiotou showing in Oxford


YET another Cypriot is showing in the UK. Christodoulos Panayiotou is at the Lower Gallery of Modern Art in Oxford, from July 25 to September 9..

Panayiotou crafts concise videos out of ephemeral situations .

For ARRIVALS > CYPRUS at Modern Art Oxford the artists presents Truly, 2005, a sensuous video and sound installation in which water fountains spray jets of pure colour and fighter planes sketch vapour-trail hearts in a clear blue sky.

Set to an enticing sound track, the work suggests dramatic encounters and offers a beguiling invitation to dance.

The exhibition also includes a new work by Panayiotou, based on the classical structure of Prologue, Exposition and Epilogue.

The Prologue: Quoting Absence, is presented for the first time within the framework of ARRIVALS > CYPRUS.

A recording of a conversation between four Oxford-based scholars and thinkers, from the fields of science, philosophy, arts and theology, on the theme of absence will be played on a four-channel system in the gallery space, replacing the presentation of Truly during the last week of the exhibition.

The transcript of this recording will be produced as a book.

The 4th Deste Prize Jury Committee have written:

"Christodoulos Panayiotou is an artist who incisively explores the complex interconnections between our most innate desires and their cultural construction, At once ironic yet tender, analytical but deeply felt, his work is that of a savvy cultural consumer who is not afraid – every now and then – to fall for the very romantic myths and pop productions he so deftly probes".

The DESTE Prize Jury Committee members are : Dakis Joannou (President Deste Foundation), Nicholas Bourriaud (Director, Palaise de Tokyo), Urs Fischer (Artist), Pauline Karpidas (Collector) and Scott Rothkopf (Senior Editor ARTFORUM).

Christodoulos Panayiotou is the sixth artist to feature in ARRIVALS > NEW ART FROM THE EU, a series of ten exhibitions over two years at Modern Art Oxford and Turner Contemporary, Margate, introducing the work of artists from the expanded European Union.

The corresponding exhibition at Turner Contemporary is a new installation by Nikos Charalambides, July 29 to September 10, 2006 (opening preview Friday, July 28 ).

Please call +44 (O)1843 297899 for more information.

Christodoulous Panayiotou was born in Limassol, in 1978. He trained in dance and performing arts in Lyon and in London.

His finely-tuned videos and sculptural installation are the result of carefully orchestrated yet ephemeral situations, generally involving the collaboration of others.

He is especially interested in what he describes as "the amorous dialectic" – the contradictions of love and its associations with romantic myth and sentimentality.

His solo shows and performances include Slow Dance Marathon, Central Square of Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv (2006), Christodoulos Panayiotou Video Works, at the National Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Umjetnicka Galerija), Sarajevo (2006), Slow Dance Marathon, Residency of the Cultural Organisation of the Municipality of Kalmaria, Thessaloniki (2005) and You Make Me Feel Brand New, Archimede Staffolini Gallery, Nicosia (2004).


Forever is gonna start tonight at the Mediaeval Castle of Limassol.

Panayiotou is currently in residence at Platform-Garanti in Istanbul.

ARRIVALS > CYPRUS is the first exhibition of his work in the UK.

Panayiotou completed an MA in Performing Arts (University of Surrey, 2001-2003/Universite Lumiere Lyon, receiving a scholarship from the French Government and the EU, and did Dance Studies at the London Contemporary Dance School, 2001-2002.

Shelburne Museum shifting focus

to art and design


IT IS nearly impossible to see all the 150,000 pieces of folk art, artifacts and Americana at Shelburne Museum in Vermont in one visit.

Visitors can wander through the old New England homes, barns and buildings and view American folk art, decoys, impressionist paintings, quilts and furniture. They can inspect a 4,000-piece miniature circus parade carved out of wood that winds through one building or 225 carriages and horse-drawn vehicles on display in other buildings.

This summer there's even more to see.

A show of American painter Georgia O'Keeffe's work is on view through Oct. 31. It's the first of its kind for the museum. ''It's a major loan exhibit,'' said museum spokesman Sam Ankerson.

The works of Vermont children's book illustrator, Tasha Tudor, whose life and art resembles life in rural New England in the 1830s, are on display. And the museum's latest departure - a modern furniture show - features Knoll furniture designed by Frank Gehry and other masters.

The furniture show marks the beginning of a transformation for the museum.

''We're shifting from a historic tourist site to a museum of art and design,'' said Stephan Jost, the museum's new director.

The museum was founded by Electra Havemeyer Webb, daughter of art collectors, in 1947. She not only acquired 19th-century folk art, quilts and decoys, but she moved historic buildings from Vermont and New York - a one-room school house, homes, a round barn, a covered bridge and a steamship - to the site to house her collections.

An unexpected gem is the impressionist collection - paintings by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas - hanging on the walls of a replica building of the Webbs' 1930s Park Avenue apartment in New York City.

The 150,000 pieces in the exhibits still have a place. How they are displayed may change. ''We will reinterpret them,'' Jost said.

He wants visitors to make connections between early America and today, and between New England and the world.

''People like to make these associations between the patterns of a quilt and some mechanized thing,'' he said.

Jost wants to prevent visitors from feeling overwhelmed by so much to see. He has suggested putting in cafes with food and coffee where people can rest and take in some caffeine.

The museum is open from May to October and draws between 100,000 and 120,000 visitors a year.

Former museum director Hope Alswang, who left to become director of the Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, was the first to include contemporary art and design in the museum's collection. A modern house by Adam Kalkin made of shipping containers and other industrial materials was installed in 2001, for example. The house with center walls that open like garage doors is now home to the modern furniture show.

Jost, 37, who was director of Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, California, before coming to Vermont, envisions the building serving as a gallery for future art and design shows. Board members support his vision.

''He has a great deal of judgment about the museum,'' Peter Martin, board vice chairman, said of Jost. ''He's an indefatigable worker who has absorbed very rapidly the nuances of a complex institution, small but complex.''

A museum has to stay true to its mission and ''it has to expand and diversify given the diversifying population we have,'' Martin said.

The idea for the O'Keeffe show was hatched before Jost arrived. Some of the 26 paintings are from private collections.

Other shows this summer include quilts with kaleidoscope patterns, a show celebrating the 100th birthday of the Steamboat Ticonderoga that once plied Lake Champlain, and New England weather vanes, including an 1822 wrought iron angel that was stolen from a Crown Point, New York, church and later recovered by a Connecticut antique dealer.

The HOT Festival: Celebrating New York's

edgiest performance art


When the Broadway theatre season dies down in the summer, cabaret stars in see-through negligees and hot pink thongs take the stage at Dixon Place in downtown Manhattan.

The non-profit theatre company's annual HOT! Festival, which runs through August, also features gender-bending dancers and dramatists, a lesbian exploring the life of a cross-dressing Harlem Renaissance blues singer, a radical comic spewing invective against the Bush administration and a gay man in a blue bunny suit prophesying the end of the world.

Now in its 15th year, the festival has become the place to catch New York's edgiest performance art by mostly gay and lesbian actors, writers and dancers who are far from household names even among the most die-hard theatre fans - but could very well be someday.

''When it started, there was really nothing else like it in New York,'' says Earl Dax, who is curating this year's festival. ''Now it plays such an important role in the cultural life of the city. There's a real commitment to supporting new work, works in progress and emerging artists. You can send in a script and if they like it, they'll give you a night.''

Unlike what happens on New York's more traditional stages, there are no restrictions at the festival, as in much performance art ''downtown'' - the name given to the amorphous region below Manhattan's 14th Street where young artists in the city work and perform.

Nudity is de rigueur, as are topics that blur the line between gender and sexuality. Many artists don't identify themselves specifically as gay or straight, rather as part of a larger omni-sexual culture. Many pieces tend to be autobiographically based, though some also verge on the political, the sociological and the utterly ridiculous.

On one billing at the festival, former Whitney biennial dancer and choreographer Julie Atlas Muz performs a piece exploring the mentality of a female suicide bomber in which she straps sticks of dynamite to her nude torso while wearing cherry-red pumps. She's followed by dancer and video artist Michael Cross Burke, who uses three different forms of media to mock contradictions in the gay community, and Cary Curran, who tells a gyrating, raucous story of transforming from Catholic school girl to New York burlesque dancer.

The festival also includes less risque pieces, such as Kate Rigg's play about Asian-American stereotypes that was drawn from nearly 100 oral histories and interviews she conducted across the country, and Michelle Matlock's piece on blues singer Gladys Bentley.

Veteran downtown performing artist Penny Arcade performs a monologue about losing friends to AIDS, while lesbian humorist Reno workshops her latest act - part-comedy, part-diatribe - on the country's political situation. Gay writer and performance artist Jeffrey Essmann also returns to New York after 10 years in Chicago to present his newest one-man show, ''Skin Deep.''


''There's a mix of veteran performers and people who have perhaps never stepped foot on a stage,'' Dax says. ''It speaks to the mission of Dixon Place to be a laboratory for performers.''

The theater hasn't strayed far from this ideal in its 20 years. But the HOT! Festival was initially met with some resistance. Ellie Covan, the theater's founder and executive director, says there were those in the gay community who feared it would marginalize homosexual performers at a time when the community was trying to overcome the scourge of the AIDS epidemic.

''There were some people who didn't want to participate because they didn't want to be identified only with a special festival. It was a statement. I do understand and empathise with that thinking, but it really isn't about that,'' she says.

''The festival called attention to a lot of artists who weren't getting noticed.''

Dax says many such artists still struggle to make it, performing in bars and nightclubs in the East Village and Brooklyn's Williamsburg neighbourhood for little to no money. Dixon Place is one of the few theatre spaces in the city - the East Village's P.S. 122 is another - that gives non-traditional artists a place to perform without the din of the Friday night bar crowd.


Dixon Place's current abode is testament to this dedication. Located on the Bowery, which used to be one of lower Manhattan's grittiest areas, the theatre is little more than a large living room with an assortment of weathered sofas and chairs and a small space for performing. Beer and sodas are sold out of a beat-up white refrigerator, and the landing at the top of the stairs serves as a rehearsal space.

Lately, however, the theatre has been enjoying a slightly higher profile. One of its commissions, Lisa Kron's play, ''Well,'' made it to Broadway this spring and earned the actress a Tony nomination - a major accomplishment for a theatre that literally seats about 30 people.

Dixon Place has also received $1m in funding from the city over the past two years and a $500,000 grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which will help it finish construction on a new theatre space in the Lower East Side. Scheduled to open next spring, it will feature a theatre that can seat up to 100, as well as a smaller, secondary stage, a community centre and a rehearsal space.

Despite the successes, Covan doesn't anticipate major changes at Dixon Place. It will still focus on experimental theatre and reach out to the entire community and continue to help artists develop new work.

''It's very important to make the audience understand they are participating in the process by being there and that it's appreciated,'' she says. ''Their presence is going to influence the development of the work and that's a priority for us.

''It's a special environment. You have permission to take risks.''

Metropolitan Museum of Art raises

admission to fee $20


The Metropolitan Museum of Art is raising its admission fee to $20 matching what another venerable New York art institution, the Museum of Modern Art, already charges. The fees make the two museums among the most expensive to visit in the world.

The difference between the two museums' fees is that the Met's is only recommended, while MoMa's is compulsory. The Met's new admission, up from its current $15 goes into effect on August 1.

The Met's price increase will not affect students or seniors, whose suggested donation will remain at $10. Children under 12 and members pay no fee.

The Met said ongoing deficits made the increase necessary. For the fiscal year ending June 30, the deficit was $3.5m.

MoMa's $12 fee went to $20 in 2004 after the museum reopened following a $425m expansion. Admission to MoMa is free on Fridays from 4pm to 8pm and visitors 16 and under are always fee.

The Brooklyn Museum, which charges only $8, remains one of the best bargains among the city's large museums. The Solomon R. Guggenheim charges $18 and the Whitney Museum of American Art, $15.

Elsewhere in the country, the Art Institute of Chicago charges $12 and the Smithsonian Institutions museums in Washington, D.C., and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles are free.

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