Curation, Publishing & Critical Writing 


Delivering Texts - Delivering Views 33: Diaspora / Publication Launch, Phaneromenis 70 Cultural Organisation 
Poetics of Dance Encounters / Publication Launch, DanceHouse Lefkosia 
‘Ecstatic Textures’ is a performative formulation that operates within the cultural form of the group exhibition. It attempts to celebrate the great diversity of artistic action, mediate the great multiplicity of gestures of young artists that are not governed by a single point of departure and arrival, and seeks to make space for the enunciation of new connections, cultivating a capacity of speaking-with-others that rests upon touches that fashion and perceive the qualities of ecstatic texturing - a texturing that challenges assumptions that touch upon the sensory aspect of the experiential and the experiential as a capacity that lends a new sense to cultural processes.

For a younger generation of artists, who is responding to its own challenges, callings and to experiences, creating work is also an issue of affecting the many differential chains of positioning in which they find themselves in, negotiating ‘that-which-regions’ with the ‘pre-reflective ‘felt’ textures of praxis’ [1]. The liveliness (or sense of urgency) that this affection carries becomes operative when it crosses the (cultural) demand of demonstrating its efficacy within material and symbolic flows. Such a flow, operating around a great concentration of artistic activity and in contemporaneity with many others, is the presence of artist-run spaces and independent initiatives in the country. Artists develop platforms that negotiate their presence in society and bring attention to conditions as varied as the artist as a working body and the value of experimentation, a affecting a mood generative of spatial and temporal textures, in ways that effectively blur and disrupt the discursive coherence between areas normally demarcated as ‘art production’, ‘the artwork’ and its ‘reception’. In conjunction with the development of a digital world as a continuous flow of images operating on platforms that allow for instant sharing of (art) documentation, giving documentation the quality of a symbiotic intensity, the shift towards process, participation and the murmur of discourses that develop in communities that embrace multidisciplinarity and collaboration can be extended and become tangential to the subject matter and tactics chosen by artists. To perceive these multiplicity of gestures requires the opening up of new synasthetic paths. Artists inscribe the spaces and times of the works, and the exhibition space, esoteric measurements that articulate the spacing of political and other bodies, the circulation of mnemonics of the self and their probing of (historical) time. These paths are negotiations that colour encounters that do not adhere to giving sense to demarcation lines: instead, they makes thresholds pulse and push experience, with great speed – a speed accelerating at a rhythm that surprises even the desire that gives it drive – into spaces that host unvoiced (or perhaps unheard) proximities and intimate distances.

The exhibition space becomes an “ diagram of a new collective spatial assemblage of enunciation” [2]. Every work is a proposition to the senses and a challenge to rethink political, economic and art loops ‘in-between the lines’ and in a way that creates myriad idiomatic textures, by explicating the ‘...intensive local recording of the global expressivity-movement of the traits of expression’ [3].

The work of Anastasia Mina is characterised by processes that (un)do the image. She chooses photographs which she then textures via labour-intensive processes, like screen-printing and drawing. Often working in a larger scale, she frustrates our capacity to take in the whole picture and invites us to a game of decipherment, where continent pictorial elements rise up, demand our attention and challenge the politics of visibility. Mina finds ways to investigate the assumptions that stick to (historical) facts by probing our sensibility to awaken to the intricacies of image-presence and its ways of lying, by revealing the image as a desiring-machine that attaches itself to the performative contradiction of ‘I am lying’. Of special importance to her is the effect of time upon the material surface: in Untitled IV (2017), she prints photographs from her personal archive on sandpaper, creating fragile imprints on a surface imbued with the capacity to host the traces of change: the desiring-machine assumes its material identity and enters the flow of time.

Victoria Leonidou addresses memory as a kaleidoscopic mechanism that creates and substantiates personal and collective folds. In Fold (2016), she refolds the star (symbol of the Soviet Union, where she spent her childhood) and casts it in concrete, allowing the work to touch on memories of ubiquitous symbols that schedule the continuous refraction of symbolic efficacy, on a surface of an everydayness that could no longer be. The power of a material to elicit emotional responses, when it is paired with a history of monumentality and tied to a narrative of development that is currently being undone, makes operative the aporias of materiality in culture, monumentality and the space that the subject occupies within them.

In the work of Evelyn Anastasiou, one finds a preoccupation with the textures of music and the experiences that adhere to it as essential binding elements of (sub)cultures. In A Shipwreck of A Man, 8 pm Tonight (2017) a photograph from the original performance of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Noye’s Fludde’ [4] is printed in Prussian blue (a pigment used for expressing atmospheric distance, especially in landscapes and seascapes) using the technique of wood-blocking. Detail is thus a matter of negative inscription and the audience can only work through the image via a confrontation with the gradients of colour. The experience of wholeness, elevated by diptych’s pictorial composition, in time and in light reveals its lack of constancy, bringing our attention to the differential sensory effects of environmental and cultural relationships.

In the work of Kyriakos Theocharous, an interest in technique meets an interest in scientific imagery. The round lens of the microscope becomes for him a machinic eye with which one can discover more than meets the eye, allowing for a maddening crossing from macrocosms to microcosms. In Chromosomes (2016), he uses the technique of collography, adding textures to the invisible, allowing us to image/imagine the whirlwind of a world denied to us by simple observation. Playing up on the nature of printing to produce multiples, Theocharous’ Chromosome series highlights that printing processes often involve an element of mediating on what happens at the space where things go awry and the duplication goes ‘out of control’, as it were.

In the work of Adonis Archontides, one finds a preoccupation with the history of the name Adonis and the circulation of mnemonics of the self. Through his work, he effects a special type of handling cultural memories as they are expressed by the various histories of the name, and often come to the present through the repetition of fairytale and legend. “What if the name is repeated not in order to be heard by the namesake, but to be set as a name by the speaker, by the actual bearer of the name?” [5]. The condition of ‘living with names’ is put to the test, and expressed through the creation of gardens, whose life cycle acts as a metonymy for the cycle of human life -life, growth and death. Archontides interest lies in the interplay of the (non)transparency of experience and the failure of intentions as a creative force that can be utilised.

Maria Andreou is interested in language as a material because of its abundance -language is something that everyone can potentially use and its use by one does not exhaust its capabilities for others: a prime material for texturing, since it allows everyone to touch upon it. Language games also figure largely in her work. In ‘Nicosia Green Earth’ (2017) she exploits the difference in phonetic repetition and continues to explore language as a groundless ground where processes of subjectivation meet the injunctions of commodified vacuums. By creating pigments with a distinct locality (like terra verde) she makes tangible the invisible topos of language.

In many ways an allegory of crossings, Panayiotis Mina’s project Hawaaiprus (2017) elaborates in various media the story of Polyhaos, a man who in the search for knowledge researched said place from afar and then, won over by the descriptions, embarked a on visit. In the transition from the non-empirical to the empirical, Polyhaos knowledge is enriched by sensation and he started creating his own documents of knowledge in the form of music. His story is interrupted by his banishment from Hawaaiprus, but the crime is never located. In Artist’s Impression of Polyhaos (2017), Mina (re)creates from a matrix of possible descriptions the polymorphic face of Polyhaos. Playing upon the trope of ‘artist’s impression’, the portrait is described by the artist as being in the vein of police sketches, drawn up from descriptions of the the accusers.

The theme of physically getting closer to a place which existed for us only though descriptions is also met in I only knew it was there II (2016), where Sophia Papacosta negotiates the experience of crossings governed by distances so small and yet coloured with a chasm whose proportions are difficult to fathom. The drawing treats the landscape as a field of material and immaterial traces and she connects a sense of curiosity with the effects of phenomenological indeterminacy. Papacosta here mediates the sense of only knowing it was there: her memory of the landscape is confined to those moments of reaching a confrontation with it. The drawing thus becomes part of an exploration of the scale of natural elements when confronted with the lived measurement of the body.

AnnaMaria Charalambous creates installations that aim to immerse the viewer into a liminal space of the unrepresentable- as-such. Charalambous is interested in the performative inscription of the artist in the time it takes to make the work, and in this way she combines the pure fact of her existence with fiction, moving in-between the two terrains in order to create visual cues that reveal as much as they hide, that aim to transform our experience in the gallery space from one of presentness to one of embracing the ambiguity of experience. In her work she often uses sound installations, as a means of introducing the human voice (that remains disembodied) and thus to create an uneasy feeling of on the one hand being instantly comforted by the recognition of the voice, and on the other of being confused by what these voices are saying, and not being able to locate this voice, as it is located in this liminal terrain of fiction/reality.

Marina Xenophontos’s practice encompasses many mediums and processes. She has embraced a process of appropriation that she has developed through her work with an archive that she has found by chance. By combining her exploration of the current cultural landscape with the words of the diaristic entries of Christophoros Kyriakides, she has unleashed a process whereby the present is expressed through the enunciation of an appropriative principle that allows the ‘redistribution of the sensible’ [6]. The sculpture presented here is a material rendering of one of Kyriakides’ sketches, with Xenophontos taking on the intense process of bringing to the fore the symbolico-political stakes that kept Kyriakides ‘out of circulation’.

1 Rosenthal, Sandra B., Time, Continuity and Indeterminacy, 2000. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press
2 Alliez, Éric and Bonne, Jean-Claude, Un-doing the image Vol. 1, Falmouth, United Kingdom: Urbanomic Media Ltd, p.46
3 Ibid, p.44
4 ‘Noah’s Flood’ is a one-act opera, written by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) intended primarily for amateur performers, particu- larly children. First performed on 18 June 1958 at that year’s Aldeburgh Festival, it is based on the 15th-century Chester ‘’mys- tery’’ or ‘’miracle’’ play which recounts the Old Testament story of Noah’s Ark. Britten specified that the opera should be staged in churches or large halls, not in a theatre.
5 Janša, Janez, Collaterality And Art, Parse Journal, University of Gothenburg. Accessed online at collaterality-and-art/ [11.09.2017]
6 Rancière, Jacques, The Politics of Aesthetics, London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013