Curation, Publishing & Critical Writing 


Delivering Texts - Delivering Views 33: Diaspora / Publication Launch, Phaneromenis 70 Cultural Organisation 
Poetics of Dance Encounters / Publication Launch, DanceHouse Lefkosia 

The Gaze of the World (on the work of George Petrou)

for Planetes exhibition catalogue (inaugural exhibition of European Capital of Culture, Pafos2017, curator: Elena Parpa)

In Landmark III - II - I – IV (2016), visual artist Yorgos Petrou considers the resonance of landscapes permeated by legends. The installation takes the form of a sculpture project in which Aphrodite’s Rock – the supposed birthplace of Aphrodite – is dispersed on four concrete columns, each plated with copper on top. These landmarks operate through the insertion of a plastic language within the gaps of the symbolic order, indicating their performative assimilation in affective flows.

Aphrodite, a goddess born by castration and who emerged fully erect and beautiful, is cast as an atemporal, ersatz figure that gazes upon us from a terrifying, vertical position that always caresses a fundamental lack. Through the displacement of her birthplace, Petrou probes the trauma of existing in a place that is recognised as one of mythological coordinates; of the mortification of trying to break free from immersion in order to look at ourselves from all sides, the struggle to emerge from what Hal Foster describes as the ‘condition of the outside turned in, of the invasion of the subject-as-picture by the gaze of the world’.1

It is in this encompassing space that the artist seeks to examine the symbiotic relationship of trauma and materiality. Landmark III embodies materials from the beach on which Aphrodite allegedly walked, and forms an index of how the storyfication of time-less horizons affects the field of vision. The copper plating is added as visual reminder of the goddess’ birthplace and of the alchemic relation between her and copper. The sculptures partake in a group of works that question and explore a post-colonial constellation of “Cypriotness” in a milieu of globalisation and intense local conditions.

1 Foster, Hal. Bad New Days. London:Verso, 2015, p.13.