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Bread and utopias

By Maria Gregoriou

NOVEMBER seems to be the month not only for fireworks, moustaches, and for America to give thanks, it also seems to be the time for exhibitions. Two very different exhibitions that have already started and should not be missed (in Nicosia) are BreadMatters IV and Small Utopias. Both exhibitions try to do more than capture the attention of the audience with framed paintings on canvas, they try to interact with each viewer, to exchange knowledge, and to bring across concepts and ideas.

The Lord’s Prayer says “give us this day our daily bread”, and we often call our livelihood our “bread and butter,” so there is no doubt that BreadMatters IV, comprising a new exhibition along with a platform for exchange and interaction, which has already started in Nicosia and will begin in Limassol tomorrow and Paphos on Saturday, concentrates on what may be called the foundation of what we are and how we get there: bread. This innovative event aims at contextualising socio-cultural issues with the medium of bread being the connecting thread for all participants. During the programme, which focuses on geopolitical and cross-disciplinary issues and approaches, the relationship with audiences through participation, collaboration, interaction and dialogue is explored. The lines between artists and non artists are erased, along with what it means to be inside or outside the artistic process, by the coming together of experiences and knowledge.

Some of the artists involved in this coming together of ideas are Mo Throp (UK), Luisa Menano (Portugal/Abu Dhabi),Maria Lusitano (Portugal/UK), Susanna Egle (Germany),Katerina Xenofontos (Cyprus/UK), Inês Amado (Portugal/UK), Keith Piper (UK/Caribbean), David Seaton (UK/Spain), Vassilis Theodorou (Greece/Germany), Maria Papacharalambous (Cyprus), Haytham Nawar (Egypt), and Susan McCauley & Michael Buckley (Australia).

Still running, meanwhile, is the exhibition Small Utopias at the Architecture Research Centre of the University of Nicosia until next Friday where you can take a look at Italian architecture of the third millennium through architectural studies presented by ten groups of architects.

The exhibition, which is organised by the Embassy of Italy in Cyprus, together with the University of Nicosia and Urban Gorillas, focuses on the architecture as expressed through history, research and innovation. To be more specific, the exhibition does not simply present Italian architecture, it shows how it was developed by concentrating on the process behind the finished product. Just like bread being the common thread in the BreadMattters IV exhibition, this cultural event links the authors behind the studies, the projects from which they were created, and their themes.

By putting together these three threads, “the purpose of this programme is to highlight the creativity and the great heritage of skills, knowledge and talent that have always distinguished Italy and its people. In the field of architecture in particular, the past and present creativity and ingenuity of Italian architects, whose work can be admired all over the world, have earned a solid and universally acknowledged reputation,” as clarified by a press release by the Embassy of Italy in Cyprus.

The studies presented were selected because of their quality and the relevance of the themes that they have chosen, namely the redefinition of pre-existing buildings, innovative techniques and materials, the quality of the urban landscape and the relationship with the historical heritage. The ten selected groups are stARTT, bam!, Matilde Cassani, Elastic Spa, Maria Giuseppina Grasso Cannizzo, Labics, Modus architects, Obr, Umberto Riva, and Cino Zucchi Architetti.

BreadMatters IV
A platform of exchange and interaction. Until November 29. Artos Foundation, 64 Ayios Omoloyiton Avenue, Nicosia. Monday-Friday: 3pm-7pm. Tel: 22-585265 / 22-585233
November 14 until December 13. To Ploumisto Psomi, 9 Gregori Afxentiou Street, Limassol. Monday–Saturday: 9.30am-12.30pm and 4pm-7pm (except Wednesday and Saturday afternoons). Tel: 25-340347
November 15 until December 10. Technopolis 20, 18 Nikolaou Nikolaidi Avenue, Paphos. Monday – Friday: 10am-1pm and 4pm – 9pm. Saturday: 9am-1pm. Tel: 70-002420

Small Utopias
Exhibition on Italian architecture. Until November 21. Research Centre of the University of Nicosia. University hours. Tel: 22-357615

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