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Art reflects our times

Two exhibitions are coming up that touch on subjects very much in the spotlight at the moment.

The first, Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance and Protest will display work by commissioned artists Efi Savvides, Stelios Kallinikou and Ran Slavin who responded to the visual and material consequences of drone technologies in the context of Cyprus and the wider region of the southeastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. These three artists will show what the operations of drone technology mean for artistic and political praxis as of Sunday at 11am, which will include a guided tour in English with the artists, followed at 12pm by a meal and music with DJ Sofronis Sofroniou in the courtyard. There will also be guided tours in Greek on Wednesdays until June 20 at 6pm.

Savvides explores mechanisms of power and authority in relation to a stateless Kurdish family from Syria, who has been continuously protesting since March 22, 2017, outside the Presidential Palace and the Ministry of Interior in Nicosia. The same family went on a hunger strike in 2014 that lasted 57 consecutive days. Savvides is in daily contact with the Hassan family and systematically records their struggle for Cypriot citizenship.

Kallinikou deals with colonial surveillance policies from the Byzantine/medieval castles of the Pentadaktylos mountain range to the modern Haarp (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project) located in the British base areas of Akrotiri and Troodos.

Slavin studied the aesthetics of drone surveillance and depicts the geological scars and war remnants of five deserted military locations in Israel – army strongholds, fire zones, shooting ranges and urban warfare training facilities – and juxtaposes them with both the personal and the political scars that are engraved and marked on the private, human body.

Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance and Protest is a project organised by the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre (NiMAC), the Hasselblad Centre in Gothenburg and the Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery of the National College of Arts in Lahore. This network of partners is presented on three screens on which views from above the cities of Gothenburg, Nicosia and Lahore, staged by artist Vicky Pericleous as well as in the shared audio plays of three international roundtables hosted in Gothenburg in 2017.

The exhibition at NiMAC is curated by Yiannis Toumazis, the exhibition at the Hasselblad Centre in Gothenburg by Sarah Tuck and Louise Wolthers, and the one at Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery in Lahore by Imran Qureshi.

The second group exhibition, Aesthetic Migrant (a voluntary exile), will open at the Kat’Oikon Cultural Foundation from Tuesday. This artistic project, which blends art with poetry, aims to see the spiritual side of us and also help us define who we really are. Artists Lia Boyiatzi, Sotos Stavrakis and Damianos Zisimou came together for this art project which saw the artists’ workspace and art migrate to the exhibition venue. Boyiatzi’s art studio was relocated to the Kat’Oikon foundation a year ago, where she has been working on the completion of her new work ever since.

Stavrakis’ second poetic work, which is included in this exhibition, is entitled Alteration. It refers to the three basic axes that act as catalysts for the spiritual evolution of Man, that is, our relationship with ourselves, with others and with God. It is the recording of a spiritual journey.

Zisimou’s first artistic proposal coalesces, degrades and reconsiders images and faces, stories and memories, both on a personal and collective level. Through the filter of his painting new worlds for exploration, he creates new selective narratives about who we are.

Drone Vision: Warfare, Surveillance and Protest
Group exhibition. Opens May 20 at 11am until July 28. Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Nicosia. Tuesday-Saturday: 10am-9pm. Tel: 22-797400

Aesthetic Migrant
Group exhibition. Opens May 22 at 8pm until June 3. Art Space Kat’oikon, 47 Perikleous Street, Nicosia. Tuesday to Sunday: 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tel: 99-871233

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