The exhibition Hide & Seek, opening next week, is a work of two artists and places special focus on the emotions embedded in contemporary everyday objects, particularly those found in functional spaces, showcasing the collective and personal memory encapsulated within.
In its confluence of grandeur and stark, emotional purity one could fancifully imagine that this exhibition is an interplay of a child’s game, hide and seek, where artworks and objects reveal themselves only to conceal their true forms, meanings and identities.
One of the artist’s work, Panayiotis Michael, is described as having a timelessness element to it, in both its conception and its execution.
In this body of work, Panayiotis urges the viewer to become pleasurably but forcefully vertiginous, compelled to seek new bearings within its perception; and, thus engaged, drawn entirely into the processes of looking. His work becomes a repository of personal memory; hanging heavily but totally uninhabited by external elements, it becomes an effort to transport the space into the present so much as to isolate it as a relic of the past.
Michelle Padeli’s installation refers to her ‘adopted home’, her workplace, reflecting a broader pattern of manual labour. She is drawn to mundane items, the slightly shabby, the dated and discarded – the stuff that often gets overlooked or phased out to near-invisibility. By lining the gallery space with dusters, she gathered over the course of two months a material that people also use to clean dirt and their coffee-machinery, creating a visual archive of her manual labour focusing on a radical materiality with an almost therapeutic and cleansing quality.
She at the same time conceals and reveals the stains on the dusters through a process of embroidering that both creates an aestheticisation of the stain and a camouflage. On a first glance they look like destroyed dusters that dismantle a post-feminist critique, yet on closer inspection, they have been painstakingly repaired by hand through a meticulous embroidery process rooted in female tradition.
Their side-to-side, based on colour and purpose, installation seeks to preserve the historical autonomy of the subject and, at the same time, to consider the possibility of functioning as a single body. The particles of these objects and their uniqueness act as a reference point to potentially multiple testimonies. The installation’s impact is immediate and its effect is engulfing.
An exhibition to open up the unconscious, what is there but not always seen.
Hide & Seek
Exhibition by Panayiotis Michael and Michelle Padeli. November 22 (7.30pm) – 28. S:2F2, Nicosia.