A new exhibition by Haris Pellapaisiotis comes to the capital with Nicosia as its focal point. The artist/photographer will display his latest project at Point Centre for Contemporary Art from February 26 until the end of March, after an opening event on Friday.
Walking Narratives and Affective Mapping is an art project that explores the city of Nicosia as a fluid space that engenders individual narrative connections. These emerge through lived experiences and are then developed into narrativised artefacts through a process of engagement, dialogue and collaboration between invited contributors and Pellapaisiotis himself.
The artist responds to each walking journey using a methodology that comprises situatedness and embodiment as well as relational, dialogic and collaborative practice. Video combined with the written and spoken word, photography, digital animation and sound are the media used by the artist to craft new narrativised artefacts that redefine the language typically used to describe Nicosia.
“A fractured, poetic reading of the city” is how the project’s context is described. This collective use of mixed media “opens up novel configurations” says the gallery, “that allow us to step away from readily available ways of thinking and writing the city, and together form radical archival propositions that contradict the vocabulary of unitary ideologies of territory.”
As a prototype for the project, Pellapaisiotis has chosen contributors for whom Nicosia is – or has been – home, but who, like himself, have spent substantial time away from Cyprus. He refers to Murat Erdal Ilican, Ruth Keshishian, Alexandra Manglis and Stephanos Stephanides.
Others, such as Frank Charaqui, Diana Wood Conroy, Susan Kozel, Peter Loizos, Yael Navaro, and Pelin Tan are not natives to Cyprus but are connected to the country professionally or through kinship, and during their time in Cyprus have made the place a part of their work.
“The semi-outsider status of these contributors,” adds the gallery, “does not mean that their relationship to Nicosia is lacking in some way. In fact, the artist suggests the opposite – their connection to the island introduces to our reading of the city, a specific tension of consciousness that arises from a sense of nearness / distance that provokes a constant review of the ‘we’ sense of practice of culture – in other words, the collective ritualising, theorising and representation of Nicosia.”
This, the artist suggests, opens the possibility for different modes of visibility of the city.
Mixed media projects are not something foreign to Pellapaisiotis, as he lectures at the University of Nicosia on photography, visual art and cultural studies and has had work exhibited at various international venues, including The Photographer’s Gallery, London.
Currently, he is working on a major new collaborative art research project that will result in a series of art products including a mixed media and interdisciplinary exhibition, a publication and a series of performance seminars.
Walking Narratives and Affective Mapping
Exhibition of an art project by Haris Pellapaisiotis and contributors. Opening February 22. Exhibition duration: February 26-March 28. Point Centre for Contemporary Art, Nicosia. Opening night 6.30pm. screening at 7pm. Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm. Saturday 11am-3pm.Tel: 22-662053