Cyprus Mail

Online performance offers up ribbons

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In Helen Kirwan’s seventh online performance, coming up this Friday, she will offer ribbons to men in black in an outdoor setting at an archaeological site. Since ancient times, during funeral and burial practices in many cultures, including Ancient Greece, ribbons and cloth were used as popular grave offerings and as tangible expressions of grief in the face of death. Often these were vermillion red and a number of late Classical and Hellenistic stone markers are decorated with painted and/or low relief images of red ribbons, but other bright colours were also used.

This seventh performance is part of her Grief-Work series, tying in perfectly with the theme of mourning and loss. The series is a concept Kirwan developed to process loss and memory. During this performance, viewers will again become immersed in a compelling, absorbing experience as they watch these seemingly infinite repetitions. Kirwan regards these repetitive tasks and absurd processes as metaphors for the mourning process and as a medium for the metaphorical construction of memory.

For the artist, giving attention to grief is important, especially in this moment in the world. It seems that people are becoming more introspective and open to contemplative work; perhaps after decades of sensory overload, losing their appetite for the sensational and a perpetual craving for the ‘new’.


Offering the Ribbons

Seventh online performance by Irish-British conceptual artist Helen Kirwan in residency with the Cyprus Academy of Arts. May 28. 6pm Cyprus time.

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