Curated by Michelle Cotton
Friday 7 May 2010 to Saturday 12 June 2010
Private View: Thursday 6 May 2010, 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Christodoulos Panayiotou’s work explores forms of pageantry and spectacle. He describes his practice in terms of an archaeological study; an attempt to recover fragments of information that can make tangible something absent or lost.
Works adopt a literary structure; narratives emerge, themes are developed, motifs recur. Stories and images are re-enacted or recovered. History; political and personal, traced in the residual ephemera of past lives and events, is established as a central concern and contextual references shift between the locally specific and globally familiar. Objects and images that commemorate, document or monumentalise become the focus for research that seeks to identify and examine the role of archetypes and tradition in modern society.
For his exhibition at Cubitt, Panayiotou will show a series of works developed using various photographic libraries in his native Cyprus. Shown sequentially on slide projectors, two pieces from 2008, Wonder Land and Never Land will be presented alongside a newly commissioned work, I Land (1960–1977). Each work presents images originally captured for official public records or reports.
Wonder Land employs images from the Municipal Archives of the City of Limassol. The selection of material – covering four decades dating from the late 1970s – shows the adoption of Disney characters within the town’s annual carnival parade. Never Land employs photographs taken for the national newspaper, Phileleftheros, during the 1990s, a period of significant political change when Cyprus was moving towards European Union membership. Panayiotou’s most recent work, I Land (1960–1977), is the first part of a new series of works being researched at the Press and Information Office in Nicosia, a library administered by the state to document the activity of the President and government ministers. 1960–1977 covers the period when Archbishop Makarios III, who was the first President of Cyprus, held office.
This will be Christodoulos Panayiotou’s first solo exhibition in London.
Christodoulos Panayiotou was born in Limassol in 1978 and studied dance and performing arts in Lyon and London. He was awarded the 2005 DESTE Prize and has been artist in residence at institutions including Platform-Garanti Center for Contemporary Art Istanbul, Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin and IASPIS Stockholm. He has exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art Oxford, The National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens, Taipei Biennal (2008), Busan Biennale (2008), MoCA Miami, Rodeo Istanbul and Künsthalle Zurich.
Supported by Arts Council England and the Ministry of Education and Culture Cyprus and produced in partnership with Witte de With, Rotterdam.
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Image credit: Christodoulos Panayiotou, I Land (1960 – 1977), 2010, 160 black and white slides. Photograph sourced from the Press and Information Office, Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Interior.