6 July – 8 August 2019
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presents Some Letters by Eric Baudelaire, a two-part exhibition comprising a film projection and three works of written correspondence, taking place in both The Island Club and the Evagoras Lanitis Centre.
PART I: The Island Club, 6 July – 8 August 2019
To the Right Honourable Baroness Thatcher
I recently learned that upon assuming office at 10 Downing St, you drafted four handwritten letters of last resort. These letters, kept in a safe within another safe onboard Britain’s nuclear submarines, contained your instructions to the captains in the event that yourself, along with most of your compatriots, were to perish in a nuclear strike on Great Britain. … What I am about to do here, very respectfully but quite seriously, is ask you to tell me the content of your four invisible letters. …
When he isn’t working on his films, Eric Baudelaire writes letters – like the one sent to Margaret Thatcher on 9 February 2011, and subsequently to John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron, and Theresa May. Initiated in response to a request to create a public monument, Baudelaire’s correspondence inquires about the contents of the elusive “letters of last resort”. Penned by each Prime Minister upon the assumption of office, and addressed to the commanders of the Royal Navy’s nuclear submarines, these sealed letters allegedly contain instructions for the use of Britain’s strategic weapons in the eventuality of England’s nuclear annihilation. The Prime Ministers’ responses, along with Baudelaire’s original letters, comprise Ante-Memorial (2011–present). Conceptualised as a public sculpture, the work both rewrites and reverses the concept of a ‘memorial’: rather than being carved out of marble, it takes the form of an exchange of correspondence; rather than commemorating a historical event, it proposes that the monument be built before the tragedy, with the hope that the latter will never materialise.
Dear Sir / Madam,
You are leaving Europe, but where are you going?
Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Eric Baudelaire initiated a correspondence with the 650 members of the House of Commons and the 800 members of the House of Lords. The responses comprise Where are you going? (2018–present). This timely work will receive its inaugural showing at The Island Club, where it will be presented in daily instalments, with an additional letter unveiled on each day of the exhibition.
PART II: Evagoras Lanitis Centre, 1 – 8 August 2019
Following its secession from Georgia in 1993, Abkhazia has become something of a paradox. Although a territory with borders, a government, a flag, and a language, it is only recognised as a state by Russia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Nauru, and Syria. Caught in a liminal state between existence and non-existence, Abkhazia invites all kinds of questions: by what criteria can a state be considered to exist? Is the idea of the ‘state’ based on inclusion or exclusion? How does one go about building a new state? Those that arrived and some that were lost (2014) explores these questions through Eric Baudelaire’s personal correspondence with Maxim Gvinjia, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia.
Baudelaire and Gvinjia’s correspondence is also the basis for the 103-minute film projection Letters to Max (2014). As Gvinjia records himself answering Baudelaire’s letters, Baudelaire’s images of everyday life in Abkhazia create a sense of somber poeticism, highlighting both the fragility and the resilience of the self-proclaimed Republic of Abkhazia.
Eric Baudelaire (b. 1973) is an artist and filmmaker based in Paris, France. After training as a political scientist, Baudelaire established himself as a visual artist with a research-based practice incorporating photography, printmaking and video. His feature films Also Known as Jihadi (2017), Letters to Max (2014), The Ugly One (2013) and The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images (2011) have circulated widely in film festivals (including Locarno, Toronto, New York, FID Marseille, and Rotterdam). When shown within exhibitions, Baudelaire’s films are part of broad installations that include works on paper, performance, publications, and public programs, in projects such as APRÈS at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2017), and The Secession Sessions, which have travelled to the Berkeley Art Museum (2015), Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015), Bétonsalon in Paris (2014), and Bergen Kunsthall (2014).
Major solo exhibitions include: Witte de With, Rotterdam (2017); Fridericianum, Kassel (2014); Beirut Art Center (2013); Gasworks, London (2012); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010). Baudelaire has also participated in the 2017 Whitney Biennale, the 2014 Yokohama Triennale, Mediacity Seoul 2014, and the 2012 Taipei Biennial.
* In the context of the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, The Island Club also presents The Sun Panics, a screening programme of short films in honour of pioneering film director, screenwriter, actor and photographer Agnès Varda (1951-2019). The programme commences with one of Varda’s own films, and proceeds with a selection of films by artists Andrés Baron, Ulu Braun, Junyuan Feng, and Jaakko Pallasvuo. Selection by Denise Araouzou.
18 May – 22 June 2019
Merida (Painting for Sale, by the Meter)
The Island Club presents Merida (Painting for Sale, by the Meter), by Pierre Leguillon for the Museum of Mistakes.
“Someone tells him:
‘Keep away from abstract art. It is the fabrication of impotents and crooks. They are incapable of doing anything else. They cannot draw. Yet Ingres says that drawing is the probity of art. They cannot paint. Yet Delacroix says that painting is the probity of art. Keep away. Even a child could do it.’
What does it matter that they are crooks, if that gives him pleasure? What does he care if they cannot draw? Could Cimabue draw? What does it mean for one to know how to draw? What does it matter if children could do it? It would have been wonderful. What stops them? Their parents, perhaps. Or would they not have time for that?”
Samuel Beckett, Le Monde et le Pantalon, 1945, translated by Androula Kafa
“As I closely examined the piece I became aware of an interesting problem lurking within it. As mentioned earlier, there is a blurriness in the patterns of kasuri by its very nature, a misalignment. Since this is a matter beyond technical control, it can be thought as type of human error, a human blunder. From Nature’s perspective, however, it falls within the natural course of events. Kasuri should not be thought as the result of Human ingenuity but as the product of the mysterious workings of nature. […]
While there will undoubtedly be some people who will dismiss kasuri as a labor-intensive, time-consuming manual craft from the past, there will also be some, tired of modern mechanization, who will rediscover in kasuri a new freshness and beauty. Moreover, the day will surely come when the world assesses this unique Oriental textile at its true value. Especially now, when abstract beauty is being viewed with a new regard, there will undoubtedly be many who are captivated by kasuri’s abstraction. It seems to me that, among the textile arts, the beauty of kasuri cannot be denied, that it is a handicraft of paramount importance.”
Sōetsu Yanagi, The Beauty of Kasuri, 1959, translated by Michael Brase
In 2017, while visiting the city of Mérida in the southeast Mexican state of Yucatán, Pierre Leguillon happened upon a small bar whose shoddy walls were painted in broad brushstrokes of red, blue, yellow, and black. A year later, with this camouflaged wall painting still in mind, Leguillon traveled to the Japanese city of Yame, on the island of Kyushu, on a quest to render the forms of the indigenous mural on kasuri textiles, using the ancient and highly intricate ikat dyeing technique. Working with kasuri master Kyōzō Shimogawa (下川強臓), Leguillon produced textiles that emulate the motley brushstrokes of the Meridian mural in a spirit of ambiguity and abstraction. With each resulting pattern looking slightly different than the rest, the ensuing uniqueness of each meter of fabric led Leguillon to an understanding of these works as paintings. The artist situates these paintings, which he sees as echoing the work of artists like Anni Albers, Giuseppe Pinot-Gallizio, and Blinky Palermo, in the tradition of Occidental modernism. Merida will be displayed at The Island Club where, in accordance with the work’s conceptual principle, it will be sold by the meter for the entire duration of the exhibition.
A. Sales will begin at the opening of the exhibition, on Saturday 18 May 2019, 6pm. B. The paintings will be sold on a first come, first served basis. C. Those who cannot be physically present at the exhibition can place their orders electronically at firstname.lastname@example.org. D. The price of the first meter will be 170 euros, as defined by the price of the first frame. E. The price of each subsequent meter will be 5% higher than that of the previous one. F. No more than one meter can be purchased by each buyer. Each painting measures at 37.5 x 100 cm. G. No more than 150 meters will be produced. H. The paintings will be sold unframed. I. An invoice will be issued by Christodoulos Panayiotou. The invoice will be stamped by The Island Club and The Museum of Mistakes, and signed by Christodoulos Panayiotou and Pierre Leguillon. J. The items will be shipped from Limassol, Cyprus. Shipping expenses will be covered by the buyer. K. A list of buyers will be published when the paintings are sold out. Buyers may request to remain anonymous.
Pierre Leguillon was born in 1969 in Nogent-sur-Marne, France. He lives and works in Brussels, where he established the Museum of Mistakes in 2013. His work often incorporates fabrics, and his personal collection contains a wide range of kasuri textiles. The latter have been displayed in Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels (2015), and ‘Tifaifai’, Rotonde Balzac, Fondation des Artistes, Paris (2013).
Major solo exhibitions include: Fondation d’Entreprise Ricard, Paris (2019); MRAC Sérignan, France (2015); Wiels, Brussels (2015); Moderna Museet, Mälmo (2010); Mamco, Geneva (2010); Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2008). He participated in the Taipei Biennial, Taiwan (2017), and in Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2013). He has held performances and lectures in Kamoshika, Ōita, Japan (2018); Dia Art Foundation, New York (2015); Beirut Art Center, Beirut (2014); Raven Row, London (2011); Artists Space, New York (2009); Musée du Louvre, Paris (2009); etc.
With special thanks to: Denise Araouzou, Pambos Charalambous, Tassos Chrysostomou, Panayiotis Pierides, and Nicolas Stylianou.
9 April – 4 May 2019
RIGADIN PEINTRE CUBISTE
The Island Club is pleased to present Rigadin Peintre Cubiste, an exhibition which explores the portrayal of fictional artists on the big and small screens.
Rigadin Peintre Cubiste is a 1912 French silent slapstick comedy directed by the prolific Georges Monca and produced by Pathé Frères. Rigadin—portrayed by Charles Prince Seigneur, one of the biggest film stars in the world in the years leading up to World War I—returns home from the first “Salon des Peintres Cubistes” with an urge to (re)create his own Cubist reality.
Released in the same year when Gleizes and Metzinger’s Du “Cubisme” (the first major essay on Cubism) appeared, Rigadin Peintre Cubiste constitutes the archeology of popular culture’s satirical engagement with the values of “high art” at the very peak of this subversive avant-garde movement.
In dialogue with Rigadin Peintre Cubiste, the compilation I could have done that… develops as an open archive attempting to map the presence of fictional artists as characters in a number of TV series and movies. Within the array of material, ranging from clichés, stereotypes, caricatures, and ethographies, a selection of diverse portrayals of fictional artists in media culture are assembled and put into perspective.
I could have done that… has been compiled by Denise Araouzou in dialogue with the extended family of The Island Club, colleagues, and friends. The first chapter of this open archive was edited by Adrian Melis.
“Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art. The reactionary attitude towards a Picasso painting changes into the progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterised by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert. . . . With regard to the screen, the critical and the receptive attitudes of the public coincide. The decisive reactions are predetermined by the mass audience response they are about to produce, and this is nowhere more pronounced than in the film.”
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936)
Rigadin peintre cubiste (1912). Directed by Georges Monca.
Production: Pathé frères 1912. © Fondation Jérôme Seydoux, Pathé frères.
With special thanks to: Anestis Anestis, Stephen Akehurst, Dafni Bechtsi, Mara Berger, Helene Black, Bianca Maria Fasiolo, Zedillo Fernando, Delia Gonzalez, Assaf Gruber, Evi Hadjipieri, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Katia Krupennikova, Jess Linden, Florent Meng, Zlatko Mićić, Eliana Otta, Thodoris Prodromidis, Bobby Paul Sayers, Sofronis Sofroniou, Korallia Stergides, Maria Toumazou, Myrto Vratsanou, Silke Wittig and Vasilis Doritis (Lifestyle Technologies).
23 February – 23 March 2019
ONE MINUTE, ONE HOUR, ONE MONTH… ONE MILLION YEARS
The Island Club presents One Minute, One Hour, One Month… One Million Years, a group show with works from the Kerenidis Pepe Collection.
One Minute, One Hour, One Month… One Million Years operates at the interstices between day and night, wake and sleep, work and rest. Where time bends and boundaries become porous. Where language, in form and function, surrenders to the weight of interpretation.
For the duration of the exhibition The Island Club will be open from 17:36 to 21:36. As the sun sets and commercial activity gives way to leisure time, the exhibition unfolds across buildings – shopfronts and public spaces in proximity to The Island Club – and can be explored through a walk.
With fleeces, with vestments, I have tried to cover the blue-black blade.
I implored day to break into night. I have longed to see the cupboard dwindle, to feel the bed soften, to float suspended, to perceive lengthened trees, lengthened faces, a green bank on a moor and two figures in distress saying goodbye. I flung words in fans like those the sower throws over the ploughed fields when the earth is bare. I desired always to stretch the night and fill it fuller and fuller with dreams.
Virginia Woolf, The Waves, 1931
Participating artists: Ignasi Aballí, Eva Barto, Alejandro Cesarco, Daniel Gustav Cramer, Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain, Haris Epaminonda, Aurélien Froment, Dora García, Mario García Torres, David Horvitz, On Kawara, Jochen Lempert, Julien Nédélec, Nina Papaconstantinou, Vittorio Santoro, Ariel Schlesinger, and Elsa Werth.
The Kerenidis Pepe Collection was established in 2006 by Iordanis Kerenidis, Research Director in Quantum Computing at CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research – Paris, France) and Piergiorgio Pepe, lecturer at Sciences Po (Paris, France) and ethics advisor. The collection reveals a rigorous interest in conceptual art that is both political and intimate. In 2014, Kerenidis and Pepe founded the association Phenomenon which organises a biennial program of artists’ residencies and exhibitions on the island of Anafi in Greece (www.phenomenon.fr). They also host interdisciplinary events and have a publishing activity that includes artists’ books and catalogues.
With special thanks to: Yioula Economou (Sunoptical), Evangelos Evangelou (Foto Matik), Marios Demetriou (Marios Locksmith), Panayiotis Pieridis (#20 Stoa Anexartisias), Spyros Polycarpou (Collector’s Shop), Georgia Raounas (Georgia Raounas Jewellery Design, #44 Stoa Anexartisias), K. Salamiotis & Sons, (Salamiotis Souvenirs), Andre Zivanari (Point Centre for Contemporary Art) and Will Wiebe.
6 February 2019, The Island Club
The Island Club is pleased to announce the international premiere of LAUGHING by spalarnia, a sound and poetry alias of performance artist Wojciech Kosma.
Kosma is known for staging nuanced representations of intimate relationships that weave together dance, theatre, and personal biographies. Offering simple accounts of imaginary happenings, and moving promiscuously between frames of time and metonymy, his new poetry project, spalarnia, insists on exposing the various philosophical qualities of what seems to be the common thread throughout—the sound.
Kosma’s performances were shown, among others, at Chisenhale Gallery, London; Transmission Gallery, Glasgow; Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles; Interstate Projects, New York. He is a founding member of artist collective East London Cable, and a member of a free jazz duo Hope Scandal (together with the drummer Bobo). His TV project Charisma, created in collaboration with Sarah M. Harrison and funded by Kone Foundation and Volksbühne Berlin, is available online at charisma.watch
18 December – 26 January 2019
FALL FRUM GRACE, MISS PIPI’S BLUE TALE
The Island Club is pleased to present Kara Walker’s video Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale.
Since the 1990s Kara Walker has developed a multifaceted body of work comprising drawings, paintings, coloured light projections, shadow puppetry, sculpture, and writing. Using incisive and unsettling imagery, Walker confronts and challenges the dominant traditions in the representation of slavery in America. By scrutinising the vicious propinquities among racial discrimination, gender inequality, violence, and subjugation, her work brings forth the cracks within current representations of Blackness and the state of racial consciousness in the United States and beyond.
Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale, a seventeen-minute shadow puppet video created in 2011, is set in the plantation fields of the Antebellum South and follows ‘Southern belle’ Miss Pipi and her intimate encounters with a black slave which come to a violent end after they are uncovered by a young white boy. The video revisits the historical context of Jim Crow laws, during which countless murders of black men took place on the grounds of “the mythology surrounding white Southern womanhood, historically cited time and time again as an entity to be protected from sexuality, in particular from the presumed hyper-sexuality of black men.” 
Shifting from Delta Blues to seventies groove and to ambient noise, the soundtrack of the video adds to a complex narrative structure lingering between fantasy and nightmare, desire and death, transgression and despair. As Kris Cohen writes, “what the film offers is not answers or tactics, and not even recognizable questions, but affects induced by a kind of unflinching decision not to sanitize a single thing, neither in her own racial-historical consciousness, nor in what she imagines to be the world’s.” 
 Kara Walker, Dust Jackets for the Niggerati- and Supporting Dissertations, Drawings submitted
ruefully by Dr. Kara E. Walker. Sikkema Jenkins & Co, New York. 21 April – 4 June 2011.
 Kris Cohen, “Endurance: Kara Walker, Fall Frum Grace, Miss Pipi’s Blue Tale”, Kara Walker More & Less. Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Oregon, USA. 4 September – 18 November 2012.
Born in Stockton, California in 1969, Kara Walker was raised in Atlanta, Georgia from the age of thirteen. She studied at the Atlanta College of Art (BFA, 1991) and the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 1994). Walker’s major survey exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love, was organised by The Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis (2007) before travelling to ARC/ Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris (2007); The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2007); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2008) and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth (2008). She is the recipient of many awards, notably the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award in 1997 and the United States Artists, Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship in 2008. In 2012, Walker became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2015, she was named the Tepper Chair in Visual Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
Selected solo exhibitions include: Kara Walker, Sprüth Magers, Berlin, Germany (2018); Kara Walker: Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC (2017); Kara Walker: Figa, DESTE Foundation Project Space, Slaughterhouse, Hydra, Greece (2017); Kara Walker: Go to Hell or Atlanta, Whichever Comes First, Victoria Miro, London, UK (2015); A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby, Domino Sugar Refinery Plant, Brooklyn, organised by Creative Time, New York (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London (2013); Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland (2011); and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2006). Selected group exhibitions include: America Is Hard to See, Whitney Museum, New York (2015); Remembering is Not Enough, MAXXI, Rome (2013); 11th Havana Biennial (2012); Venice Biennale (2007) and the Whitney Biennial (1997).
Courtesy of the artist, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., and Sprüth Magers.
5 November – 7 December 2018
AT MONET’S STUDIO
Thraki Rossidou Jones
Christodoulos Panayiotou: There are various aspects of your mother’s work that interest me. The one thing that absolutely fascinates me though is the freedom she took to reinvent her subject matter and liberate her style from the oppressing tradition of ‘Cypriot folklore’ on which her career was based up to the 90s. One could hastily canonise her work in the history of Cypriot Art, placing it alongside that of Michael Kassialos, as it offered the kind of imagery that the then newly established Republic of Cyprus needed for the formulation of a national iconography. What I find incredible about Thraki Rossidou Jones is that having founded an entire career on those premises, she then went on to seemingly effortlessly paint autumn in New Hampshire or Monet’s garden in Giverny. I have been truly enchanted by that series of Monet’s garden at Giverny since I first saw the paintings in a book many years ago. I find them audacious and extremely sensitive.
Gavin Jones: In 1990, I rang my mother and said, “Let’s do France!” – and off we went. During our trip, I said, “Right mother, I’m going to take you to Monet’s house!” She was enthralled and that’s what started her ‘Monet period’. She did a lot of paintings based on our visit. She loved the garden which she thought was wonderful and took many photos from which, once back at her studio, she would paint. I was always very blunt with my mother and told her that I didn’t particularly like the style of her paintings which I found strange and not to my taste. We had so many battles!
CP: Another thing that also surprises me is that even though her life was dramatically influenced by war, it was never a subject in her paintings. There is no trauma, no violence in her paintings.
GJ: Yes, that surprises me as well. She was from a political family and she was active in Cypriot politics. But painting was part of another process in her life, I guess.
CP: This must be you holding the sign saying ‘Monet’s Studio’. And this would be you again on the Japanese footbridge. Both are painted in 1991. On this painting from 2003 though, the style is very different, much simpler I would say. Is this young boy you again?
GJ: Yes, that’s me again. She had been suffering from dementia for a couple of years by the time she painted this one. This is what I meant when I spoke of a regression in her style during that period, when she would often paint from old photographs.
CP: It is truly moving to see these two paintings next to each other reproducing exactly the same view. This might just be my own projection but on this second painting you are much younger, a child really. And Merlin, her favourite cat, appears now as well. Even though Merlin was a recurrent subject in her landscape paintings, he rarely appeared in the Giverny circle. There seems to be a tension between memory and loss of control in this painting, which I find very poignant.
GJ: She’s quite a girl, my mother! Isn’t she?
(Extracts from a conversation with Gavin Jones on 28 July at Lemba, Paphos)
The Island Club presents At Monet’s Studio, a solo exhibition of paintings by Thraki Rossidou Jones, focusing on her series of works resulting from her visit to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny as well as other lesser known works produced in the latter part of her life, during which she suffered from dementia.
Thraki Rossidou Jones (1920 – 2007) was born and raised in Famagusta. In 1938, she moved to the UK to study English; however, her studies were cut short just prior to the beginning of WWII. Upon her return to Cyprus she enrolled in the WAAF (Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) and served as a plotter in the operations room in Athalassa. There she met her husband Keith Jones who was Deputy Controller at the time. Following their marriage in the summer of 1945 and the end of the war, they moved to Bilston, Wolverhampton, in the UK where they had a son, Gavin. In 1953, for a brief time, she studied at the Bilston College of Art and by 1968, the family moved back to Famagusta and opened up a travel agency. Following the events of the summer of 1974, Thraki and her husband fled to the Anzio Refugee Camp in Dhekelia and spent ten months there, while their son, Gavin, returned to England. After multiple relocations, they finally settled in Lemba, Paphos, where they built a home overlooking an orchard, wild fields and the sea. The next three decades of her life proved to be the most productive and defining years of her career as a painter.
Thraki Rossidou Jones passed away in July 2007. Although she suffered from dementia during the last six years of her life, she never stopped painting and would often revisit older works depicting places that were dear to her.
Her first solo exhibition took place at Curium Palace, Limassol (1980) and was followed by other solo and group shows in Cyprus and abroad. Selected solo exhibitions include: Gloria Gallery, Nicosia (1984); Wood Green, London (1988); Gallery of Naïve Art, Kovacica (1989); Cyprus Cultural Centre, New York (1994); Museum of Naïve Art, Jagodina, Yugoslavia (1995); MIAN International Museum of Naive Art of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (1996); House of Friendship, Moscow (1996); Cyprus House, Athens (1997); Peter’s Gallery, Nicosia (2005).
All works courtesy of Gavin Jones, Diachroniki Gallery and private collections.
With special thanks to Gavin Jones.
Photos: © Mirka K. / The Island Club
18 September – 20 October 2018
I’M GOING TO FILM THE SHADOWS
The Island Club presents I’m going to film the shadows, the first solo exhibition of self-taught fashion designer, artist and poet Dimitris Tsouanatos (b.1944).
In 1978, together with his brother, musician George Vanakos, Dimitris Tsouanatos founded Remember Fashion, a clothing label that set out to define “new ways of dressing” inspired by Post Punk and New Wave culture. Soon after, the Remember Fashion boutique became one of the most important meeting spots for the Athenian underground scene. Theatrical, extravagant and embracing a DIY aesthetic, Tsouanatos’ designs drew inspiration from Surrealism, Dadaism and Retrofuturism. These references informed an array of sculptural and structurally intricate outfits created with unusual materials such as cork, polystyrene, rubber piping, transparent plastic and aluminium sheets, amongst others. Tsouanatos consistently opted for unconventional settings for his shows and photoshoots, including the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland, the Pyramids in Giza as a backdrop, the London underground, a bullfighting ring in Madrid, or a ship en-route to Mykonos as a stage.
In 1984, Tsouanatos published his first book of poems, Light in the Darkness of the Day: After – Before – Thoughts, dedicated to his brother-in-law who had died prematurely. In the years to follow he compiled an ambitious anthology of poems, stories and collages (After Before Thoughts No.2, 1991), exploring how “daily sensory stimuli shall lead oneself and others to a better future”. During this period, his practice expanded to include video and sculpture, both proving to be integral, albeit external elements of this project.
Dimitris Tsouanatos lives and works in Athens where he is preparing his fourth publication.
Twenty-one original collages from After Before Thoughts No.2 as well as the complete series of his never-before-seen video works will be exhibited at The Island Club. A fashion show, showcasing a selection of outfits from the collections Gladiators Netronians & The Rhythm of Shadows (1981), Wayfarers to space (1987), Anti-Gravity (1989), Take a dive to paradise (1991), Protect (1993) and Sperm (2011) will complement the opening of the exhibition.
Works included in the exhibition:
I’m going to film the shadows.
He was alone the solitary. Hypocritical to himself.
Maybe I’ll meet you at a point where the ideas of good and love will be free to kiss.
On the enormous dance floors with a few passers-by of his life.
Supposedly sacred ground. Now that the cedar trees dance around and the crosses change shape for you candles sprout in the soil like basil that smell scorched. Something is burning you. Perhaps the flame that forgot to extinguish.
So, you don’t believe in anything? But then, do not say it to the water because it may become sterile.
The fire in the fireplace. And the sleepy cat cried the square memories that rounded today’s day.
You will find out the news from the rain and the air which can
be old for many when you find out though for you it is news.
What to eat? Meat or cutlets or rice, what if you eat human flesh?
The Hidden Material dripped its colour behind the sun’s horizon.
Like a hole that sinks.
One endless passage that surrounds the earth.
To stitch the unusual, the vanguard on the wallet of habit.
God, won’t you help me die before you?
We must shorten and unite the words of all the countries with one alphabet for everybody.
The art of history that becomes the neighbourhood market.
In the ditches with the forgotten bones.
Without any medals to be shown.
Which mask must the earth put on the carnival?
Everyone had doubts before about himself.
You wait for the bus of the “Awaiting Saint” route and also for a peeled and chewed apple with always an open mouth that gets tired being motionless.
(After Before Thoughts No.2 (1991), Translated into English by Dimitris Tsouanatos)
Organised in collaboration with Remember Fashion, Alexis Vassiliou and Hugo Wheeler.
All works courtesy of the artist.
Fashion Performance: 15 September, 22:00
Tapper (Eleftherias 62, 3042, Limassol)
With: Aphrodite Koupepidou, Kyriacos Kyriakides, Ula Lucinska, Marietta Mavrokordatou, Yara Christianne Menas, Aris Mochloulis, Korallia Stergides, Garose Venera
1 – 8 August 2018
6 August 2018
SNOW WHITE WAS STOPPED AT THE GATES OF DISNEYLAND
Johan Grimoprez, Joana Hadjithoma & Khalil Joreige, Pilvi Takala and Oraib Toukan
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presents a program that will take place in both venues. Participating writer Sofronis Sofroniou (Magnetic Bible) and artists Johan Grimoprez, Joana Hadjithoma & Khalil Joreige, Pilvi Takala and Oraib Toukan (Snow White was stopped at the gates of Disneyland).
Following a trip to Indonesia early in 2018, nearly half of the footage Sofroniou recorded was destroyed due to a faulty USB stick. In the short film titled Magnetic Bible, he revisits techniques of memory reconstruction in an attempt to address one of Chris Marker’s key questions: “I wonder how people remember things who don’t film, don’t photograph, don’t tape.”
Sofronis Sofroniou was born in Palechori, Cyprus. He studied Psychology in Nicosia and Neurosciences in New York. His first book, Oi Protoplastoi (To Rodakio, 2015) received the Cyprus National Novel Award and the Award for Newcomer Novelist “Menis Koumantareas” of the Writers Association of Greece (2016). His second book is called Pig Iron (Antipodes, 2017).
Snow White was stopped at the gates of Disneyland
Johan Grimoprez, Joana Hadjithoma & Khalil Joreige, Pilvi Takala and Oraib Toukan
Α program of four short films directed by artists Johan Grimonprez, (Raymond Tallis – on tickling, 2017), Joana Hadjithoma & Khalil Joreige (FIDEL, 2014), Pilvi Takala (Real Snow White, 2009) and Oraib Toukan (When Things Occur, 2016). Perceived in conversation with each other and as separate narratives, each film gives insight into how image and identity are manipulated, controlled and transmitted when one is faced with the unpredictable “οther”.
Johan Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Grimonprez’s curatorial projects have been exhibited at museums worldwide, including the Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), the Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich) and MoMA (New York). His works are in the collections of Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Ishikawa, Japan) and Tate Modern (London).
The filmmakers and artists Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige interweave thematic, conceptual and formal links through photographs, video installations, fictional films and documentaries. Their work is constructed around the production of types of knowledge, the rewriting of history, construction of imaginaries, and also around contemporary modes of narration. Their work has been collected and exhibited in private and public institutions and museums worldwide. In 2017 they were awarded the Marcel Duchamp Prize, after exhibiting the project Unconformities at the Georges Pompidou Centre (Paris).
Pilvi Takala uses performative interventions as a means to process social structures and question the normative rules and truths of our behaviour in different cultural contexts. She graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006 and from the residency program of Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (Amsterdam) in 2009. Her solo exhibitions include Bonniers Konsthall (Stockholm), Kunsthalle Erfurt and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art (Helsinki) and Sorlandets Kunstmuseum (Kristiansand). Her work has been shown in MoMA PS1 and New Museum (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Kunsthalle Basel (Basel), Witte de With (Rotterdam) and the 9th Istanbul Biennial.
Oraib Toukan is an artist and Clarendon Scholar at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Until Fall 2015, she was head of the Arts Division and Media Studies program at Bard College at Al Quds University, Palestine. Recent exhibitions include the Akademie der Künste (Berlin), Heidelberger Kunstverein (Heidelberg), Qalandia International (Palestine), The Centre for Contemporary Art Glasgow, the Asia Pacific Triennial, the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), and the 11th Istanbul Biennale. She is author of Sundry Modernism, Materials for a Study of Palestinian Modernism, Sternberg Press (2017).
Curated by Denise Araouzou
With special thanks to all participants, Helsinki Contemporary, zapomatik, Yiangos Hadjiyannis, Adrian Melis, Giorgos Sofroniou and Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre.
23 June – 28 July
AT BIKINI BOTTOM
The Island Club presents At Bikini Bottom, an exhibition stemming from a parallel chronology of the imaginary undersea world of Bikini Bottom and the series of nuclear tests that the U.S. began in Bikini Atoll in 1946. The exhibition includes a collection of animation drawings, production cels and backgrounds made for the first season of the series SpongeBob SquarePants (1999-2000), before the creative team of Steven Hillenburg began working with digital animation. Along with this material, photographic documentation of the nuclear tests conducted at the Marshall Islands will also be on view.
1942: Mr. Eugene Harold Krabs and Sheldon J. Plankton are born on 30 November.
1946: Operation Crossroads, a series of nuclear weapon tests conducted by the U.S. commences at Bikini Atoll. The native population is relocated. These tests, observed by the press and a selected audience, mark the first time the public is informed of nuclear testing before it occurs.
1946-1951: Mr. Krabs and Plankton decide to go into business together. Alternate universe Mr Plankton Universe, where the lives of Plankton and Mr. Krabs are switched, is created.
1946: The second Crossroads test, Baker, takes place on 25 July with the detonation of a bomb known as Helen of Bikini. Helen is detonated twenty seven metres underwater and causes extensive contamination.
1950: One day in June, Mr. Krabs and Plankton are on the beach, building a sandcastle. When a bully comes to destroy it, he is flung into the air by a secret mechanism hidden in the sand by Mr. Krabs and Plankton.
1950s: Following an endless military service, Mr. Krabs falls into a deep depression and acquires the Rusty Krab, a bankrupt retirement home he later turns into the restaurant Krusty Krab.
1958: Twenty-three detonations have been executed by the U.S. since 1946.
1961: SpongeBob creator, Stephen Hillenburg, is born on 21 August.
1972: A small number of islanders return to Bikini Atoll.
1975: The islanders who have returned to Bikini Atoll find that it is unfit for habitation and for the first time begin legal proceedings against the U.S., demanding a radiological study of the northern Marshalls.
1986: The Marshall Islands attain independence under the Compact of Free Association following almost four decades under U.S. administration. In the same year, SpongeBob is born on 14 July.
1987: SpongeBob creates a perfect burger for the first time.
1989: Hillenburg creates The Intertidal Zone, a comic book featuring an early version of SpongeBob.
1990: SpongeBob receives Gary as a pet, and Patrick as a friend.
1999: SpongeBob pilot episode titled Help Wanted is aired on 1 Μay.
2004: SpongeBob is arrested for not having invited the police to his party.
2005: Music video We Are Family by the We Are Family Foundation (WAAF) aiming to teach children about multiculturalism, and featuring SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick among other cartoon characters, is attacked by a Christian conservative group in the US for advocating homosexuality.
2011: A new species of fungus discovered in Malaysia is named Spongiforma Squarepantsii.
2012: With episode 173(a), aka Squiditis, SpongeBob SquarePants becomes the longest-running Nickelodeon series.
2014: Krusty Krab inspired restaurant Salta Burger opens in Ramallah on 24 July.
2016: Columbia University research finds that all of the Marshall Islands that have been involved in nuclear tests executed by the U.S. are now habitable, except for Bikini Atoll.
2017: Researchers at Stanford University discover blooming populations of marine life in the Bikini Atoll crater.
2018: A tweet from a fake SpongeBob Twitter account announces that SpongeBob SquarePants will come to an end on 1 March.
Text by Andry Panayiotou and Denise Araouzou
Works courtesy of a private collection
Archival material courtesy of the U.S. Army Photographic Signal Corps
21 April – 9 June 2018
A PAINTING ON SEPARATION
A painting on separation is an exhibition conceived around a single work of Apostolos Georgiou, its history of repetition and a story on separation. Following the completion of the painting Untitled, 2012 and fascinated by the peculiar physiology of the represented headless figure the artist decided to keep it for himself. A few years later however, due to external pressure he came to the conclusion that he must part with it. Before the painting left his studio he decided to make a copy and shortly thereafter a second copy, turning this exercise of multiplication into a diptych. Six years later, on the occasion of the exhibition at The Island Club, Georgiou revisits this series of reiterations with a new drawing inviting the potential for a new narrative to arise.
Apostolos Georgiou (b. 1952, Thessaloniki) began studying architecture at the University of Applied Arts of Vienna in 1971. By 1973 he decided to study painting instead. He graduated from the Academy of Beaux Arts in Florence in 1975. After spending two decades working on the island of Skopelos he relocated to Athens where he lives and works today. Georgiou has exhibited extensively in Greece and abroad and his work is included in many public and private collections worldwide.
Selected solo shows: Situations, 40-year retrospective, Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation, Shenzhen, China (2018); gb agency, Paris, France; Rodeo, London, UK (2016 and 2014); Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece (2012); EMST, Athens, Greece (2011). Selected group exhibitions: Documenta 14, Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany (2017); Der stinknormale Mann, Riesa Efau/Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany (2017); Shut Up and Paint, National Gallery of Victoria, Αustralia; Cher(e)s Ami(e)s: Hommage aux donateurs des collections contemporaines, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2016); See Sun and Think Shadow, Gladstone Gallery, New York, USA (2016); Hypnos Project, Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens, Greece (2016).
10 March – 14 April 2018
Drawing inspiration from the Japanese ceremony of Kōdō (Way of Incense), 6C7N1H8O16S provides a series of olfactory experiences involving raw materials and exercises in composition.
Alongside incenses collected in Kyoto and essential oils selected in dialogue with curator Akiko Miyake, The Island Club presents perfumes by Adam Christensen, Adham Faramawy, Celia Hempton, Patrizio di Massimo, Mary Ramsden, Magali Reus, Prem Sahib, and Nicoletta Fiorucci concocted during Artist’s Perfume Workshops curated by the Fiorucci Art Trust in collaboration with Creative Perfumers.
Floricienta Iuvenalis perfumer, Chrysa Gregoriou, revisits through a new composition the legacy of one of the island’s native aromatic plants, labdanum, found in the medieval scented pastes known as Birdies of Cyprus and later in François Coty’s famed fragrance Chypre (1917).*
6C7N1H8O16S unfolds on a series of eclectic structures conceived for the exhibition by architect Dakis Panayiotou. These structures of a nature both sculptural and functional, act as the catalysts that facilitate the melding of scents and space.