4 & 8 August 2023
ORLANDO: MY POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY
Paul B. Preciado
A FULL LIFE, I SUPPOSE
Alexandros Pissourios (in conversation with films by Maria Anastassiou, Luke Fowler, Margaret Salmon, Vicky Smith, Margaret Tait and Katerina Thomadaki)
The Island Club is pleased to present two films at the 18th Lemesos International Documentary Festival: A. Paul B. Preciado’s Orlando: My Political Biography, proposed in collaboration with Queer Wave, and B. Alexandros Pissourios’s A full life, I suppose, a new work that premieres alongside a series of short films selected by the filmmaker.
A. Friday, 4 August 2023, 20:30, in collaboration with Queer Wave | Orlando: My Political Βiography, Paul B. Preciado, 2023, 75 minutes
What interests me in the film is taking a snapshot of a world in epistemological transition, of the passage from a binary and patriarchal epistemology to another way of thinking about subjectivity, the body, and love … Being trans is not just to transition from femininity to masculinity (or vice versa), but to engage in a process of internal “orlandisation”: a poetic journey in which a new language to name oneself and the world is invented. — Paul B. Preciado
In 1928, Virginia Woolf wrote Orlando, a novel in which the main character suddenly transforms from male to female in the middle of the story. Almost a century later, trans writer and activist Paul B. Preciado sends a film letter to Woolf, calling a cast of 25 different people, all trans and non-binary, from 8 years old to 70, to play the fictional character while also narrating their own lives. Meanwhile, a series of mid-20th century trans archives evoke the real, historical Orlandos in their struggle for recognition and visibility.
Paul B. Preciado (b. 1970, Burgos, Spain; lives and works in Paris) is a writer, philosopher, curator and one of the leading contemporary thinkers in the study of gender and body politics. Among his different assignments, he has been Curator of Public Programs at documenta 14 (Kassel/Athens), Curator of the Taiwan Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, and Head of Research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA). His books, Countersexual Manifesto (Columbia University Press), Testo Junkie (The Feminist Press), Pornotopia (Zone Books), An Apartment in Uranus (Semiotexte and Fitzcarraldo), Can the Monster Speak (Semiotexte and Fitzcarraldo) and Dysphoria Mundi (Grasset, Graywolf and Fitzcarraldo) are a key reference in queer, trans and non-binary contemporary art and activism.
B. Tuesday, 8 August 2023, 20:30 | A full life, I suppose, Alexandros Pissourios, 2023, 25 minutes (in conversation with films by Maria Anastassiou, Luke Fowler, Margaret Salmon, Vicky Smith, Margaret Tait and Katerina Thomadaki, 1952–2021, 50 minutes)
Androulla Pissouriou: The first reaction is shock. Seeing yourself at 18-19 years old, and you are now 70, it’s a bit of a shock. Then you evaluate how you feel. How you felt back then. What you used to do… What frame of mind you were in, I guess, compared to now. But then you say, “This is how life is”. You go through it… You mature, you grow old, and you should appreciate every stage of your lifetime. You needn’t feel sad that you once were young… You should take a look at how you were and be glad that you existed like that—beautiful. I’m not regretful I existed like this… Joyful, beautiful, well-dressed, with my babies. I feel satisfied.
Alexandros Pissourios: So you wouldn’t want to be someone else.
Androulla Pissouriou: No. Someone else, no. Maybe I would have wanted to have a different life. Admittedly, I would’ve liked another partner. Someone else, I guess, someone different. But I like who I was. I wouldn’t want to be someone else. Have I answered ok?
Alexandros Pissourios: Yes.
A full life, I suppose is a filmic portrait of the time shared between the filmmaker and his mother, Androulla, combining new 16mm material shot during his recurring visits to Cyprus with Super 8mm footage shot by his father in the 1970s to chronicle the evolution of bodies and the desires that mark a life. Attempting to balance between observation and construction, the film captures dailiness and domesticity while transfiguring Androulla’s body and inhabited space through close-ups, double exposures and time-lapses. As segments of conversations between filmmaker and mother about her life wander mostly sync-free over the images, encounters with light and darkness in the nooks and furnishings of her otherwise ordinary dwelling arouse a sense of unreality.
The work premieres in dialogue with, and follows, And I wish you a happy life, a portrait of Pissourios’s time with his father which premiered at the Lemesos International Documentary Festival in 2020. It is presented alongside a series of short films, selected by the filmmaker, that explore and expand upon its themes.*
Alexandros Pissourios (b. 1982, Limassol, Cyprus; lives and works in London) is an artist and filmmaker. He works with photography as well as analogue and digital video. His filmmaking is motivated by observational attentiveness and carries an affinity to experimental traditions. Selected screenings and exhibitions include: Ineffable Islands, Space52, Athens (2021); And I wish you a happy life, 15th Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presented by The Island Club (2020); Terra Mediterranea: In Action, Leipzig, Germany (2017); 27th International Ankara Film Festival, Turkey (2016); LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Image, ICA, London (2012); On site, Barbican Exhibition Halls, London (2011); 25th London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, British Film Institute, London (2011).
* The screening programme presented in dialogue with A full life, I suppose comprises the following films:
Piano Practice, Maria Anastassiou, 2021, 8 mins
A short portrait of the filmmakers’ mother at her home in Nicosia, Cyprus, as she learns new skills following her retirement from an academic career in the medical sciences.
Mum’s Cards, Luke Fowler, 2018, 9 minutes
My mother is a Sociologist—she came to Glasgow from the south of England in the 1960s to work within the Politics Department of Glasgow University … Although the university advocated and furnished her with her own personal computer, she still used index cards to make notes on the books and articles that she read. Now that she no longer has an office, her house is filled with shoeboxes and filing cabinets containing these cards. [She] was absent on the day that I shot this film; the interview and sounds were recorded at a later date. — Luke Fowler
Ramapo Central, Margaret Salmon, 2003, 8 minutes
The third filmic portrait in Salmon’s series of American typographies, Ramapo Central is a feminist exploration of female middle-class identity, depicting the real and imagined life of a middle-aged woman and receptionist.
Re:Exposure, Vicky Smith, 2021, 10 minutes
A reflection on the exposure of skin to sun and of film to light and the environmental, social and hereditary factors that impact the ageing process, featuring close-ups of old photos of the filmmaker’s mother—and her mother—on the beach.
A Portrait of Ga, Margaret Tait, 1952, 5 minutes
My mother seemed a good subject for a portrait, (she was there), and I thought it offered a chance to do a sort of “abstract film”, in the sense that it didn’t have what you might call “the grammar of film.” It’s mostly discontinuous shots linked just by subject, in one case by colour, only rarely by movement. — Margaret Tait
Portrait De ma mere dans son jardin, Katerina Thomadaki, 1980, 10 minutes
In this film portrait, where the hieratic figure of the artist’s mother, her way of being one with the surrounding nature, contrasts with the vigour of the camera movements and the syncopated rhythm of the montage, something emerges [from] the intimate relationship uniting these two women. — Jeu de Paume
ORLANDO: MY POLITICAL BIOGRAPHY 4 August 2023, 20:30, Evagoras Lanitis Centre
A FULL LIFE, I SUPPOSE 8 August 2023, 20:30, Evagoras Lanitis Centre
TICKETS INFO www.filmfestival.com.cy/tickets
31 March – 29 April 2023
Movement Is Medicine
The Island Club is pleased to present Movement Is Medicine, a solo exhibition by Pratchaya Phinthong.
Pratchaya Phinthong (b. 1974, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand) is an alchemist of economic value and social functions. In his practice, financial fluctuations, media alarmism and the world labour market are transferred into matter as it transforms from solid to liquid to gaseous states, and then back again. He can be described as a trader who operates according to a logic opposite to that of profit, and who deals in cultural and value systems, trafficking in everyday meanings, hopes and troubles. Phinthong accepts the perpetual transformation of forms and politics, of existence and daily life, poetically transferring the metaphor of fluctuation in currency values to various areas of human action. His works often arise from the confrontation between different social, economic or geographical systems. They are the result of a dialogue, and bring all their poetic forces from an almost invisible artistic gesture.
Solo exhibitions include: Extended Release, Art Center University, Wang Thapra, Bangkok (2020); This page is intentionally left blank, Bangkok Citycity Gallery (2019); Pratchaya Phinthong, gb agency, Paris (2018, 2015, 2012, 2009, 2007); Who will guard the guards themselves?, Art and Culture Centre, Bangkok (2015); A proposal to set CH4 5.75H20 on fire, Kiosk, Ghent (2013); A piece that nobody needs, Lothringer13_halle, Münich (2013); Broken Hill, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2013); Sleeping Sickness, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Rennes (2012); Give More Than You Take, GAMeC, Bergamo (2011); Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brétigny (2010).
Selected group exhibitions include: Istanbul Biennial 2022; Vulnerable Beings, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2022); Global Resistance, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (2020); Chine Afrique, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris (2020); My body hold its shape, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (2020); Moderna Museet Collection, Stockholm (2020); A Brave New World, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev (2020); Seismic Movements, Dhaka Art Summit (2020); Hysterical Mining, Vienna Biennale, Kunsthalle Wien (2019); Soft Power, SF MOMA, San Francisco (2019); In situ from outside, National Museum, Bangkok (2019); Dhaka Art Summit 2019; Floating Worlds, 14th Biennale, Lyon (2017); Sunshower, National Art Center and Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2017); Art Encounters, Biennale of Contemporary Art, Timisoara (2017); Manipulating The World, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017); 40th Anniversary, Ludwig Museum, Köln (2016); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); Under the Clouds, Serralves Museum, Porto (2015); Time of Others, Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2015); Gallery of Modern Art, National Museum of Art, Osaka (2015); Singapore Art Museum (2015); Queensland Art Gallery (2015); Soleil Politique, Museion, Bolzano (2014); Materials, Money and Crisis, MUMOK, Vienna (2013); I Know You, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013); Until it Makes Sense, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris (2013); dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012); The Ungovernables, New Museum Triennial, New York (2012); Death & Life of Fiction, Taipei Biennial (2012); How to Work (More for) Less, Kunsthalle Basel (2011).
OPENING 31 March 2023, 18:00–21:00
DURATION 31 March – 29 April 2023. Holiday closures: 14 and 15 April.
OPENING HOURS Thursday to Saturday, 12:00–18:00
In parallel with the opening of Movement Is Medicine, The Island Club will be hosting the launch of Sensing is believing, believing is seeing, a publication by Adonis Archontides following his exhibition at the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre in May–July 2022, featuring an original text by Gabrielle de la Puente (The White Pube).
These events at The Island Club will coincide with the opening of The Day Before the Western Wind, a solo exhibition by Despina Charitonidi at eins gallery (19:00–22:00), and the closing of Through the Looking Glass, a screening of films by visual artists Stelios Kallinikou, Marianna Christofides and Constantinos Taliotis at Pylon Art & Culture (18:00–22:00).
17 March 2023 | Rialto Theatre
Machines in Lasting Motion
Ichomagnetic Thoughts, Kristia Michael, Pandelis Diamantides
“I evoke a dancing woman. A woman? No. A bouncing line with harmonious rhythm. I evoke a luminous projection on veils! Precise matter! No. Fluid rhythms … Harmony of lines. Harmony of light. Lines, surfaces, volumes evolving directly, without the artifice of evocation, in the logic of its forms, dispossessed of any overly human sense, allowing an elevation towards the abstract, thus giving more space to sensations and to dreams…”
— Germaine Dulac
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Rialto Theatre and Light Cone, presents Machines in Lasting Motion, a screening of early 20th-century avant-garde films by Germaine Dulac, Ralph Steiner, Henri Chomette, Oswell Blakeston and Francis Bruguière. Through experimentations with light and movement, the works jointly explore the expressive potential of industrial technologies and machinery, drawing intricate parallels between the mechanical and the human. The screening will be accompanied by live performances by Ichomagnetic Thoughts (Antonia Kattou and Stelios Antoniou), Kristia Michael and Pandelis Diamantides, who will be presenting original music in response to the films.
Pandelis Diamantides is an electronic music composer, new media artist and researcher who splits his time between Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands. His compositions and audiovisual performances are carefully crafted, highly immersive experiences. He has taken part in various collaborative projects, creating sound, visuals and software for contemporary dance, theatre and interactive audiovisual installations and performances. His work has been presented in international festivals, concert halls, clubs, theatres, galleries and museums in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America, and the United States. These include MoMA PS1 (New York), the 55th Venice Biennale, Bozar Centre for Fine Arts (Brussels), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), the Madrid Planetarium, the Benaki Museum (Athens), the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam) and FOAM X Arles. His works include Green (2011), False Awakenings (2015), Go Back to Hiding in the Shadows (2019), Quickly Photographed and Released Unharmed (2020), and Παλμός (2022).
Kristia Michael is a Cypriot vocalist, composer and sound artist based in The Netherlands. Her work centres on contemporary and early Western music and the research and use of extended vocal techniques, pure tones, folk timbres and elements from performance art. As a vocalist, she focuses on collaborations with composers on commissions, world premieres, operas, recordings, and other projects, and works with early and contemporary music festivals around Europe. She has performed as a soloist at the National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam and collaborated with the Opera Forward Festival, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra and K3 Tanzplan Hamburg, among others. Her compositions, which include vocal works and multichannel sound installations, have been presented at the State Heritage Museum (St. Petersburg), SPRING Festival (Netherlands), the IMZ International Music + Media Centre (Austria), Dom Radio (St. Petersburg) and Epicentroom Festival (St. Petersburg). She is the founder and artistic director of the medieval music ensemble, Sibil•la Ensemble.
Ichomagnetic Thoughts is a duo consisting of Antonia Kattou and Stelios Antoniou. Combining their respective backgrounds—which span music production, sound design, percussion, contemporary classical music, ethnomusicology and storytelling—their work encompasses electroacoustic composition, ambient soundscapes and free improvisation, incorporating electronics, synthesisers, percussion, field recordings and sounds from found objects. Their performances take the form of conceptual, interactive encounters that unfold an expansive and transdisciplinary space for composing and improvising through experimentations with silence, ambience and the fragility of sound. Formed in May 2022, they have performed and presented work at various venues, festivals and exhibitions in Cyprus. Their debut album, 222555, will be self-released in March 2023.
Programme curation: Androula Kafa
Films selected in dialogue with Miguel Armas, courtesy of Light Cone
DATE Friday 17 March 2023, 20:30 (duration 50’), at the Rialto Theatre
ENTRANCE 10€ / 5€
TICKETS Available from rialto.interticket.com/ or the Rialto Box Office (open Monday to Friday, 10:00–15:00, and 90 minutes before all performances, tel. 7777 7745).
The event is presented in the framework of FlashArt @ Rialto.
21 October – 19 November 2022
AND ALL YOU SEE IS GLORY
Stars, they come and go, they come fast or slow
They go like the last light of the sun, all in a blaze
And all you see is glory
The Island Club presents And all you see is glory, an exhibition comprising a selection of artworks and artefacts which jointly reflect on the complex interactions between traditions of visual art and the workings of stardom and spectacle. The exhibition is presented in the framework of Limassol Art Walks 2022.
Participating artists (among others): Aggelos Papadimitriou, Amanda Lear, Ana Jotta, Anna Delvey, Claudia Paschalides, Christodoulos Panayiotou, George Kalfamanolis, Kim Novak, Kyriakos Kyriakides, Liberace, Matthieu Laurette, Nadar, Pierre Leguillon.
OPENING 21 October 2022, 18:00-22:00. Guided tour with Christodoulos Panayiotou at 20:00.
DURATION 21 October – 19 November 2022
OPENING HOURS Thursday to Saturday, 12:00-18:00. On Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October, the exhibition will be open 11:00-20:00 for Limassol Art Walks.
Limassol Art Walks 2022 will take place on 21 – 23 October in the heart of the old city. With 14 participating spaces, institutions and projects, its public programme will include exhibitions, performances, screenings, open studios, artist talks and guided tours. More information: limassolartwalks.com (website), @limassolartwalks (Instagram)
8 August 2022 | Lemesos International Documentary Festival
Los Angeles Plays Itself
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presents Los Angeles Plays Itself by Thom Andersen (2003).
Employing footage from approximately two hundred films alongside an idiosyncratic and inspired commentary, Los Angeles Plays Itself examines how Hollywood simultaneously invented and distorted the image of the city of Los Angeles—a unique video essay which has been described as the best movie about movies ever made.
21 May – 2 July 2022
I LOVE NATURE
Farah Al Qasimi
The Island Club presents I Love Nature, a solo exhibition by Farah Al Qasimi, comprising photographs, video, and wallpaper. Exploring the exaggerated yet carefully crafted imagery through which commercial fantasies of Eden are made and sold, the exhibition negotiates a world in which consumption is sublimated, the sublime commodified, and Paradise is capital’s ultimate promise.
I think I went too far on a recess.
I was having a bad day, and I went a little longer than was recommended.
I’ve been here for hours. Or maybe days, or weeks. I don’t know.
There’s no reason to leave when I feel so good.
I wake up, I swim in the water, I feel weightless.
I feel like I exist outside the bounds of my skin.
I feel held in love and kindness.
I feel large, but not heavy.
I feel alive, but I don’t suffer.
– Excerpt from The Swarm, Farah al Qasimi, 2021, 13:52 mins, HD video, colour, sound
Farah Al Qasimi (b.1991, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; lives and works in Brooklyn and Dubai) works in photography, video, and performance. She received her MFA from the Yale School of Art and has participated in residencies at the Delfina Foundation, London, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; Public Art Fund, New York; Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai; the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco; the CCS Bard Galleries at the Hessel Museum of Art, New York; Helena Anrather, New York; The Third Line, Dubai; The List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Cambridge; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; and the Houston Center for Photography, Houston.
Al Qasimi is a recipient of the New York NADA Artadia Prize, the Aaron Siskind Individual Photographer’s Fellowship, and the 2020 Capricious Photo Award. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography, Amsterdam; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick; and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, New York.
OPENING 21 May 2022, 18:00-21:00
DURATION 21 May – 2 July 2022
OPENING HOURS Thursday to Saturday, 12:00-18:00
26 March – 7 May 2022
YEARS OF CONFUSION
The Island Club is pleased to present Years of Confusion, a solo exhibition by Cypriot artist Koula Savvidou.
- Koula Savvidou was born on 29 February 1956 in London.
- When it came to time, Roman emperors did as they pleased. Days were added and taken off, weeks came and went. That way, they held on to power for two or three more months, collecting double or triple the taxes.
- That was until Julius Caesar decided to change the Roman calendar, but before he did so, in 46BC, he also added three months. He was assassinated a year later. He must have known something.
- The year preceding the calendar change came to be known as the “year of confusion”; it was the longest year in history, with a total duration of 445 days.
- Julius’s successor, August, named the new calendar “Julian”, after his uncle. These two emperors left behind leap years, the months of July and August, and their errors.
- The Gregorian calendar was established on 24 February 1582, by Pope Gregory XIII, in order to amend the errors of the Julian calendar.
- Koula Savvidou was born on 29 February 1956 of the Gregorian calendar. Like every leap year, 1956 was comprised of 366 days.
- Every four years, a day is intercalated into the month of February in order to bring the calendar into line with the astronomical year. That is what happened on 29 February 1956, when Koula Savvidou was born in London.
- KS: There were very serious reasons. Very serious reasons, though…
CP: You shouldn’t regret anything, because…
KS: I regret nothing.
CP: …in the past, careers weren’t made so quickly. Nowadays we want it all to happen in an instant.
KS: No, I was clear, the people I love count more than anything, and when there are health issues, enough with… We make art for the people we love. For people, in general. We make art for a reason, and…
CP: Yes, because it seems like sometimes you regret…
KS: No, that’s what I said to Apostolos, I have no regrets. If I were to start over right now, I would do the same. I regret nothing. Not a single thing.
- One could approach Koula Savvidou’s work at the bends of time amended.
- “All I know is that the hours are long, under these conditions, and constrain us to beguile them with proceedings which – how shall I say – which may at first sight seem reasonable, until they become a habit. You may say it is to prevent our reason from foundering. No doubt. But has it not long been straying in the night without end of the abyssal depths? That’s what I sometimes wonder. You follow my reasoning?”
– Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
- The first I ever saw of Koula Savvidou’s work was in the performance Waiting for Godot in early 1995 at Theatro Praxis, in Limassol. I was a student back then. At times I wanted to be a dancer, at times a director, I also wanted to make movies… None of that came to be.
- The actors’ bodies would sink inside these big sponges, you couldn’t see their shoes (those worn-out boots often worn by Vladimir and Estragon). In the middle of the stage stood a blue tree. Koula had painted it blue. In the second act, red leaves sprouted. I remember them, bright red.
- CP: I really like these works, and I like how they relate to each other, their scale in the space here in your living room…how they touch the ceiling.
KS: When we were in Limassol, I had a very small studio with a high ceiling…
CP: And you made these tall works.
KS: And I made these tall works, which I have, and had, by our bed, they were very beautiful.
CP: Do you call them Trees?
KS: No, Silent Discussions – Silent Agreements.
KS: There’s always a dialogue between the works. Yes. Because the fluorescent colours added another dimension, and at night, with the ultraviolet light, when the lights went off, a new landscape was formed, which was in dialogue with these works, and it was terrific, it is…
CP: Why this particular shade of blue?
KS: Look, to be honest, the works needed this colour, that’s just how it came out, and I love this colour in general, but they just needed it.
CP: So you tried other colours, too?
CP: Because I can see this shade of blue on other decorative objects in your house, too. Your windows are blue, the kitchen wall, the tiles. It’s almost everywhere.
KS: It’s entirely by chance.
CP: In the mounted works, toο.
KS: That has nothing to do with it.
CP: Anyway, it’s a shade of blue that’s almost dangerous…
KS: It’s magnetic.
CP: Your eyes are also a magnetic shade of blue.
KS: No, these are contact lenses.
CP: Oh, really? What colour are your eyes?
CP: They look good on you.
KS: They do? Thanks.
- It takes millions of years for the trunk of a tree to fossilise and turn into stone. Koula, of course, does it much more quickly.
- KS: I found it on the side of the road and I felt sorry for it, dear Christodoulos… That’s why I used to pick up everything that had been uprooted, so it could live a different life.
- “I wished for the tree to be uprooted in a show of solace … Farewell to you all, I am running away to save myself…!”
– Extract from Koula Savvidou’s note for Waiting for Godot
- For Silent Discussions – Silent Agreements, her exhibition at Diaspro Art Center in Nicosia in 1987, she collected uprooted trees from the streets of Limassol together with Elpidoforos.
- Koula Savvidou doesn’t only collect trees, but lots of other objects, too, which occasionally become her sculptures. In indeterminate times, at the bends of time amended.
- Some of these objects are: a. The steering wheel of a ship she found in a boatyard in Limassol in 1985, b. Rocks from an ancient harbour, c. An old weighing scale which she bought in 2020, d. A chandelier belonging to her great-grandmother, handed down to her by her father (she doesn’t remember when), e. An old stool, f. A pocket knife that her father gave her as a gift, also a long time ago, g. A stone column from her grandfather’s house, h. A chair left behind by English tenants in 1974, i. Two ceramic hives she found in her studio yard in 1988, which were incorporated in one of her sculptures last year, j. Three heater stands she bought from an antiques seller in 2021…
- These are not οbjets trouvés, as I’m sure she will agree. These are οbjets retrouvés (for it is Proust one finds sitting comfortably somewhere between Duchamp and Beckett).
- CP: I mean the work with the hives, the totem.
KS: This isn’t the first time you’re calling it a totem. It’s not a totem. The work is called I promise to come.
- A significant portion of her exhibition, Silent Discussions – Silent Agreements, is now in her living room. Curated to perfection, Koula Savvidou’s living room on Tenedou Street, in the Town Mansions apartment complex, marks a point of divergence from the tachometer of time. I wish you could see it.
- Koula Savvidou’s living room is also the most beautiful parκ in Nicosia, barely organic. I wish you could see it.
- “A country road. A tree. Evening.
Estragon: Nothing to be done.
Vladimir: I’m beginning to come round to that opinion.”
– Opening lines from Waiting for Godot
- “Again, one day every four years.”
- Body of work: So if you mix all of her works and all these dates in a shaker, and I mean all the works and all the years, and shake them persistently, you’ll get a cocktail. You could call this cocktail “Persistence Sour”. “Consistency”, maybe? No, no, “Persistence”! “Persistence Sour”.
- Genealogy: KS: From my mum’s side I got the music, the songs, the books… Troodos, the streams, the summer walks in the forest… With Nikolas, Panos, Tania, Mary, all my cousins. The same music that runs so deeply inside my works….! Grandma Revekka from my mum’s side had 10 children. Kyriakou from my dad’s side had 4 children. I came across all these people on my path, and I loved them dearly! I have 2 more sisters. Revekka is a lyric soprano. Savina is a classical ballet teacher. A young daughter, Nepheli, she studied theatre…!! Grandma to 2 wonderful boys.
- “Give us our eleven days!”
- KS: I wanted to make works that spoke to one another, and I found a rhythm in the colours, in their movement in the space…
CP: The movement is impressive, yes.
KS: Because they also move, they’re seismographs, when the movement begins… The other day there was an earthquake, and it was crazy in here with the sculptures. Let me show you … [they get up]. They were all moving around like this, yes…
- Koula turned 16, she is now a teenager.
Koula Savvidou (b. 1956, London) is a visual artist based in Nicosia, Cyprus. She graduated from the National School of Fine Arts, Lyon, in 1981. Her solo exhibitions include: On the Solitary Crossing of Impassable Passages, Diaspro Art Center, Nicosia (1995); Installations, Studio Interior, Limassol (1987); Silent Discussions – Silent Agreements, Diaspro Art Center, Nicosia (1987); Themelion Gallery, Limassol (1984). She participated in the 3rd Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in Barcelona (1987), in the 17th Alexandria Biennale (1991), and the Meditarraneo per l’ Arte Contemporanea (1989).
Her group exhibitions include: anabasis, Rodeo Gallery, Athens (2022); Till we meet again, curated by Nikos Pattichis and Esra Plümer Bardak, CVAR, Nicosia (2021-2022); Revolv.er, curated by Maria Efstathiou, phytorio, Nicosia (2012); No Man’s Land, Diaspro Art Center, Nicosia (1992); 25 Cypriot Artists, The House of Cyprus, Athens (1992).
OPENING 26 March 2022, 17:00-21:00
DURATION 26 March – 7 May 2022
OPENING HOURS Thursday to Saturday, 12:00-18:00. Holiday closures: 22 and 23 April.
18 December 2021 – 26 February 2022
THE LONG TAIL
The Island Club is pleased to present The Long Tail by German artist Philip Wiegard. The exhibition comprises a wallpaper installation and a series of polymer clay paintings, including works produced in collaboration with local polymer clay artists following a workshop hosted by the Cyprus Polymer Clay Association in November 2021 in Nicosia.
Mrgymtowels: I don’t know what it is or what it means.
But now I’m hungry..
benfcknten: is it edible?
Cheesegollam: Thought you were pushing the cheese out of a hot dog.
bythefae: SOO THATS HELLA IMPRESSIVE
hannaharleman: forbidden taffy
– Comments under one of Wiegard’s tutorials on his TikTok channel [@phimo_tutorials]
“I want to destroy Philip Wiegard’s polymer mosaics with my mouth. First my incisors, then my molars, havocking the careful boundaries between colors and shapes, then I’d like to move on to clawing, enjoying the growing pressure of clay under the crescents of my fingernails as I tear them apart. What is this material rage? This want to ravage? To eat. To consume.
When I first saw Philip Wiegard’s works, I didn’t realize they were made out of polymer clay. I thought they were simply oil paintings made with lots of blue painter’s tape and anal precision. Then I came across Wiegard’s Instagram and understood what they really were; not painted or printed, but essentially baked, made with the same widely commercially available clay we all squished in grade school to make brightly-colored beads for mom and swollen-hearted BFF necklaces. But Wiegard works with extreme precision, borrowing from the tradition of mosaic, or intarsia, assembling his images from slices of three dimensional “canes”—logs of polymer clay in which a design runs through the entire length … Back on Instagram, Wiegard’s entire grid, and presence, is devoted to the production of these clay works; he talks to the camera with startling earnestness, describing the process, providing tips and tutorials to his viewers, the camera cutting to his hands as they build up the squishy graphic blocks of cane that eventually form his mosaics … Due to Wiegard’s willingness to share his process without paywalls, something which is not always common, he seems to have firmly established himself within the polymer community, developing a healthy following and engaged fan base with his videos receiving thousands of views.
If you look through the comments on any of the socials, or dig into the history of polymer clay, it is clearly a nearly all-female sport. Polymer clay was invented in the 1930s and first used by Käthe Kruse, the famed German doll-maker, who tested out a new waste oil by-product called iglett. Käthe loved it as a material, but it didn’t hold paint, so she abandoned the leftover drum in storage. A decade later, Käthe’s daughter Sofie (“Fifi”) discovered the remaining iglett, and immediately recognized its potential, and thus FIMO clay was born, just as the term “D.I.Y.” was taking off. What made FIMO clay so unique was that it required no kiln or specialized training—it was advertised as “oven clay,” and anyone could use it from the comfort of their home. This domestication of production cemented FIMO as a medium for kids and moms, which over time became an image that has stood in the way of the polymer clay community being taken seriously. There is a clear, almost desperate, desire for polymer clay to be recognized as a real craft or real art, and not just a hobby …
Wiegard’s polymer practice is a melding of many worlds—art and kitsch, product and process, commercial and craft … [His] mosaics move across the slippery terrain of digital performance, online identity, and attention economies—yet the works only refer back to their ecstatic origins with a stoic nod. They may be made of absurdist material, brightly colored and meant for children, but the mosaics take themselves seriously—not unlike Wiegard’s own demeanor in his videos. While sitting with Wiegard in his Berlin studio I asked him how he bakes his larger pieces. “In a commercial oven across the street. It took two years to figure out how to get the process right” … I was immediately hit with the image of Wiegard carefully crossing Skalitzer Strasse with a massive pan, like some sort of artisanal Keebler Elf. This procession to the bakery means he figured out how to industrialize the domestic—transforming it into something fit for a museum. And isn’t this what the polymer community has wanted all along?”
– Selected and edited extracts from Calla Henkel’s “Oddly Satisfying” (2021). In Illiberal Arts, edited by Anselm Franke and Kerstin Stakemeier and published by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin.
Philip Wiegard (b. 1977, Schwetzingen, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. His work investigates forms of creative expression and collaborative work against the backdrop of production and labor conditions. He studied art at the University of the Arts Berlin (1998–2003) and Hunter College, New York (2001–2002). He won a fellowship from the Berlin Senate of Culture (2019 and 2020), the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2001–2003), and the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2007), and participated in the Spring Workshop residency program in Hong Kong (2014).
Selected solo and group exhibitions include: Illiberal Arts, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin, 2021); These Are the Only Times You Have Known, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (Berlin, 2020); In the Name of Talent, Between Bridges (Berlin, 2018); Beehave, Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona, 2018); Show Me the Money!, Museet for Samtidskunst (Roskilde, 2017); Nine to Five (with Christodoulos Panayiotou), Kunstverein Nürnberg (Nuremberg, 2016); When Fashion Shows The Danger Then Fashion Is The Danger (with Bernhard Willhelm), Museum of Contemporary Art–Pacific Design Center (Los Angeles, 2015); Funeral Charade of Poses, HAU Hebbel am Ufer (Berlin, 2011); TopHane, Depo (Istanbul, 2010); Rooms without Walls (with basso Berlin), Hayward Gallery (London, 2009).
OPENING 18 December 2021, 18:00–21:00.
DURATION 18 December 2021 – 26 February 2022.
OPENING HOURS Thursday to Saturday, 12:00–18:00. Holiday closures: 24, 25, 31 December; 1, 6 January.
SafePass is compulsory for entry to the exhibition space. Social distancing and the use of masks is mandatory. Only a limited number of visitors can be present inside the space at any time.
6 November – 4 December 2021
The Island Club presents an anthology of films by Constantin Brancusi from the collections of The Centre Pompidou – National Museum of Modern Art in France. Organised in seven chapters (Brancusi Films, The Studio, Lights, Materials, Bestiary, Portraits and Self-Portraits, Dance, Voyages), the films comprise a fertile dialogue between Brancusi’s pioneering sculptural work and the new technology of the moving image.
“Better than any artist of his generation, Brancusi develops a full comprehension of the revolution which analogue reproductive means (photography and film) were to bring to our understanding of works of art. Therefore, the artist begins to look for the essence of the work of art in its reproduction, and in the impetus, shock, and energy generated by the latter. The films comprise a series of explosive games with light and material, movement and frame, realised through countless experiments with the various conditions under which a single work of art can be captured.” (Centre George Pompidou, Images sans fin, 2011)
Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957) was a Romanian sculptor who lived and worked in France. Born to a poor rural family in the Carpathian Mountains, he exhibited an early interest in Romanian folk art traditions and a talent in wood carving. He abandoned his home at the age of nine and, after a period of roaming and studying in Craiova, Bucharest, and Munich, he took residence in France, studying with Antonin Mercié at the National School of Fine Arts. His work is characterised by sharp geometrical lines and a sense of freedom, balance, and gravity. Regarded as a key representative of Modern sculpture, Brancusi’s work had a significant influence on subsequent generations of artists. His notorious legal battle with the U.S. customs during the import of his work, Bird in Space, is a landmark in the definition and understanding of Modern and Contemporary art.
Works: Constantin Brancusi, Les films de Brancusi, 1923 – 1939. Centre Pompidou, Paris, Musée national d’art moderne–Centre de création industrielle © Succession Brancusi – All rights reserved (Adagp) 2021 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM–CCI.
23 October – 6 November 2021
The Island Club presents HARDCORE CONTINUUM, a two-week exhibition comprising a time-based performance and installation by Emiddio Vasquez.
HARDCORE CONTINUUM’s point of departure is a recorded factual encounter between grime music producer, Skepta, his young Cypriot cellmate, George, and a policeman at the Ayia Napa police station. During the conversation, George is asked to say something into a snuck-in voice recorder for Skepta’s future album release, to which he replies “I don’t understand”. This recording made it into the track, “Ayia Napa Skit”, which was released on Skepta’s debut album, Greatest Hits, in 2006 [https://youtu.be/CbMQgI-XStw].
In the first week of HARDCORE CONTINUUM, Emiddio Vasquez will speculate on George’s position and train himself on producing UK garage and grime music. Streams and references from music production and pirate radio subcultures, as well as the UK rave culture, will unravel and connect during the week. The performance will be documented on tapes and parts of it will be live-streamed from The Island Club’s Instagram account. In its second week, the exhibition will carry on without Vasquez’s presence, transitioning into an installation with the material and sonic leftovers from the artist’s performance. The show will conclude with an event featuring Vasquez’s DJ partner, Veronica Georgiou, taking place at The Island Club on Saturday the 6th of November.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from Simon Reynolds, who employs the term “hardcore continuum” to delineate what he takes to be the continuous development of UK dance music genres–hardcore, jungle, UK garage and grime–in the 1990s and 2000s. UK garage, in particular, reached its apex in, and due to, the exoticised and mythologised environment of Ayia Napa, but the latter also served as a turning point in the genre’s darker and grimier developments. HARDCORE CONTINUUM reflects on that turning point by directing the academic term towards the history of radio in Cyprus. In the 1950s, radio transmitted by foreign political actors in Cyprus helped shape ideologies in the Middle East and North Africa, arguably leading to the Suez crisis and complexifying the island’s role in the Levant. Today, radio transmission in Cyprus is closely associated with the ongoing presence of foreign military infrastructures.
Through a series of sonic and conceptual deconstructions of radio (featuring bat recordings, online videos, ELF radio recordings from Lady’s Mile and Troodos and field recordings from the empty alleys of Ayia Napa in the 2020 summer lockdown) the exhibition tests the notion of a historical “continuum” against the continuously permeative material properties of radio–properties also expressed by the forces of capital, extractivism, and colonialism.
Emiddio Vasquez (b. 1986, Santo Domingo) is a Cypriot-Dominican electronic musician and artist. His practice deals with material transformations that blur encoding-decoding processes across media as a way of engaging with the larger infrastructures at stake. Drawing on his personal memories of uprooting and his interest in audio, image, and computation technologies, his work explores themes surrounding the politics of visibility, mediated sensing, and the processes of subject formation. He is currently a PhD candidate in the transdisciplinary programme Media Art and Science at Arizona State University. His academic research interrogates the philosophical and aesthetic implications of treating digitality and computation under a materialist framework. In 2018, he founded Moneda, a record label, sound event series, and publishing initiative.
Text: Emiddio Vasquez
Poster: Chrysso Cosmas
3 October 2021 | Rialto Theatre
MAGIC MYXIES AND OTHER FILMS BY F. PERCY SMITH
elektroniki, RAW SILVER, Spivak
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Rialto Theatre, presents Magic Myxies and Other Films by F. Percy Smith, a screening of selected short films from the archives of the British Film Institute by pioneering British filmmaker Frank Percy Smith (1880–1945). The screening will be accompanied by live musical performances by elektroniki (Elena Savvidou), RAW SILVER (Nikos Stephou), and Spivak (Maria Spivak), who will present original compositions responding to Percy Smith’s works.
Frank Percy Smith was born in London in 1880. He took a passionate interest in the study and photography of insects from an early age, and began working as a microscopic photographer for film producer Charles Urban in 1910. After the First World War, he began working for Secrets of Nature (later Secrets of Life), a popular educational nature series by British Instructional Films. Working for the series from his home studio in north London until his death in 1945, Percy Smith invented equipment that enabled him to capture the microscopic workings of nature in unprecedented ways. His work pioneered micro-cinematography and time-lapse animation and photography techniques, paving the way for the nature documentary genre.
Elena Savvidou (b. 1989, Limassol) is a performance artist working with sound and a musician working with performance art. Over the past few years, she has been improvising with different spaces, using a variety of unconventional materials to propose “feeling-specific” performances that comprise self-contained and singular sonic experiences. She has performed at Fierce Festival (UK) and Tresor (Germany) and in local events organised by Moneda, Honest Electronics, and Subaerial. She has also participated in exhibitions at Drive-Drive and Thkio Ppalies. For the past three years, she has been curating her own monthly show, Coral Bay, at Noods Radio UK.
Nikos Stephou (b. 1990, Nicosia) graduated from the Graphic Design department of Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, in 2017. As a graphic designer, he works with identities, printed matter, and visual research for social design. He has served as art director in creative projects and co-founded the community platform and record label Honest Electronics and the yearly festival The Gathering. He has released two albums under his sound-producing moniker, RAW SILVER, and his tracks have been featured on various international compilations.
Maria Spivak (b. 1989, Limassol) is a musician and sound artist based in Cyprus. Her work is a play on the nuances and poetics of pop, exploring themes that allude to her myth-inspiring heritage in a folk-tainted, futuristic voyage of esoteric explorations. Her debut LP, ΜΕΤΆ ΤΟ ΡΈΙΒ, released on Ecstatic Records in 2020, is a chiaroscuro blend of hypnagogic pop, smudged synths, and ambient electronics, infused with the spirit of the local DIY scene. Her tape release, Rare Backwards, was presented as an addendum to the LP in the same year. Her lyrics rotate effortlessly from Greek to English, her live performances comprising intimate sonic liturgies with bursts of energetic and often deconstructed 90’s-inspired techno.
Curated by Androula Kafa
The event is supported by FlashArt@Rialto and presented in parallel with the Open House Festival 2021 by Dance House Lemesos.
6 August 2021 | Lemesos International Documentary Festival
DIMAS EFTHYVOULOS: SPIRITS OF THE RAINFOREST
androula, Mohama Tajalof
The Island Club, in collaboration with the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presents Spirits of the Rainforest, an audiovisual programme comprising live performances by androula and Mohama Tajalof. The programme is presented in the context of the exhibition Spirits of the Rainforest: A Photographic Innovation, currently on view at The Island Club.
Spirits of the Rainforest features original musical compositions by androula (Androula Kafa) and Mohama Tajalof (Veronica Georgiou), performed live in dialogue with the archive of Dimas Efthyvoulos (1924-2011), a Cypriot photographer who lived in the Peruvian Amazon between 1979 and 1989, seeking to capture “the spirits of the jungle”. The compositions will draw on the artist’s archive of audio tapes (which includes recordings from shamanic rituals and the Amazonian jungle, among others) as well as poetic and philosophical writings from his archive of texts. Conceived as a reinterpretation of Efthyvoulos’s audiovisual presentation, Spirits of the Jungle or Other Aspects of Reality, the programme will also include a projection of the artist’s “spirit” photographs and a screening of videos from his archive.
Programme curation: Androula Kafa
8 July 2021 | φαινόμενα, Anafi
Adonis Archontides, Androula Kafa, Kyriakos Kyriakides, Ariadne Diogenous
The Collection Kerenidis Pepe and the Association Phenomenon present φαινόμενα, a one-week programme of contemporary art taking place on the Aegean island of Anafi, Greece, between 5–12 July 2021, in collaboration with the invited art centres 3 137, EIGHT, Enterprise Projects, The Island Club, and State of Concept Athens, from Greece and Cyprus.
In response to φαινόμενα’s invitation, Christodoulos Panayiotou has called upon the members of The Island Club and the Christodoulos Panayiotou Studio–Adonis Archontides, Androula Kafa, Kyriacos Kyriakides, and Ariadne Diogenous–to each present their work. Articulated over the course of a full day, the programme will comprise a series of visual interventions, a book launch, and a performance.
Kyriacos Kyriakides will present a series of self-portraits taken in various hotel rooms by hotel staff, under the latter’s full directional control.
Adonis Archontides will present an online 3D model on Mozilla Hubs–a small world shifting between private and public, real and fictional, imagined and dreamt.
Ariadne Diogenous, continuing her research into collage techniques, will present a series of posters reflecting on–and acting as reminders of–Anafi’s history of exile and isolation.
Androula Kafa will present Other Aspects of Reality, a live audiovisual performance that responds to the archive of Dimas Efthyvoulos (1924–2011), a Cypriot photographer who lived in the Peruvian Amazon between 1979 and 1989, seeking to capture the “spirits of the jungle”. The archive, currently held at The Island Club, is the subject of the exhibition Spirits of the Rainforest: A Photographic Innovation by Dimas Efthyvoulos.
The Island Club will also present a publication produced in collaboration with the Kerenides Pepe Collection on the occasion of the 2019 exhibition One Minute, One Hour, One Month… One Million Years.
3 July – 2 October 2021
SPIRITS OF THE RAINFOREST: A PHOTOGRAPHIC INNOVATION
The Island Club presents Spirits of the Rainforest: A Photographic Innovation, an exhibition comprising the archives of Cypriot photographer Dimas Efthyvoulos, along with a reconstruction of his audiovisual presentation Spirits of the Jungle or Other Aspects of Reality.
“I’m an insignificant old man. I have no right to ask you any favours. But please, open your eyes and see a bit more of what you are not normally accustomed to see.”
Dimas Efthyvoulos was born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1924. Shortly after the events of 1974, during which he briefly worked as a war photographer, he travelled to the Peruvian Amazon where he lived and worked for almost ten years. During this time, he became deeply involved with the spiritual practices of the local mestizo population, apprenticing with shamans and taking part in religious ceremonies involving the psychoactive brew ayahuasca. These experiences led him to “a transcendental photographic innovation” – a technique he called “sidesight” which, using mirroring and a 90-degree shift in perspective, sought to photographically capture the “spirits of the rainforest”. Through this practice, Efthyvoulos hoped to demonstrate that nature is replete with intelligence, vindicating the animistic insights of mestizo shamanism and illuminating the “magical beauty and mystical essence” of the natural world.
Following his return from the Amazon, Efthyvoulos sought to propagate his work and its message. In addition to his philosophical and spiritual concerns, he passionately advocated for the protection of the natural environment and spoke extensively about the environmental and cultural impact of colonialism on indigenous lands and populations. The core of his artistic practice was an audiovisual presentation titled Spirits of the Jungle or Other Aspects of Reality, during which he projected slides of his “spirit” photographs, reproduced field recordings from the Amazon, and gave a lecture on climate change, colonialism, and his photographic innovation and experiences with shamanism. The presentation toured South America and was also shown in North America and Europe.
Eventually returning to Cyprus, Efthyvoulos continued to develop his work through a variety of media and various forms of experimentation with technology, accumulating an extensive archive comprising photographs, videos, audio tapes, texts, drawings, paintings, watercolours, and a range of other experimental material. In 2000, he self-published a book titled Spirits of the Rainforest – Aspects of the Hyper-Real, which was translated into German and published in 2004 by AT Verlag. He passed away in December 2011.
Dimas Efthyvoulos’ archives were kindly shared with The Island Club by his spouse, Tetyana Efthyvoulou, in April 2019. They have since been organised, digitised and preserved by the team of The Island Club, and are now made available to the public through Spirits of the Rainforest: A Photographic Innovation. The exhibition will activate both spaces of The Island Club: Efthyvoulos’ archives will be available to view and study at the new space of The Island Club at #18 Agora Anexartisias, while a digital reconstruction of his historic presentation Spirits of the Jungle or Other Aspects of Reality will be shown on loop at the Christodoulos Panayiotou Studio at #34 Agora Anexartisias.
Text: Androula Kafa
Project and archive manager: Androula Kafa
Curation: Androula Kafa, Ariadne Diogenous
Archive research, organisation and digitisation: Androula Kafa, Ariadne Diogenous
Research assistance and audience reception: Constantinos Apostolou
With very special thanks to Tetyana Efthyvoulou for her generosity and trust.
With special thanks to Yiannis Papadakis, who introduced us to Dimas’ archive, as well as Dimitrios Michailidis, Tasos Stylianou, Petru Alexandru Florea, and Denise Araouzou.
17 April – 22 May 2021
A STRANGER IN THE ISLAND
The Island Club is pleased to present A Stranger in the Island, a solo exhibition by Mostafa Sarabi.
“I wake up from a dream and I don’t remember the dream. Again and forever. Dreams that I do remember, however, remain vivid, in all their fine details, and I carry them with me everywhere.
They accompany me to my painting studio.
I will share some of those dreams with you along with my paintings.
In the first dream, I find my bed in the middle of a garden with a zebra grazing next to me. It is so vivid that I feel it’s real. It turns sour when I see that I am sprawled on the bed by myself and I can’t see my wife anywhere.
In the second dream, I am caught in a strange plant. I can’t move. The scent of the plant is too strong and I have difficulty breathing. There is nevertheless something pleasurable about the fresh scent and I inhale it deleteriously. In my dream, I find aversion and attraction, and lose both abruptly.
Alas, this third dream keeps on repeating. I have seen Roberto Baggio miss the fateful penalty at the 1994 World Cup final as many times as there are blades of grass on the football field. This dream keeps on. And I have to go over the scene with Roberto himself many times.
The end of this text and the last dream.
I have seen myself with multiple heads countless times–half human, half beast. Sometimes my head becomes so big that it can’t be contained by the frame. The image refuses to abide by proportionality. It knows no laws. It’s possible to see clouds as yarn and paint them on the next day. In dreams, trees move and no one can stop them.
My dreams are the world of displaced forms and colours, a world where you can enact visual laws and be your very own self or not be your very own self; either way, it suits me fine. It’s the biggest gift. And more beautiful still is to be a painter and to paint.
I like to add this story, which is not really about dreams. In childhood, I once caught a cold and they took me to the doctor’s. On the way back, I held on to the prescription. Having recovered, I started copying the prescription on another piece of paper. My family was delighted that I was going to be a doctor. In fact, it seems that I learned painting by imitating the doctor’s handwriting.”
– Mostafa Sarabi, January 2021 (translated from Farsi by Sohrab Mahdavi)
Mostafa Sarabi (b. 1983, Kermanshah, Iran) lives and works in Tehran. He received an MA in Painting from Shahed University, Iran. He has presented solo exhibitions at Balice Hertling (Paris, 2020), the Delgosha Gallery (Tehran, 2020, 2018, 2017), and the Atashzad Gallery (Tehran, 2009). His work has been included in group shows at the Passerelle Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brest, 2020), the Peres Projects Gallery (Berlin, 2020), the Giardino Segreto (Milan, 2019), the Delgosha Gallery (Tehran, 2019, 2018), the Shirin Gallery (Tehran, 2011), and the 5th Visual Art Experimental Festival Youth Art (Tehran, 2010).
With special thanks to: Alexis Antoniades, Alexandros Diogenous, Panayiotis Pierides, Polis Pilavas, Eleni Roumpani, Negar Azimi, Augustin de Lestrange, Shabahang Tayyari and the Delgosha Gallery.
All works courtesy of four private collections.
4 March – 10 April 2021
I DON’T SLEEP, I DREAM
We are delighted to announce that, after a long hiatus due to the pandemic, we are reopening our doors with Marina Xenofontos’ solo exhibition I don’t sleep, I dream. The exhibition will take place in our new space at #18 Agora Anexartisias, which we are thrilled to finally welcome you to.
“Life is running normal, smoothly, like a thousand hearts falling on me with a thousand bright lightnings on them. It’s a big storm of waves; most of them enticing to ride on. Pleasing for the eyes, but not always—that is where I am standing from. Is this another charming story of an idea eager to be acknowledged? A story wouldn’t be that bad actually. It always smells like, when you know what you’re talking about, and it almost feels like two people are making bread, somewhere near. You can barely see them, talking about the weather on their breaks, or about how strange it is to recognise what you like when you see it.” 1 You know, sometimes I wonder how things would be if we could be together. The Self as a solitary being–Descartes. The Self as a solitary thinking being—solipsism. Solipsism and the problem of other minds.
Last night at dinner I met my cousin’s wife, she has a flower tattooed on her hand and the initials of another man. As grandpa was sitting, a Russian woman came to ask for two euros so that she could buy a candle. I guess she is his caretaker. I wish there was a machine that kissed relatives. I would have liked to design it and name it “kissing machine for relatives.”
Wild plants on the roof of an adobe house, sunsets hitting hard on cheap aluminium windows making them golden, making them current. White, pink, blue, yellow, black…
this is how I think of things nowadays. This wasn’t a Cyprus dream, it was rather a monkey and a tiger hugging in my dream, it was more about the solution, it was more about “we wanted the solution too.”
Anecdotal stories and epitomical coincidences associated with individuals can suggest alternative understandings of collective events through minor histories; still part of the broader landscape of ruling contemporary ideas and behaviours, they provide an insight into the real as it manifests itself in the everyday. The real sometimes turns out to be a tiger and a monkey hugging in my dream, or an experience in an L.A.-decorated brothel house in the tourist area of the island’s Mediterranean coastline. You are there in the first place because your DJ friend suggested you make a DJ box for a party, and then the owner of the brothel house takes the microphone and performs a speech on how sex has to be part of everyone’s life no matter who or how old you are, and locality and universalism somehow converge.
Love is when we speak other languages
– What do we need for the gold leaf application?
– We need gold, 23.75 carats on leafs.
“Love is, when we speak other languages
To the fathers of young children,
to anything that kept us on,
to the streets.” 2
Love is, when we speak other languages
when we don’t have anyone to be aware of.
– Selected notes from the artist’s diary
1 Extract from Kανονική Ζωή – Ηλίθια Σώματα, a self-published book of texts. Author and date unknown.
2 Neoterismoi Toumazou, “Salamaki street”. In: Jan Verwoert and Polys Peslikas, (eds.), Umm Kulthum faints on stage, Sternberg Press, 2020.
Marina Xenofontos (b. 1988, Limassol, Cyprus) is based between Limassol and Amsterdam. She graduated from Bard College, New York with an MFA in Sculpture (2018), and recently completed a residency at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2019). Her first solo exhibition, Karat Castle, took place at Neoterismoi Toumazou, Nicosia (2015). Her second solo exhibition, But we’ve met before, was recently held at Hot Wheels Athens (2020/2021).
Selected group shows include: Utters excess in between, curated by Ioanna Gerakidi and Danae Io, State of Concept, Athens (2020); A Big Heritage with A Glorious Past, curated by mama, Critical Distance, Toronto (2020); Hypersurfacing, curated by Marina Christodoulidou, NiMAC, Nicosia (2020). Together with Neoterismoi Toumazou, Xenofontos was guest of honour at The Future of Colour (2017), an exhibition by Polis Peslikas at the Cyprus Pavilion of the Biennale Arte Venice, curated by Jan Verwoert.
9 September 2020, 19:03 | The Island Club
EDEN, EDEN, EDEN
The Island Club joins the Association Pierre Guyotat in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Eden, Eden, Eden, presenting one of fifty readings which will take place around the world on September 9th. The reading will comprise the final pages of Eden, Eden, Eden in a Greek translation by Christodoulos Panayiotou, read at sunset by Veronica Georgiou.
Since its release with publishing house Gallimard on September 9th, 1970, Eden, Eden, Eden has provoked fascinations and scandals. Deemed a “Saharian fiction”, it was instantly praised by Michel Foucault and published with forewords by Michel Leiris, Roland Barthes, and Philippe Sollers. Upon being censored, the work gained immediate international support by the likes of Joseph Beuys, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Pierre Boulez, Italo Calvino, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Fifty years later, the work of Pierre Guyotat – who passed away on February 7th of this year – exerts an ever-growing impact, having proven to be prescient of a world on the verge of transformation. Bringing together violence, sexuality, and cosmology, Eden, Eden, Eden signals the endpoint of colonialism and the starting point of a new history for language.
Pierre Guyotat (9 January 1940, Bourg-Argental – 7 February 2020, Paris) is the author of one of the most radical oeuvres of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. An early critic of colonial oppression, he played a major role in the opening-up of culture, sexuality and art by developing the most extreme form of epic fiction. His last published book, Idiocy (2018), won the Prix Médicis, the Prix de la langue française, and the Prix special of the jury Fémina. His work has been translated in Italian, Japanese, Russian, German, English, Dutch, Spanish, and other languages. His drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries in Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, and Brussels, and will be featured in Manifesta in the fall of 2020. Guyotat’s archive is held at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
16 – 26 September 2020
AND I WISH YOU A HAPPY LIFE
Argyro Nicolaou and Margaux Fitoussi
The Island Club, in its third annual collaboration with the Lemesos International Documentary Festival, presents the documentary shorts And I wish you a happy life by Alexandros Pissourios and I, Tony by Argyro Nicolaou and Margaux Fitoussi, along with the exhibition 13 Photos by Tony Moussoulides.
And I wish you a happy life, Directed by Alexandros Pissourios, 2020, 44 minutes
And I wish you a happy life is a contemplative documentary about the unexpected separation of the filmmaker’s parents at an advanced age, shot on Super 16 mm film during Pissourios’ visits to Cyprus over the course of a year. The film is orchestrated through a grammar of daily labour in the serene landscape of rural Nikitari and organised around the father’s re-reading of his break-up letter, through which his relationship with the past and present is revealed, and unsettling confessions about love and fulfilment are made. Filmed with tenderness, And I wish you a happy life gradually takes the form of an informal conversation between filmmaker and subject in an attempt to metabolise multiple layers of rupture.
I, Tony, Directed by Argyro Nicolaou and Margaux Fitoussi, 2019, 19 minutes
Photographer Tony Moussoulides is determined to make a film about his career in Swinging Sixties London. Now 85 and home in Cyprus, he re-enacts – and directs – scenes from his life, featuring, among others, Andy Warhol and John Huston. Tensions mount as Tony’s ambitions clash with the vision of the film’s directors, and a seemingly conventional biopic becomes an inquiry into the human desire not to be forgotten. Ambiguously positioned between fact and fiction, I, Tony is a film about legacy, artistic authority, and the contentious processes of memoralisation that documentary cinema often engages in.
13 Photos by Tony Moussoulides
Tony Moussoulides is a Cypriot fashion photographer who made a career in London in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ’80s, shooting for Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and other magazines. In 1972, Moussoulides was commissioned to shoot Andy Warhol’s portrait at the artist’s legendary Factory in New York. 13 Photos by Tony Moussoulides features archival photographs, printed matter and newly produced prints selected by filmmaker Argyro Nicolaou. The exhibition also comprises Moussoulides’ rarely-seen documentary Spliffs, Joints and Pot (1965), which was recently digitised and preserved by the British Film Institute.
Alexandros Pissourios (b. 1982, Nicosia, Cyprus) is an artist and filmmaker based in London. He works with photography as well as analogue and digital video. His filmmaking is motivated by observational attentiveness and carries an affinity to experimental traditions. Selected screenings and exhibitions include: “Terra Mediterranea: In Action”, Leipzig, Germany (2017); 27th International Ankara Film Festival, Turkey (2016); LUX/ICA Biennial of Moving Image, ICA, London (2012); “On site”, Barbican Exhibition Halls, London (2011); 25th London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, British Film Institute, London (2011).
Argyro Nicolaou (b. 1989, Nicosia, Cyprus) is a scholar and filmmaker based in New York City. Her academic research focuses on the representation of Mediterranean displacements in literature, film, and visual art, while her filmmaking interrogates the conditions of politics and art-making in ‘small’ and ‘unimportant’ places. Her work has been screened at Anthology Film Archives, New York; Harvard Sackler Gallery, Cambridge MA; Asolo Art Film Festival, Italy; and Paphos European Capital of Culture, among others. Her writing has been featured in the American Historical Review, Boston Art Review, and MoMA post. Nicolaou holds a PhD in Comparative Literature and Critical Media Practice from Harvard University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton University.
Margaux Fitoussi (b. 1989, Paris, France) is an anthropologist, filmmaker, and translator based in Paris and New York City. Her research explores the cultural politics of “betrayal” and traces the history of unrest and discontent among the Tunisian Left since independence from France in 1956. Her award-winning short film EL HARA (2017) was released online as the Jewish Film Institute’s Short of the Month. Her work has been exhibited at festivals, universities, and galleries including the Film Society at Lincoln Center (New York), the MountainFilm Telluride Film Festival (Colorado, USA), the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Juadïsme in Paris, and the Museo Cultural Pinakotheque in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Tony Moussoulides (b. 1934, Nicosia, Cyprus) is a Cypriot fashion photographer who lived and worked in London from the 1960s onwards. Following his graduation from the Pancyprian High School in Nicosia, he became an impresario for the newly-established Republic of Cyprus, bringing cultural acts from Egypt and Lebanon. In the 1950s, Moussoulides moved to London, where he took courses in photography and film and apprenticed for fashion photographer John French. After opening his own studio as a fashion and beauty photographer in London, Moussoulides worked for Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle, and other magazines. At the height of his career, he had studios in London, Hamburg and New York. Since retiring in the early 2000s, Moussoulides has been living in Nicosia.
24 January – 22 February 2020
The Island Club is pleased to present Three Films by Jumana Manna: Blessed Blessed Oblivion (2010), The Umpire Whispers (2010), and A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade) (2013).
Blessed Blessed Oblivion, 2010, 21 mins, HD Video
A portrait of male “thug” culture in East Jerusalem as manifested in gyms, body shops, and hair parlours. Inspired by Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising (1963), the video uses visual collage and the musical soundtrack as ironic commentary. Simultaneously psychologising and allowing herself to be seduced by the characters, Manna finds herself in a double bind similar to the conflicted desire that animates her protagonist as he drifts from abject rants to declamations of heroic poetry or unashamLog Outed self-praise.
The Umpire Whispers, 2010, 15 mins, HD Video
Returning to meet her swimming coach five years after having quit competitive swimming, Manna asks to recreate a recurring situation from her teenage years, in which he gives her a massage and she massages him in return. The film explores the intimacy that can arise between a coach and his athletes, investigating the boundaries that govern such relationships.
A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade), co-scripted with Norman M. Klein, 2013, 12 mins, HD Video
Alfred Roch, member of the Palestinian National League, is a politician with a bohemian panache. In 1942, at the height of WWII, he throws what will turn out to be the last masquerade in Palestine. Inspired by an archival photograph, A Sketch of Manners (Alfred Roch’s Last Masquerade) recreates an unconventional bon vivant aspect of Palestinian urban life before 1948. Posing silently for a group photo, the unmasked and melancholic pierrots accidentally personify the premonition of an uncertain future.
Jumana Manna (b. 1987) is a Berlin-based Palestinian artist working primarily with film and sculpture. Her work explores how power is articulated through relationships, often focusing on the body and materiality in relation to narratives of nationalism and histories of place. She received a BFA from the National Academy of Arts in Oslo and an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from the California Institute of the Arts. She was awarded the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award (2012) and the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts (2017).
Selected solo exhibitions include: Douglas Hyde Gallery, Ireland (2018); Henie Onstad Museum, Norway (2018); Mercer Union, Canada (2017); Malmö Konsthall, Sweden (2016); Beirut Art Center, Lebanon (2015); Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (2015); Sculpture Center, New York, USA (2014); Kunsthall Oslo, Norway (2013). Selected group exhibitions include: Centre Pompidou, Jeu de Paume (2017); Nordic Pavilion, 57th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2016); Kunsthalle Wien (2016); Liverpool Biennial (2016), Marrakech Biennale 6 (2016); 20th Biennale of Sydney (2016); Jerusalem Show VII and VIII, Al-Ma’mal Foundation (2014, 2016). Selected festival screenings include: Viennale International Film Festival (2016); Berlinale Forum (2018); CPH: DOX, Copenhagen (2018); BAFICI, Buenos Aires (2013); International Film Festival Rotterdam (2017).
4 October – 2 November 2019
Eike Wittrock on Julius Hans Spiegel
The Island Club presents Island Drag, a collection of archival documents on queer dancer Julius Hans Spiegel, accompanied by a text by Eike Wittrock.
Julius Hans Spiegel was a deaf queer Jewish artist, born in Berlin in 1891. After studying painting in Berlin and Munich, he gained fame with his interpretations of Indonesian dances in the 1920s, performing in theatres, cinemas, art galleries, and queer venues across continental Europe. Fleeing Berlin in the 1930s, he settled on the Italian island of Capri, where he lived for forty years until his death, frequently appearing dressed as a Capri fisherman. At the same time, he created outlandish outfits, combining Indonesian batik prints with fishnet shirts and African masks, which he showcased in dance performances at his home. Island Drag is a constellation of historic documents focusing on Spiegel’s idiosyncratic approach to costume and performance practice – an ambiguous form of racial masquerade or “ethnic drag”, both subversive and affirmative in a queer theatre of identity. The archival material, selected by dance historian and curator Eike Wittrock, is presented alongside an essay in which Wittrock looks at Spiegel’s practice as a paradigm for an alternative reading of dance history.
As a prelude to Island Drag, and in collaboration with Dance House Lemesos and the Multimedia and Arts Department of the Cyprus University of Technology, Eike Wittrock will also give a lecture titled Archive Drag. The lecture discusses historiographical and curatorial approaches to archival dance documents, particularly in relation to the estates of Julius Hans Spiegel and Egon Wüst, both of which contain extensive yet distinct references to the male Mediterranean body. Reflection on these archives prompts a number of questions: how do dancing bodies queer locality and temporality? How do they operate in changing political circumstances? What modality of embodiment is contained in “drag”, and what sorts of artistic responses does such material produce today?
The lecture will take place on 3 October 2019, 18:00–19:30, at the Cyprus University of Technology Photography Studio (Heroes’ Square), and it was made possible through the support of Goethe-Institut Zypern.
Eike Wittrock is a dance historian and curator, currently teaching at the University of Hildesheim. His research focuses on 19th and 20th century European dance – its iconographic sources, the politics of the archive, and queer and exoticist performances. He is currently working on a large research project on German queer theatre and performance history. His curatorial projects include Politics of Ecstasy (2009); Julius-Hans-Spiegel-Zentrum (2014/2016); The Greatest Show on Earth – A Performance Circus for the 21st century (Kampnagel International Summer Festival, 2016). He has served as co-curator for the Kampnagel International Summer Festival (2013–2016), as jury member for the German Dance Platform 2016, and as curatorial advisor for the Tanzkongress 2019.
31 August – 28 September 2019
The Island Club presents The Trip, a film by American poet Eileen Myles.
The Trip is a road trip movie through the majestic, rough-hewn landscape separating Texas towns Marfa and Alpine with acclaimed poet Eileen Myles as your guide. Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s spoken score of Robert Frank’s 1958 poetic classic Pull My Daisy, Myles talks dailiness and political realities with puppet interlocutors Oscar, Bedilia, Montgomery, Casper, and Crocky. Through the uncanny realization of its handmade characters and its deft combination of humour and insight, The Trip achieves a casual but profound poeticism which lays bare Myles’ exceptional sensibilities.
Eileen Myles came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently a novelist, public talker and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their twenty books include evolution (poems), Afterglow (a dog memoir), a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You, I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the PSA, and a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. In 2019 they’ll be teaching at NYU and Naropa University and they live in New York and Marfa, TX.
Written and Directed by Eileen Myles; Produced, Filmed, and Edited by David Fenster; runtime: 17 minutes; shot on super 8mm film; made with support from the Poetry Foundation.
With special thanks to: Iordanis Kerenidis, Giannis Papagiannopoulos, Piergiorgio Pepe, Eleni Roumpani, Nikos Sarantakos, Nicolas Stylianou, Stavroula Tsiplakou
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.