Colour once was key to politics and trade in the Mediterranean. Fabric manufacturing, medicine, painting, and cosmetics alike depended on pigment supplies and colour binding agents like alum. Main alum resources lay in the Eastern Mediterranean. So Rome banned alum imports to curb Constantinople’s influence. Yet, despite the embargo, around 1500 the agent was still in circulation via the Venetian trade network, including Cyprus.
“The Future of Colour” takes this story as the point of departure for invoking the spirit of unstoppable exchange — in the key of living colour.
The show invokes the spirit of the Eastern Mediterranean as a zone where routes cross, travelers meet and trade in a poetic knowledge that may render past and future in fresh colours.
Polys Peslikas’s new paintings, shown in the pavilion, draw on fragments of historic imagery. He zooms in on details of Venetian paintings and Modernist collages. He extracts colours, patterns, and ornaments that resonate across time. Mixing these ingredients, Peslikas performs an alchemy that liquefies time.
- Saint Mamas / detail , Byzantine Museum of the Archbishop Makarios III Foundation, Nicosia, Cyprus