Christodoulos Panayiotou will represent Cyprus at the 56th Venice Biennale with an exhibition at Palazzo Malipiero.
Two Days After Forever takes as its starting point the invention of archaeology and its instrumental role in forging the master narrative of history. Using a diversity of strategies, Panayiotou questions how tradition is formed and authorship and authenticity governed. Through an act of meticulous staging, the artist critiques modernity’s hyperbolic and aspirational fabric and its inconsistent notion of progress. Ancient tesserae, borrowed from the Archaeological Museum in Nicosia are recomposed as ephemeral artworks, before being returned to their home in Cyprus where they will revert to their former status as anonymous ruins at the end of the exhibition.
Two Days After Forever adopts a multiplicity of modes – it is an exhibition that sleeps, awakens and embodies different temporalities. As such, it manifests as an anthropology of movement in the pavilion and beyond, engaging with different publics around the Mediterranean. Central to this choreography is Panayiotou’s variation on La Bayadère’s Death of Nikiya, which puts archaeology and the ultimate balletic position of Arabesque in direct conversation through an ongoing performance that merges biography with historical imaginaries.
Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978, Cyprus) lives and works in Limassol and Paris. Originally trained in dance and performing arts in Lyon and London Christodoulos Panayiotou’s works are performance-based and collectively span every level of what one could describe as a spectrum of the performative in art – from creating a space for an activity such as dancing, directing actors and events, to the recording and tracing of both the artist’s and society’s ‘performances’. Formed in a range of media, often incorporating video and sound within installation Panayiotou’s aesthetic interventions often reference political stimuli and yet can be read in a multitude of ways. He has recently exhibited in The Museum Of Modern Art Oxford, UK; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center Istanbul; and Den Frie, Copehagen.
- Unearthing and conservation works on floor mosaic at Agios Artemonas, Avlona, Cyprus (from the Archive of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities)