creditsVisual Artists Association Members
of the Board of Directors 2018-2020:
Dr Monika Asimenou
Eleni Antoniou (Chapter 2)
translation of texts
Alexandra Panayi (Chapter 2)
Mirka Koutsouri (Chapter 3)
art direction of poster & catalogue
Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education,
Culture, Sport and Youth
aboutThe program A Climate Challenge of Visual Artists Association Cyprus
for 2019, was conceived by the board of directors with the mission of providing an engaging, collaborative platform for contributing to the manifold conversations happening around one of the most pressing issues of our times, that of climate change. The question and task we set was "how can art, as an extended field of action, raise awareness and help to better envisage and act upon a sustainable and ecologically fair present and future?"
The aim of the platform was to explore how art sensitizes and is sensitized by contemporary environmental issues. The notion of environment, the conditions of coexistence, current ecological concerns, how a collective body shapes its enveloping space and how this space configures the identity of community, constituted the main research tenets. The program focused on collaborative and process-driven approaches to production. Through workshops, exhibitions and a residency program, we have attempted to involve varying audiences and bring together multiple perspectives, in order to probe new sensibilities and possible paths of engagement.
Basketry and straw weaving workshop
with Alexandra Pampouka
10.11 + 17.11 + 24.11 + 08.12.2018
The workshop "Inter-Weaving" proposed an artistic approach towards weaving with plants and also the simulation of these techniques with the human body.The participants came into contact with weaving techniques through experiential processes and exercises. Observing the weaving techniques, they had the chance to make their own deductions on what constitutes a team. At the end of the workshop a presentation and an exhibition of participants’ work took place.
Theatre and climate change
A three day theatre worksho with
Maria Varnakkidou and Kyros Papavassiliou
09 + 10 + 11.07.2019
The workshop offered to the participants the chance to explore their bodies in relation to space and nature. It was suitable for anyone interested in developing their creative expression, movement and transformation through theatre whilst simultanesouly connecting to the natural and social environment. During the workshop, improvasional theatrical excercises were implemented that focused on the three levels of bodily awareness: bodily, emotional, spiritual. The exercises explored how these three levels can be affected by the environment, which is is now facing a climate change. Beyond its practical scope, the workshop aimed at the familiarisation of the participants with contemporary dramaturgy, aiming to affect them in order to develop theatrical material related to nature and the climate crisis.
Servus.at Research Lab
As a part of A Climate Challenge: Platform of Events 2019 and the yearly residency program of phytorio, we welcomed the team Servus.at Research Lab (co-founded by LinzEXPOrt)
11 ― 26.07.2019
Following the objective of the platform for the creation of culture and awareness around the issue of climate change, the team Servus.at (Christina Gruber, Antonio Zingaro and Davide Bevillacqua) presented lectures, gave workshops and conducted research around the techno-logical infrastructure of Cyprus. They urged the public to visit them at the space of Phytorio in order to share ideas, worries and creative solutions around the issue of climate change. On Thursday July 11th, the team conducted a workshop focusing on the subject of "Digital Greenwashing", i.e. the ways in which different companies use the rhetoric that is being developed around the protection of the environment as a shallow, moralising marketing tool. The goal of the team is to develop ideas and tools of critical engagement through creative practices. Such a practice is that Christina Gruber. Starting from an imaginary framework that allows her to visualise the symbiosis of the planet with technology, she presented “Digital Clouds: No Water. No Cloud”, on Thursday 18th June. On Wednesday 25th July, the team presented an archive of the conversations that took place as well as the ways in which they developed the conceptual and practical networks between the themes they examined.
Chapter TwoInnovative Flow Solutions / Head and Hand series
Solo exhibition by Kyriaki Costa
What is the role of the human against the flow of time and therefore the natural fluidity of the environment? The project “head and hand” could be described as a study on the maintenance and the redefinition of space. Kyriaki Costa points out details in the urban environment of Cyprus that need restoration and repairs them with the help of a group of technicians. With the main source of inspiration being the natural and the man-made deterioration of the urban space, the artist asks the technicians to take care of the object that is under “study” in any way they want to and in that way tries to bring to the surface a more personal view on what it means to interact with what surrounds you.The initial idea for this exhibition revolved around the observation of the corrosion of the stone wall of Phytorio, that was built by Neoptolemos Michaelides. The -unsuccessful- attempt of its maintenance, led the artist to the “building” of an Interactive-Artistic action. Specifically the interest of the artist turns to the observation of the “craftsmen”, the people and the technicians acting in public, structured environments. Τhe aim of “Head and Hand” is to deal with the space, its feeling, its reincorporation in the contemporary environment and how through the repair of the place, the urban space is interrogated and redefined. The exhibition takes place within the framework of the platform “A Climate Challenge”, a research program that explores the ways in which art sensitizes and is sensitized by the contemporary environmental issues.
Hand and Head walking
(You are welcome to bring your own dog along too)
Workshop/open discussion with Kyriaki Costa,
in collaboration with Sofia Eliza Bouratsi
Artist – researcher Kyriaki Costa, in collaboration with art theorist and independent curator Sofia Eliza Bouratsi, conducted the workshop/open discussion “Hand and Head walking (You are welcome to bring your own dog along too)", in an effort to develop a project that deals with the poetic familiarization of public space, by locating all those points of the urban environment which feed and attract thoughts regarding the ways with which a contemporary citizen is able to connect with their town. Walking is an important practice, a technique through which we are able to experience a place. By examining tools such as observation, cartography and free association and thinking, we are experimenting with a practice that can be used as the first step for one to realize how they see and how they interpret the public space through their everyday walks. During the meet up, we explored the care network of our town, focusing on concerns regarding the architectural urban details, the restoration and repair, abandonment, lack of water, access to water, as well as the imaginary that always and inevitably tags along with our relationship with the world that surrounds us. "Hand and Head walking (You are welcome to bring your own dog along too)" was connected to Kyriaki Costa’s exhibition "Innovative Flow Solutions/ Head and Hand series" and was theoretically contextualised by Sofia Eliza Bouratsi, who discussed and posed questions around the thematics of everyday rituals in the public space, the meaning of walking as a practice and an aesthetic experience, the familiarization with the urban landscape as an necessary requirement for its care.
Chapter Three...νida digna de ser vivida
Group show and performances with Marietta Mavrokordatou, Korallia Stergides, Savvas Hadjixenophontos (founder of Fornelia Ovens) and
Michalis Tapakoudis (Gigantas Antaios Compressed Earth Blocks)
Curated by Peter Eramian
Are we ready, and at the price of what sacrifice, to live the good life together?*
A life, that is, worthy of being lived.**
The occasion brings together works by artists Marietta Mavrokordatou and Korallia Stergides alongside the entrepreneurial initiatives Fornelia Ovens and Gigantas Antaios Compressed Earth Blocks.
This crossover proposes a speculative revaluation of the significance of earth and sun, two nonhuman agencies inextricably enmeshed with human culture, towards the potential of new regimes of perception and technologies in reconfiguring the ecologies to which we belong. During the opening Savvas Hadjixenophontos, founder of Fornelia Ovens, and Michalis Tapakoudis, founder of Gigantas Antaios Compressed Earth Blocks, will be presenting and demonstrating their respective technologies.
A reading by Marietta Mavrokordatou and lecture performance by Korallia Stergides will follow.
* Bruno Latour quoted by Jane Bennett in Vibrant Matter.
** Silvia Federici referring to the Spanish phrase "vida digna de ser vivida" in Re-enchanting the World.
Workshop with Rachel Pimm
within the context of the show
"... vida digna de ser vivida"
A Climate Challenge platform, invited artist/researcher Rachel Pimm directed an image & text collage/physics co-making workshop, together with Marietta Mavrokordatou, Korallia Stergides and Peter Eramian, in which different universes were combined collaboratively to create new transits. Rotations, remixes and eclipses paralleled equations, mathematical constants and astrological positions. All were welcome to bring images/texts in either digital/print form that represented their selected universes.