AboutChristodoulos Panayiotou's work explores forms of pageantry and spectacle. He describes his practice in terms of an archaeological study; an attempt to recover fragments of information that can make tangible something absent or lost.
Works adopt a literary structure; narratives emerge, themes are developed, motifs recur. Stories and images are re-enacted or recovered. History; political and personal, traced in the residual ephemera of past lives and events, is established as a central concern and contextual references shift between the locally specific and globally familiar. Objects and images that commemorate, document or monumentalise become the focus for research that seeks to identify and examine the role of archetypes and tradition in modern society.
For his exhibition at Cubitt, Panayiotou will show a series of works developed using various photographic libraries in his native Cyprus. Shown sequentially on slide projectors, two pieces from 2008, Wonder Land and Never Land will be presented alongside a newly commissioned work, I Land (19601977). Each work presents images originally captured for official public records or reports.
Wonder Land employs images from the Municipal Archives of the City of Limassol. The selection of material covering four decades dating from the late 1970s shows the adoption of Disney characters within the town's annual carnival parade. Never Land employs photographs taken for the national newspaper, Phileleftheros, during the 1990s, a period of significant political change when Cyprus was moving towards European Union membership. Panayiotou's most recent work, I Land (19601977), is the first part of a new series of works being researched at the Press and Information Office in Nicosia, a library administered by the state to document the activity of the President and government ministers. 19601977 covers the period when Archbishop Makarios III, who was the first President of Cyprus, held office.
This will be Christodoulos Panayiotou's first solo exhibition in London.
Curated by Michelle Cotton