The European Capital of Culture Pafos2017
presents the Art Exhibition “Avlea”
With the participation of Theodoulos Gregoriou, Angelos Makrides, Nikos Kouroussis, Yiannos Economou, Andreas Savva and Yioula Hadjigeorgiou from Cyprus, Danae Stratou, Costas Varotsos, Peggy Kliafa, Giasemi Rapti and Vally Nomidou from Greece as well as of Vince Briffa from Malta
28 December 2017–14 January 2018
Opening: Thursday 28th of December 2017, 19.00
The ambiguous role of the curtain is highlighted by the exhibition entitled “Avlea” (“Curtain”) that is opening on 28 December 2017, in the surrounding area of the new Markideio Theatre of Pafos. The event brings together twelve eminent visual artists from Cyprus, Greece and Malta, who –with their installations and videos– focus on the notion of theatricality and, at the same time, raise questions about modern Europe.
Actually, with this exhibition, the Organisation “Pafos 2017” officially passes the baton to the cities that have been designated as European Capitals of Culture for 2018, namely to Valletta, the capital of Malta, and to Leeuwarden, in the Netherlands.
The title of the exhibition was not chosen at random; it is implicitly connected with the well-known lines “In my beginning is my end” and “In my end is my beginning” taken from the poem “East Coker” by T.S.Eliot. It originally refers to a performance that may mark a beginning or an end, with none of them being definite. In fact, with the exhibition “Avlea” (“Curtain”), the European Capital of Culture says goodbye to Pafos –its host city for 2017– and welcomes the place that emerged as the new European Capital of Culture, through hundreds of high-level actions and exchanges favouring the sharing of knowledge and experience as well as the creation of networks. This process places emphasis on what constitutes, nowadays, the new, modern urban space. We could consider a different interpretation of the title of the exhibition and its symbolic meaning, by relating the notion of curtain to modern Europe and its history. Every end (of historical eras, ideologies, social or cultural movements) brings a new beginning, and every beginning calls an end.
Under this perspective, we could argue that the concepts of beginning and end, always in relation to the image of modern Europe and the factors shaping it, lie at the heart of the works of all the twelve artists of the exhibition. The latter, as it was mentioned before, becomes the meeting place of Theodoulos Gregoriou, Angelos Makrides, Nikos Kouroussis, Yiannos Economou, Andreas Savva and Yioula Hadjigeorgiou from Cyprus, Danae Stratou, Costas Varotsos, Peggy Kliafa, Giasemi Rapti and Vally Nomidou from Greece as well as of Vince Briffa from Malta. The exhibition is organised and curated by the visual artist Yioula Hadjigeorgiou, while the texts of the catalogue were written and documented by the art historian Sozita Goudouna.
The artists of the exhibition –all of them come from the Mediterranean region– suggest symbolic solutions in the era of the European crisis, at a time when faith has been washed away and the old utopias have failed. Through their works, they try to raise questions about the national, ethnic and religious conventions ruling our geographic reality. These artists use Pafos, the southeastern edge of Europe, as a theatre where a curtain is lifted or drawn, allowing the spotlights to light up the stage of a complex past, the world of immigration, the political and geographical displacements as well as the decay of the era we live in. Moreover, this exhibition reveals our common and constantly rewritten history. “Avlea” (“Curtain”) weaves fantasy into history!
It is held under the auspices of the European Capital of Culture Valletta 2018 and the European Capital of Culture Eleusis 2021.