Phanos Kyriacou at Thkio Ppalies

Artist: Phanos Kyriacou

Exhibition title: This Case is in Process of Arrangement

Venue: Thkio Ppalies, Nicosia, Cyprus

Date: March 17 – April 14, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Thkio Ppalies

In this case [this particular situation; this occurrence; this container; this space] you shall encounter a group of entities whose life journey begins in early 2012. Not being constrained by timeframes, deadlines or any form of anxiety, they were somewhat finished by 2015, un-clingfilmed and dusted in 2016, polished, arranged and rearranged in 2017.

They are the outcome of a growing interest in the different methods of restoration and display-mechanisms encountered in museums. These practices become visible to the museum visitor only when the natural rhythm of the museum cabinet is interrupted. This is when the card reading THIS CASE IS IN PROCESS OF ARRANGEMENT appears, or when we get to observe the unique, tailor-made structure designed to carry the precious artefacts. The interest in these practices and ‘supporting acts’ strays away from the realms of ‘Archaeology’ and engages through and through with the potentiality of these ‘invisible’ structures for sculpture.

This interest resonates with something else so different, yet so similar, Kyriacou has been documenting for years, since these professional ways of mending echo the less methodical tactics of ‘street-smart mending’. This could perhaps be a name for universal DIY restoration methods, abundant in the urban and rural landscape, a name tag for the diverse language of practical, visible gestures whose sole aim is to resurrect a thing’s or a situation’s functionality quickly and efficiently.

The distillation of these observations takes the form of a ‘rupture-sculpture’.

Rupture here implies a disturbance in the ‘how-things-are-usually-done’ flow, for these sculptures cannot be separated from their display bodies; the display mechanism itself is sculpture; the guest is an extension of the host and vice-versa. There’s also another rupture in play, one that turns the idea of restoration on its head: there is a general understanding that to restore is to begin from a whole missing a part.

Here, what has been fabricated both literally and metaphorically, through a series of unimaginable extensions, expansions and protrusions, always had as its starting point a single fragment. These terracotta fragments/initiators are mostly accidental findings collected through the years, from various pottery workshops and random places. They have been placed and arranged on bodies made out of construction plaster in synergy with polyester resin and polyurethane foam. Parts were also engineered in teflon, wood, steel, bronze, aluminium and zamak.

“I think of them as a mothership and so should you too.”

During these years of patience, silence and growth, these sculptures have also given birth to a number of ideas, sounds, objects, words, structures, frustrations, walks, dust, emotions, friendships, injuries, tools and travels.

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