Confrontation through Art – Contemporary Art as an Instrument
for Reconciliation in Cyprus
At the Fruit Stand - Where the Sky and the Earth touch
By Heidi Trautmann
So many titles, so many messages and so many people involved,
people who would like to carry these messages across where needed, and, I
believe, we need them everywhere not just in Cyprus with its decades old
problem, however, it was here in Cyprus,
in the heart of the island, in both halves of the divided heart, that a thought
provoking art residency was created and carried through.
It is not the first of its kind and if you the readers are
interested to learn more than please visit the website www.art-confrontation.com
There you will find projects of bi-communal
cooperation in Cyprus on various levels of activities and age groups. Also on
my website you find my reviews on the various projects in the past.
This year’s early in the year project ‘At the fruit-stand’ brought
together the artists ....
Leontios Toumpouris (Cyprus), Beatrice Catanzaro (Italy), Sarah Beddington
(U.K.) and Vivien Sansour (PalestinE) with the curator Viviana Checchia (Italian origin, currently Glasgow, public engagement
curator). They lived together in a small house put to their disposal, they
shared the days, cooking and talking, walking around the island and meeting
people. Read the words put together for the occasion of the exhibition ‘...where
the sky and the earth touch (partial view)’ they say it all.
At the exhibition on March 05 at EMAA’s the results of
the residency were presented and laid open to the audience; the participants
met in front of a 16th century image of a man leaping into a new sphere not
knowing what to expect....everything is possible, visible and invisible at the
same time....utopia..... a white chalk design on black. The speakers who
assembled to open the exhibition following the residency were in the order of
-Project coordinators: Ozgul Ezgin & Argryo
Toumazou with words of welcome
-Representing the group of residency participants: Curator
Viviana Checchia and artists about their project and experiences;
-Representing the EU Commission: Michela
-Representing partner organizations EMAA and Rooftop
Osman Keten, President of EMAA (European Mediterranean
Art Association) and Katherine Kotsirea (Rooftop Theatre - Board Member )
-Mayor of Nicosia Turkish Municipality: Mr.
-Co-chairs of the bi-communal technical committee of
culture Mrs. Androulla Vassiliou and Mr. Kani Kanol.
The displayed pieces are thoughts made visible because
people always need something to touch, an unfinished building – a dome –
waiting for its completion, an abstract sculpture small in size made from
ruins, a fruit stand coming to life by the light directed at it and finally a
dance performance by the young breakdance group, the artits had met and talked
to during their residency.
Breakdance has become an expressive dance performed by
young world citizens, especially in places where poverty and uncertain social
and political conditions reign, and has become an instrument of spiritual
liberation by overstepping physical limits and hopefully overcoming the force
The same is valid for the arts...as it says in the
main title : Confrontation through Art.