By Heidi Trautmann
Samad Behrangi, an Iranian author, has written the story ‘The Little Black Fish’ which has inspired Cypriot artists to base their art project on. An old fish telling his 12,000 children and grandchildren a tale themed around justice, equality, questioning dogma, and swimming against the tide; and it is freedom that one of the little fishes tries to reach against all barriers. The exhibition project ‘The Little Land Fish’ was supported by the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture and was prepared in collaboration of the European Mediterranean Art Association-EMAA and the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts-E.KA.TE.
The exhibition was now brought back to Cyprus to be showcased at EMAA’s Art Centre in Nicosia from March 3 – 12 March.
The participating artists are: Antoniou Klitsa with the video film ‘Experimental Storytelling’ about a personal story; Atassi Adi with a triptych in acrylic on canvas, telling about the little witch (Cyprus) overcoming all problems of separation; Attalidou Katarina with her film animation “The Cloud in Love” by Nazim Hikmet, a touching story of a musician creating the world, a man who tries to destroy it and a woman who tries to save it, and about the power of love; Melita Couta with two series of works which were – in my opinion a new addition to the migrating exhibition, excellent metal works – fishes with sharp teeth like by Bertolt Brecht, and three ink drawings/collages on silk paper: I would say an image of population and settling; Economou Yiannos with a video ‘Fear is A Man’s Best Friend’ explaining that fear paralyses reason and about the basics of genesis; Erkan Mustafa with a series of photographs about a suitcase filled with emptiness and the question of identity; Ezgin Özgül showing still images with sound about immigrants and their feelings in a country where only their work is appreciated; Ferahian Tatiana with her installation ‘Turkish Coffee’ which made me gasp, cups with future telling coffee residue images settled on the bottom; a group work named ‘Tester’ by Özge Ertanin, Oya Silbery and Evren Erkut which impressed and surprised me: Perfume spray bottles with photos and symbols of Cyprus on it, slogans and catchwords, peng, peng, “…..questiong our identities and beliefs, and the influence of external forces on our existence.”; Hatzigeorgiou Yioula with her depressing video “The Calm” testing the powers of endurance of a woman trying to free herself from a cauchemar, linked to the ordeal in the 1970s; another video by Lapithi Lia ‘The Little Land Fish’ seeing the Cypriots as goldfish trapped in a glass bowl trying to escape from a net; Pericleous Vicky with an installation of souvenirs dedicated to a person “This is How I Will Remember You”; a snake-like floor installation “Anti-Funeral Gifts” as grave goods by Saava Andreas reminding of the closest things accompanying us through the winding paths of our life; Selisik Serhat with his video “We are identical” …..although there is proof that we are identical we see each other as The Other; Sonya Zehra with her installations of protest against the threat of influence and manipulation by Others.
A strong exhibition. It was necessary for me to go into some detailed description of the works to show the grade of interpretation of the project, using the story of the Little Black Fish with its psychological mirror stories. Artists speaking out their frustration, their anxieties, their accusations and their hopes.
The exhibition will be open …
The exhibition was opened by the presidents of both associations and by Bülent Kanol, Director of ENGAGE – Do your Part for Peace Programme and it can be visited at the EMAA Art Centre (Belediye Sokak, No.1, Yenişehir, near Deniz Plaza back entrance), between the 3rd and 12th of March, from 16:00 – 20:00 on Monday, 10:00 – 13:00 / 16:00 – 20:00 from Tuesday to Friday, and from 10:00 – 14:00 on Saturday.