Heidi Trautmann

Dec 3 - March 27 - “CYPRUS IN VENICE, 1968-2009” in Nicosia South

[40 years of participation in the Venice Biennale of Art]

The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation

3rd December 2010 – 27th March 2011


Ministry of Education and Culture – Cultural Services

Pierides Foundation

In the framework of the programme commemorating the 50th anniversary of Cypriot

Independence, a large retrospective exhibition is organized as a tribute to the 40 years of

participation of Cyprus in the Venice Biennial of Art, from 1968 to 2009.

Marking 115 years since its inauguration, the Venice Biennale of Visual Arts is still considered

to be one of the most significant artistic events on the calendar, and every two years the

City of Venice becomes the epicenter of the international art world, the media, and the artloving


Cyprus first joined this massive art celebration in 1968 with six young artists, demonstrating all

the cultural and artistic dynamism of a new State. The intractable socio-political circumstances

on the island during the following period led to a long absence, until 1986 when the national

participation resumed, continuing almost uninterrupted until today, under the responsibility

of the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

This exhibition primarily seeks to acquaint a wider local audience with the institution of the

Venice Biennale, and the works of the artists who have represented Cyprus up until today.

On another level, it attempts to place these contributions in a historical context, in relation

to the course of contemporary art in Cyprus during the post-independence period as well as

in relation to the developing course of the biennial. Furthermore, it investigates prevailing

narratives and discourses, both within works in the national pavilion and in connection with

international debates in theory and criticism; and finally, it collects and reconstitutes ‘lost’

sources and archival material associated with the Cypriot participation, while trying to outline

the distinctive profile of the event itself.

This retrospective follows a multi-level approach, including an historical section, a series of

theoretical discussions, and a subsequent extensive publication. The conscious effort here is

not to faithfully reproduce all the national pavilion shows, but rather to convey the essence of

the original presentations, while highlighting the historicity of the whole course.

OPENING HOURS: TUESDAY-SATURDAY: 10:00-15:00, 17:00-23:00 | SUNDAY: 10:00-16:00

19, Palias Ilektrikis street, 1016 Nicosia, T: +357 22797400, F: +357 22432531, info@nimac.org.cy, www.nimac.org.cy




For this reason, the exhibition unfolds on a chronology and a descriptive narrative that guides

the visitor through four decades of participation. In effect, it draws on the Venice Biennial

theme in order to identify, research and question issues around the Cypriot artistic scene of

the last 50 years, juxtaposing them to the complex dynamics of the global arena.

The event is co-organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture, Cultural Services and the Pierides

Foundation, and will be showing at the Nicosia Municipal Arts centre between 3 December 2010 and

27 March 2011. Curators: Louli Michaelidou and Yiannis Toumazis.

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