• Site-Specific Performance / Installation / 2003



S.P.E.L., 2003, SPEL Building, opposite Famagusta Gate, Old Nicosia,
Site-Specific Performance/Installation
Fabric (4.5m × 4.5m × 2.6m), Back-Projection

"The very definition of the real has become: that of which it is possible to give an equivalent reproduction. . . The real is not only what can be reproduced, but that which is always already reproduced: that is the hyperreal… which is entirely in simulation." Jean Baudrillard

In the space between the fourth and the fifth floor’s staircase that led to the terrace, a desk was installed, on which touristic information brochures about Cyprus, both from the north and the south part, in various languages, were available. An ‘information’ sign was preparing the viewers - participants for the role of the woman by the desk. She was responsible for handing out the brochures and issuing the tickets (99 cents) for those who wanted to move on to the terrace. Passing through the old stainless-steel door on to the terrace, they were faced with a constructed square room (4.5m × 4.5m × 2.6m) that resembled a roof construction, a common architectural feature in the old Nicosia. The room blocked any access to the rest of terrace (8m. × 8m.) and gave the sense of an observatory - a top-floor space where tourists and locals visit to get a full view of Nicosia’s restricted landscape.

Only to come across with an exact reproduction of the surrounding view of all three open sides of the terrace, coming from back-projections. On its silky-like, airy fabricated walls of the space, appeared a still almost frozen replica image of the surrounding landscape – that of a panoramic view of Nicosia, with its right-hand side view being that of Pentadaktylos mountain.)

The calm almost silent feeling of the landscape, its Eastern-like characteristics, the image’s postcard-like quality and the cloth’s slight movement by the wind, gave a sense of a non-threatening, cosy yet decadent space. The only object existing in the enclosed space was a deck-chair. The open ceiling as the only open view – at the sky - and the rough quality of the terrace’s floor kept bringing up the idea of an enclosure- highlighting the fact that since 1974 Greek and Turkish Cypriots can not move freely within their country. The work visually proposes a complete and coherent experience of the landscape and focuses the - political - gaze at the gap between real and reproduced space. The in between space that is now ‘visible’ brings on the surface the idea of a rupture; between the gaze and the experience, thus highlights the physical inability of experiencing the city.

The work wishes to expose the grey areas and inconsistent spaces of Nicosia, while not avoiding to communicate and filter the issue through a personal experience of it. The work stands for and subtly exposes my twenty-seven years’ experience and perception of my country’s landscape with its physically restricted areas, zones and horizons.

(The work was exhibited prior to the partial opening of some of the check points between the so called ‘North’ and ‘South’ areas of Nicosia)