So Close Yet So Far Away | Contemporary Artists from Cyprus

group exhibition with Eleni Kamma
at Petach Tikva Museum, Tel Aviv
12/01 – 11/03/2017


Cyprus is so close to Israel, yet at the same time it lies so far away. Despite their geographical proximity, the two countries know very little about each other, and art is no exception. Alongside their many differences, they share significant similarities, including a long and dominant historical past, constant geopolitical turmoil, and incessant crises – social, religious, political, and financial – which continue to affect the present and the future. Located at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, in this region of osmosis between East and West, they could not avoid – each in its own way – their geopolitical “destiny” in shaping the current post-colonial realities; a destiny which, for both countries, is underlain by a narrative of “partitions.”


The exhibition presents for the first time in Israel a dynamic group of seventeen Cypriot contemporary artists, who scrutinize contemporary Cypriot culture and the many complexities of Cypriot identity. The exhibition attempts to illustrate how, in this era of globalization and increased visibility of “peripheral” artistic activity, contemporary Cypriot artists negotiate issues of history, memory, and politics, especially in the local context. It also examines how they deal with the modern history of trauma, conflict, and violence as well as with other crucial complexities, going far beyond the Cyprus Issue, which still affects the society of Cyprus.


The participating artists seek to highlight and negotiate existing positions and contradictions surrounding the apparent homogeneity of a globalized environment. Issues of multiculturalism, crossings, displacement, migration, and hybridization are key themes in most of the works presented in.


With: Klitsa Antoniou, Marianna Christophides, Kyriaki Costa, Theodoulos Gregoriou, Elizabeth Hoak-Doering, Andreas Kalli, Eleni Kamma, Nurtane Karagil, Lia Lapithi, Andreas Savva, Nayia Savva, Constantinos Taliotis, TwoFourTwo, Marina Xenofontos, Sholeh Zahrael & Kamil Saldun


Curated by Yiannis Toumazis