May 6, 2011 - Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt - Haris Epaminonda
May 6, 2011

Haris Epaminonda

Haris Epaminonda, video still from ‘Chronicles’, digital transfer from super 8 film, 2011–ongoing.*

Haris Epaminonda
13 May–31 July 2011

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg, D-60311 Frankfurt
welcome [​at​] schirn.de
T (+49-69) 29 98 82-0
F (+49-69) 29 98 82-240.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Fri–Sun 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Wed and Thur 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

www.schirn.de

The Schirn presents a solo exhibition of the young Cypriot artist Haris Epaminonda. Her production is determined mostly by the collage technique, which she has ex-tended by combining pictures, films, photographs, sculptures, and other found ob-jects to complex installations. Epaminonda does so without all references to the date and place of provenance as well as the meaning of her sources. Viewers are rather thrown back upon themselves and their own associations. All the artist’s pictorial, filmic and spatial compositions share a similar sensibility and texture. Epaminonda’s subtle and yet strangely emotive language opens up a space in which one can lose oneself in a realm of relations and gestures. Epaminonda has developed a new film installation for the Schirn, which examines aspects of time, motion, stillness, as well as of representation and presentation.

Born in Nicosia, Cyprus in 1980, Haris Epaminonda studied at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, at Kingston University, and at the Royal College of Art in London. She has become known to a wider public with her contribution to the 52nd Biennale di Venezia for Cyprus Pavilion at the Palazzo Malipiero in 2007. She presented her work at the 5th Berlin Biennale (2008) and a number of group exhibitions like at the New Museum, New York (2009) and solo shows in the Konsthall Malmö (2009) and the Level 2 Gallery of Tate Modern, London (2010).

Epaminonda’s works may be described as audio-visual collages, for which the artist uses material and objects from diverse sources and epochs. Her fascination with ethnographic photographs in books and magazines published between the 1930s and the 1960s as well as documentations shot in the 1950s and 1960s, is in a way a turn to those means through which one was to access and discover the world reach-ing the foreign and exotic. Epaminonda often composes such pictures with one an-other and juxtaposes them spatially with ancient sculptures, earthenware vessels, African woodwork, Chinese porcelain and other elements, creating a web of new complex relations and elusive connections.

The principle of seriality figures prominently in Haris Epaminonda’s practice. “VOL. I, II & III,” the group of spatial compositions the artist embarked on in the Konsthall Malmö in 2009, was continued with “VOL. IV” (Rodeo, Istanbul, 2009) and “VOL. VI” (Tate Modern, London, 2010) and relates to the illustrated book “VOL. I.” This book comprises 120 illustrations showing idyllic landscapes, remote places, and intimate personal portraits from books and magazines the artist photographed with a Polaroid camera. In 2007, Epaminonda started working on the project “The Infinite Library” with Daniel Gustav Cramer: the two artists remove individual pages from publications and combine them anew into a continuing archive of abstract book configurations. The newly bound book objects are constructed according to a logic of their own. The impression conveyed is that of a potentially endless series, with no part resembling another. Each has another focus; a number of pages are added, others are ex-changed.

In her films, which also play an important role next to photography, Haris Epami-nonda uses not only existing footage, but also draws on her own arsenal of forms and motifs, incorporating sequences taken with a handheld Super 8 camera during her travels, in her studio, or from printed matter. Because of their coarse-grain sur-face and materiality, the pictures present themselves as from a time long past—an aesthetical impression enhanced by the deliberate abstinence as regards hints on their origin and meaning. The fragments call for being assembled and transferred to new contexts of meaning by the viewers.

The three-dimensional collages comprised of photographs, films, and other objects address the viewer’s pleasure of discovery. Haris Epaminonda plays with the objects’ character as museum exhibits and possibilities of presentation. The strange atmos-phere her installations convey stems from the overlapping of different levels of time, materials, and techniques. Their spaces turn into depositories of time, mark thresh-olds between past and present, the private and anonymity, reality and fiction. Epami-nonda creates imaginary worlds by removing subjectively chosen finds from their original context and assembling them to form something new. What strikes us par-ticularly is the artist’s subtle handling of her source materials and modes of represen-tation. The affectionate view of days gone by, the wistful recollection of the romantic spirit of exotic excursions and the enthusiasm of private holiday moments immedi-ately involve the viewer emotionally.

For the Schirn Haris Epaminonda has conceived a new work, which is loosely linked with the series “Chronicles” that begun in Sheffield’s Site Gallery in 2010. Her project comprises a film space with several projections. The sequence of moving pictures does not tell a coherent story but continues along the lines of the artist’s fragmentary approach to narrative, the single elements are being connected partly by a common aesthetic tenor and recurring motifs: an antique sculpture, a fountain figure spouting water, Asian monks, a strongly weathered representation of the Virgin Mary, the cu-pola of a mosque, mountain summits, a sunset in the woods, and particularly water forge a bridge between different cultures and religions and question the nature of time, motion, and rest.

Film loops of different lengths result in ever new combinations and moods. With the media overlapping, contexts of time and meaning break free, and new pictorial worlds keep emerging—and, with them, new spaces of association. The French-British ex-perimental duo ‘Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides’ has created the music for the installation. A meditative surround sound will accompany the films and provide the room with an additional dimension, creating an accessible perplexing sound composi-tion.

DIRECTOR: Max Hollein. CURATOR: Katharina Dohm. PRESS CONTACT: Dorothea Apovnik (head Press/Public Relations), Markus Farr (press officer), phone: (+49-69) 29 98 82-148, fax: (+49-69) 29 98 82-240, e-mail: presse@schirn.de, www.schirn.de, (texts, images, and films for download under PRESS).

*Image above:
Commissioned by Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt.
Courtesy: the artist and Rodeo gallery, Istanbul.

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