October 31, 2015 - Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast in Alexandria
October 31, 2015

Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast in Alexandria

Courtesy of Mahmoud Khaled.

Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast
A happening in Alexandria, Egypt in the context of Christodoulos Panayiotou: Two Days After Forever
16–17 November 2015

Alexandria
Egypt

info [​at​] cyprusinvenice.org
press [​at​] cyprusinvenice.org

www.cyprusinvenice.org 

In the context of Christodoulos Panayiotou’s solo exhibition, Two Days After Forever at the Cyprus Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, a number of activations have emerged. Two performances conceived by Panayiotou, The Parting Discourse and Levant U-Turn, took place during the opening days of the biennale. The former occurred between the stage of Teatro Goldoni and the Cyprus Pavilion on 6 May, while the latter saw participants delve into the Mediterranean on 8 May.

The final act further examines the pavilion’s themes of memory and memorialisation, and the notion of Cyprus as a gateway to the Global South. It will see participants swim across the stretch of the Mediterranean to Alexandria, for a two-day happening entitled Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast. Conceived by artist Mahmoud Khaled, this awakening seeks to examine the pavilion’s discursive concept of time through an examination of the city of Alexandria. Here, Khaled explores the city’s significance for artists, writers and filmmakers throughout history. How does the imaginary form of the city exist today, has it fallen into an endless loop of loss and nostalgia: melancholy and romanticism? 

Khaled presents a newly conceived psycho-geographical reading of this territory using his own art education in the city as a starting point. Over two days, the artist will explore sites frequented by the Alexandria University Fine Art department and will consider how they were used as locations for academic study; these are places that were intended to hold the essence of the city, where young students from the school came to create their first drawings and paintings. 

This proposal stems from ongoing research by Khaled on public state-run sites and parks in the city of Alexandria, which embody contentious political histories. 

The locations examined within this happening were once spectacular in aesthetic and in their dimensions. Indeed, these sites had become a destination for generations of young people, and particularly art students (including Khaled) seeking natural vistas worthy of a landscape study or figurative subjects during their academic training. Today, neglect by the authorities has transformed these sites into near-ruins; fragments awaiting continued decay, like the city that houses them.  

Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast is a reactive meditation on the crisis of memory and the erosion of history. Through walking and reading from the artist and invited guests, Khaled will unfold an archaeology of the city and beg for a collective meditation on the inevitable human act of failure. 

Artist: Mahmoud Khaled
Program Assistant: Magda Magdy
Curator: Omar Kholeif
Guests, observers and participants will include Christodoulos Panayiotou, among a group of invited artists and writers 

Programme 

Postponed Dates on a Disappearing Coast is a two-day event:

Monday, 16 November
Walks and readings in Antoniades Garden and the Zoo 

Tuesday, 17 November
Walks and readings at Mina al Basal, the Boat Builders Workshop and the Cavafy Museum

Both events start at 10:30am. A minivan will pick up participants from Cecil Hotel: 16, Saad Zagloul Square, Raml Station, Alexandria, and transport them through the duration of the event. 

The Cyprus Pavilion exhibition project is accompanied by a publication produced in collaboration with Sternberg Press. Two Days After Forever: A Reader On The Choreography Of Time is a series of collected writings on archaeology, movement and the layering of time (ed. Omar Kholeif).

The participation of the Republic of Cyprus at the Venice Biennale 2015 is organised and sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The event is kindly supported by Barjeel Art Foundation. 

Participation is free, but booking is essential. Please contact: info [​at​] cyprusinvenice.org.

 

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