Cyprus Pavilion, Milano, Italy
HUMAN TOPOGRAPHIES_EMERGING IDENTITES
The exhibition eloquently illustrates how two prevailing struggles, Division and Crisis, can lead to a new and positive ‘Emerging Identity’ for the Island of Cyprus. Architectural works/projects from both the public and private realm have been carefully researched and chosen for the ways in which they activate architectural and social change. These are collaged, projected and blurred, creating an interactive corporeal and sensory experience. This experience evokes a new urban landscape, created from human topographies that echo the voice of an emerging identity.
project: Human Topograhies_Milano Triennale
role: Curator w/ Yiorgos Hadjichristou & Veronica Antoniou
consultants: Nicos Christofides (light engineer), Yiannis Christofides (sound designer), Michalis Georgiou, Alexis Postekkism Theodoros Zarkas, Hanna Wilentz (technical support), C. Xenophontos, Arch 202 students (student support)
collaborators: Georgios Papiotis, Christina Karamalli, Ourania Asperou
Translation: Ricardo Urbano
Special Thanks to: Urban Gorillas, Nicosia Master Plan, Emilios Michail, Philotheiou
Main Sponsor: Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Education and Culture
Additional Sponsors: Bank of Cyprus, University of Nicosia, Nice Day, Andreas Jacovides
There exists an on-going geographical scar creating a division through the Island of Cyprus and its capital, Nicosia. The currently amputated city center is left almost forgotten, yet nature has reclaimed the division line and it is now teaming with thriving greenery and wildlife. The qualities of the dividing but green zone have contributed significantly in the search for new ‘identities’, expressed in the emergence of new living
The current economic and social crisis relentlessly invaded all spheres of human life. The experience of the city has dramatically altered, characterized by a change in the flow and needs of the people and the uses of spaces. We use Mark Wrigley’s notion, “crises are ultimately productive…they force invention – radical destruction gives way to new forms of production”, as the impetus for the creation of an ultimately new experience that the visitor will encounter and become a part of when they enter the Cyprus exhibit.
The requirement of the Triennale that the design component be a ‘theatrical epresentation of an unknown reality’ influenced the spatial proposal of the exhibit. Thus it aims to capture the presence of the visitors and transfer their interactions in an enticing corporeal and sensory experience. The exhibit is centered around Architectural shadow puppets which fill the room with multitudes of reflected images. The puppets represent the ‘products’ and ‘ingredients’, be they buildings, infrastructure, or objects, interwoven together with weather and social ritual scenographies.
The experience will be enhanced by the use of recordings, projections, various modes of lighting, kinetics, fans, moving mechanisms, mirrors, transparencies, markings, text and tracings. The shadow art effect and the projections will be interwoven with sound-scape calibrations constantly changing in sequence and amplification. Puppets inspired by the
traditional ‘karagiozis’ will also be used to present the human in this Division and Crisis thematic. It is through these innovative and alluring techniques that the narrative of the emergent built environment will be communicated.
These Architectural shadow puppets will be in the form of key existing contemporary and historical buildings and monuments from the Island of Cyprus. The selected local architectural case studies (from both the Public & Private sector) will be blended with evolving living typologies. These will be used to create a series of emerging metropolitan environments of momentary relationships and create a ‘new’ spontaneous urban landscape.
This is what we call ‘Human Topographies of Emerging Identities’.