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view of the installation view of the installation 2

 

A Stroll In The City by Katerina Attalidou

 

 

Τo οδόφραγμα είχε ανοίξει λίγους μήνες νωρίτερα και μπορούσα μετά από 30 χρόνια να επισκεφτώ ολόκληρη τη Λευκωσία, ολόκληρη την Κύπρο, τα μέρη που για 30 χρόνια άκουγα και δεν είχα δει ποτέ. Αυτό  που ως τότε ήτανε η άλλη πλευρά, η θέα από ψηλά, γινόταν πραγματικό οπτικό αισθησιακό ερέθισμα.

 

Ξεκίνησα να γυρνάω την πόλη σε όλο το εμβαδόν του κύκλου της με το ποδήλατο. Σταματούσα εδώ και εκεί όπου μια εικόνα με ενδιέφερε περισσότερο και έπαιρνα σχεδιαστικές σημειώσεις. Συγχρόνως άρχισα να βγάζω φωτογραφίες.

 

Βρέθηκα να έχω στα χέρια μου κάποια στιγμή πολύ υλικό χωρίς να είμαι σίγουρη για το πώς θα το αξιοποιήσω, μέχρι που αδειάζοντας το πατρικό σπίτι του παππού πάνω στην πράσινη γραμμή έπεσαν στα χέρια μου τα κάδρα του σπιτιού σύμβολα μιας ολόκληρης εποχής, σκηνές χειρουργείου, τοπία, γεύματα. Ο παππούς είχε ζήσει, σε μια εποχή που η Λευκωσία δεν είχε ακόμη χωριστεί, δεν είχε ακόμη εγκαταλειφθεί, σε ένα μεγάλο σπίτι δίπλα στα τείχη. Τα κάδρα αυτά προσέδιδαν αμέσως στις βόλτες μου τη διάσταση του χρόνου.

 

Οι εικόνες δημιουργήθηκαν με τη χρήση όλου του υλικού, του σχεδιαστικού, του φωτογραφικού, το οποίο αξιοποίησα με τις τεχνικές του κολλάζ και του φωτομοντάζ. Χρησιμοποίησα τις κορνίζες, σε κάποιες περιπτώσεις και το ίδιο το περιεχόμενο των κάδρων, παλιές φωτογραφίες και χαρακτικά, και ένιωσα ελεύθερη ακόμη και να σχεδιάσω στο τζάμι όπου αυτό εξυπηρετούσε την εικόνα.

 

Έτσι δημιουργήθηκε μια σειρά εικόνων που έδειξα ως ένα ενιαίο μεγάλο επιτοίχιο  έργο στη δεύτερη μεγάλη διοργάνωση της ομάδας Noise. H έκθεση πραγματοποιήθηκε σε παλιά άδεια καταστήματα στην πόλη της Λευκωσίας (εντός των τειχών). Επέλεξα έναν χώρο πολύ ιδιαίτερο, μια σοφίτα χαμηλοτάβανη και σκονισμένη. Στον τοίχο τοποθέτησα τα κάδρα χωρίς να αφήσω κενά. Απέναντι μια αναπαυτική πολυθρόνα, στο πλάι μια οθόνη τηλεόρασης, στο χώρο υπήρχε επίσης μία κρυμμένη κάμερα. Ο φωτισμός ήταν χαμηλός. ‘Όταν ο θεατής καθόταν για μια στιγμή για να παρατηρήσει συνολικά το επιτoίχιο έργο, έβλεπε τον εαυτό του στην οθόνη. Η εικόνα του γινόταν μέρος της εγκατάστασης, μέρος της εγκατελειμένης αυτής πόλης. Η όλη εγκατάσταση είχε τον τίτλο: «Βόλτα. ένα ημερολόγιο χωρίς σύνορα. Όσο το επιτρέπει η Ιστορία.»

 

 

 

VOLTA a Diary without Bounderies     2003/2004

 

 As much as history allows.   At NOISE in the old city of Nicosia.

 

A picture of Doctors investigating on the operating table the old city of Nicosia.

 

Old hands in awe above the old town.

 

A self portrait in pencil.

 

A mixing of water colour and black and white photography.

 

The colour of imagination the documentary of monochrome.

 

Past, present, memories and dreams.

 

A wobbly drawing of a French window and balcony which had seen it all. Butcher’s shops.

 

Line figurative drawings over photographed houses.

 

Ducks in flight.

 

Statues.

 

Adverts. A no-entry sign.

 

Time takes it easy and melds into every frame.

 

                                                                            

 

Katerina’s grandfather’s clinic is (was) just outside the Venetian moat surrounding Nicosia, near Ledra palace Hotel ( the check point to pass from one side of Nicosia to the other), near the Turkish football field, the Paphos Gate, the law courts, the Armenian cemetery. In the 50s I lived nearby facing from across the moat the old quarter which is inside the walls. I would often hear Greek and Turkish music but also hit tunes from Beirut. The area suffered a great deal in 1956 with the Armenians leaving; their church was burnt down. It is now an area where you can see wrecked houses.

 

Katerina started off on her walk from those streets, full of optimism, because there was a suggestion of peace after so long. The barricade was officially opened and at the time of writing this article more and more people are crossing backwards and forwards. She must have heard so many stories. I remember her mother telling me that she used–before the crisis- go into the old city to buy jewellery, lovely decorative things from the Turkish jewellers.

 

However, now Katerina was confronted by the realities of the present and the memories of the past. Having all her received memories she went across with enthusiasm and discovered the reality was rather different. She made sketches and took photographs noting down the visually intriguing images.

 

There is something very bizarre about the other side. For example, if you go round by Ahmed mosque and down Victoria street towards where the catholic church can be seen there are these houses that have been restored by Unesco and they are the most beautiful restorations in the whole of Cyprus. Living in those same streets are the Black Sea Turks who were brought to Cyprus after the Turkish invasion of 1974.  Turkish Cypriots do not mingle with these neighbours from Turkey. Indeed although smart new restaurants are beginning to spring up in the area it is doubtful if the immigrants visit those either. Most Turkish Cypriots have moved to more modern areas outside the walls. The “immigrants” appear to live in rather poorer circumstances.

 

Katerina’s resulting work reflects her confrontation with this new reality of division. All so distant from the pleasantness and distant charm of memory, it occurred to her that in her own Greek Cypriot side of the currently partially divided city new divisions are happening. At night in the centre of the town languages and dialects are rather different than in grandfather’s day. The city, due to its separation, has actually been deserted by its original inhabitants.

 

Katerina made her optimistic walks but after she entered her studio to work with all the material she had gathered, the old frames she discovered in her grandparents house – frames of memory- as well as their content, family pictures and old etchings, plus the drawings made during her strolls and coloured and black and white prints of the stills she captured with her camera, scissors in one hand and glue in the other, what she came across was the essence of this new reality of division.

 

She included in the images of the city drawings of herself and of her husband and child and showed the whole set of images for the first time in an attic of a run down shop in the very centre of the old city. She included in this first exhibition of the work in Nicosia an arm chair opposite the wall were she had “entassed” these fragments of a city. On the side of the wall there was a tv set, and somewhere in the space a hidden camera. If the viewer could spare some time he would walk in from the stare case look at the images for a shorter or longer time and then he would perhaps sit on the armchair to contemplate the mural mosaic for a while. The blank tv would then show his own image and make him part of the whole installation, part of the deserted city. 

 

It is how you face a new reality and come to terms with it by visual means.

 

And of course things keep on changing…

 

                                                                                      Glyn Hughes

 

 

 

Crossing the Line Untranslated Passage / Room 109

 

© All rights reserved to the writings and the images and artwork by Katerina Attalidou

 

 

 

 

Copyright  © 5764  / 2004. All Rights reserved to the concepts, writings, poetry, photography and video art by Halkios. All thoughts sealed long ago in a contract with the universe. No recreation of these scrolls, in any shape or means of force, is tolerable without articulate consent of the intrepid architect.