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Haris Epaminonda. Chapter IV
From 15 March to 18 May 2014

Fondazione Querini Stampalia will be presenting Chapter IV, the first solo exhibition of the Cypriot artist Haris Epaminonda (b. 1980, currently living and working in Berlin) in an Italian institution.

Haris Epaminonda co-represented Cyprus at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and participated in the 5th Berlin Biennale in 2008 as well as dOCUMENTA(13) in 2012. Solo exhibitions were held at Malmö Konsthall (2009), Tate Modern, London (2010), MoMA-Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011) and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, in Germany (2011).

Epaminonda’s exhibition held in the Scarpa Area and curated by Chiara Bertola with Andrea Viliani (guest co-curator) is the result of the international co-production amongst Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Point Centre of Contemporary Art in Nicosia, Modern Art Oxford and Kunsthaus Zurich, where different versions of the exhibition have been presented during the last months.

Chapter IV is also produced in association with Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia and supported by Ballin, a renown Italian brand of luxury shoes from Venice (Fiesso d'Artico) as well as the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture.

The artist often uses preexisting materials, like photos taken from books as well as found objects combined with self-designed plinths and support structures, sculptures and films.  Her precise arrangements and displays as well as her architectural interventions form visual riddles, evoking a multitude of meaning. Her language often points towards abstraction, meanwhile evoking mysterious and enigmatic atmospheres.

Many people remember Haris Epaminonda’s works (together with Daniel Gustav Cramer) in Kassel’s Hauptbahnhof during the last dOCUMENTA(13). The exhibition set out over three floors and appeared fragmentary, dislocated and rhythmic until the very end, and there it found its own dimension. It was like walking in a house-museum where things-works were almost hidden everywhere, along the edges, in the corners, suspended… then space gradually reassembled, like the syllables of a sentence which is slowly spoken.

Epaminonda’s exhibition at the Querini Stampalia in Venice is just the fourth step of her European tournée presenting an intervention inside the Scarpa area in which a version from her latest film, Chapters will be shown. The complex assemblage of details inspired from the East, the color and formal refinements, as well as the temporal and spatial arrangements inside Scarpa’s area have brought the artist to relate to the famous architect.

“In Venice, Haris Epaminonda plays again with the exhibition display: she uses space like a score – Chiara Bertola explains – where materials are similar to reassembled signs in a three-dimensional painting. Epaminonda relates to Carlo Scarpa’s architecture in a refined way, enhancing, highlighting, enlarging the complexity of the architectural language".

” The “cornerstone” of the exhibition is Chapters, a four hour long 16mm film shot in Cyprus in autumn 2012. This is the artist’s most elaborate film to date. In Venice, the film (originally shown as a four-channel film installation lasting approx. four hours with sound composed by Kelly Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols,‘Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides’) will be deconstructed once again for this occasion. www.partwildhorsesmaneonbothsides.com

“The deep congruence between the artist’s work and the exhibition space – Andrea Viliani explains - is given by Chapters’ location, which is the island of Cyprus, whose past has deep roots in the history of Venice. Venice represented the passage between Europe and the East, which is continuously evocated throughout the open and dreamlike narration of the movie, as well as in lots of Scarpa’s architectural and decorative details.” 

In Chapters, Epaminonda shows some typical elements of her artistic genius: vases, flowing water, monuments, ruins, landscapes, palms, animals. A series of objects and images that allow exploring the concept of time and the permeability of memory. In such a spiritual atmosphere, men, women, animals and objects move and interact through their actions and rituals, which are full of multiple meanings. They are often emphasized by the slowness of the execution or stop motion.

The film develops through small and choreographic movements meanwhile the narrative path remains fragmented. The concept of duality and symbolism are the leading elements through a spiritual journey characterized by the continuous interaction of dualities: emptiness and fullness, the sun and the moon, water and desert lands, black and white, inside and outside, man and woman, nature and culture. It is a journey through a physical and mental space, into a suspended temporal dimension which is melancholic and at the same time abstract, where emotions and imagination are melted together. Epaminonda’s work evokes several inspiring elements: from Beato Angelico to Sergei Parajanov and Pier Paolo Pasolini, from Greek, Roman and Byzantine architecture to Carlo Scarpa.

During the exhibition, an artist’s book will be available, published by Humboldt Books (Milan) and co-produced by Kunsthaus Zurich, Querini Stampalia, Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia and Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul. A special thanks to Crovato Pavimenti srl in Venice, Enea Righi and Lorenzo Paini.

Inside the Venetian 'site specific' project, Galleria Massimo Minini in Brescia will host a solo exhibition of the artist with a series of new artworks. Opening March 25th at 6 p.m.

Haris Epaminonda. Chapter IV. Photo: Haris Epaminonda. Courtesy: l’artista
Haris Epaminonda
Haris Epaminonda. Chapter IV. Photo: Haris Epaminonda. Courtesy: l’artista
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Haris Epaminonda - press release

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