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Moderna Museet presents Christodoulos Panayiotou Days and Ages

Moderna Museet presents Christodoulos Panayiotou Days and Ages an exhibition on view 30 November 2013–27 April 2014.

Christodoulos Panayiotou’s new work Days and Ages, produced by Moderna Museet, consists of a 320-square-metre ceramic floor for the exhibition with the same title. Days and Ages is the most extensive presentation of Christodoulos Panayiotou’s oeuvre in Scandinavia to date.

The exhibition title, Days and Ages, paraphrases the archeologist Einar Gjerstad’s Ages and Days in Cyprus (1933), a memoir of the Swedish Expedition, which conducted wide-ranging excavations on the island between 1927 and 1931. Under an agreement between the Swedish government and the British colonial administration, half of the unearthed terracotta objects were shipped to Sweden. In 2009 while in Stockholm, Christodoulos Panayiotou (born 1978 in Limassol, Cyprus) researched the photographic archive associated with the Cyprus collection, now part of the Medelhavsmuseet collection in Stockholm. The photographs constitute a starting point for Days and Ages, highlightening the role of archeological excavations in the construction of the image of Cyprus during the early 1920s, projecting backwards into antiquity.

Days and Ages is a large-scale ceramic floor made through the same process as for his work The Sea, presented at dOCUMENTA (13). During the manufacture of the terracotta tiles in the artist’s birthplace, Limassol, pumped water was replaced with saltwater from the Mediterranean. In his choice of materials, Panayiotou emphasises the way in which national symbols serve as modern-day mythology engines, along with natural resources.

Panayiotou’s oeuvre raises questions on how collective narratives are created and visually manifested. Once again, a ship with handmade terracotta objects leaves Cyprus for Sweden. When Panayiotou ships the terracotta tiles, he highlights how national identity is invented, exported and communicated across borders, says curator Matilda Olof-Ors.

In the photographic groupings The Invention of Antiquity, The Invention of Tradition, and The Invention of Folklore (2011) Panayiotou examines the political rituals and ceremonies of Cyprus and shows how the country’s self-image was constructed during the turbulent period following the island’s independence in 1960.

Christodoulos Panayiotou has a background in dance, performance, and anthropology. His practice interweaves the methods of the researcher and the choreographer, often focusing on various forms of power relations and exchanges. Panayiotou was born in Limassol, Cyprus, in 1978. He lives and works in Limassol and Paris.

Moderna Museet
Exercisplan, Skeppsholmen