Over time the human mind accumulates historical events, special experiences and psychological episodes from the recipient’s life and interactions; these are reflected to a large extent in one’s memories, which are selectively processed and presented in a huge variety of books or other printed media. Following a selection process which is sometimes subconscious and sometimes more focused and customised, driven by an individual and subjective reasoning, the choice of such events becomes very specific. The “book” as a staple medium of information is on a path of slow but steady extinction because of the advancing digitisation of communication via mobile phones, laptops and “tablets”. Both artists make inventive use of the information provided by classic forms of communication like books, newspapers and photographs, and creatively alternate it with other media. The use of pencil on paper or on ‘vintage’ printed photos adds additional gravity to the material on display, enabling the viewer to follow the story from a different slant.
The “Bibliophile series” of Christina Mitrentse are unique mixed-media creations made using book covers as part of her ongoing “ATML” study as well as papers, old posters and exhibition cards from her archive, collected during her five-year sojourn in London. The artist turns the hard front and back covers of books from her “ATML – Bibliographical Data Flow” project into a multicoloured canvas and presents them as a surface; she then explores their topography or the imaginary fields associated with today’s internet environment, effectively pointing to the digital world as the main “mediator” between man and his nature. At the same time she hints at a parallel between the shaky physical status of the manuscript and a digital simulation of the contemporary way of life. As an answer to the challenge of cyberspace, the history of the book emerges as a desirable and brand-new practice of recapitulating the human race.
In the practice of Anastasia Mina the main axis is drawing, and specifically writing with a pencil. It is proposed as an impulsive process of inner tension which is repeated as it covers the surface of the paper and can theoretically continue at infinitum. This is a systematic, continuous and almost obsessive drafting of the drawing which presents the process of writing as the main subject. With this work the artist aims to dispute the notion of movement as a primary element of expression parallel to the relation that has been developed between the hand or the sense of touch and man’s innermost thoughts and concerns. Her artistic approach could be described as an attempt to rationalise the chaotic setting which surrounds the human entity — or perhaps as a way to separate man’s primordial instincts, setting new boundaries and imposing new rules. She focuses mainly on the use of photographic material from the local press and the government agencies of Cyprus.
Overall, the exhibition constitutes a journey meant to showcase and juxtapose the primary forms of learning, communicating and understanding art, using books instead of digital media and the pencil instead of computers, whose extensive use has almost rendered it obsolete. Both Anastasia Mina, who processes photographic images in a peculiar manual way, and Christina Mitrentse who shoots and wounds the books, aim to subvert the image and redefine its content in its entirety.
The two artists are therefore trying to rebalance the disturbed relation of today’s viewers with the old media of knowledge and information and reawaken the sense of familiarity with the object as a medium, whether it is a book or an artwork, which was created on the basis of an emerging allegorical correlation with the past.
Artists: Anastasia Mina, Christina Mitrentse
Tue. - Fri.: 11:00a.m. - 14:30p.m.
& 17:30p.m. - 20:00p.m.
Sat: 11:30a.m. – 14:30p.m.