Within the framework of Beuys100, the Goethe-Institut Cyprus presents the project Social Sculptures: a series of events curated by Marina Christodoulidou. The events programme includes an exhibition, which resulted from a workshop with local artists, guided tours, film screenings, an online discussion with art historian Rhea Thönges-Stringaris, and a round-table discussion with the participating artists and collaborators during the finissage.
Action artist, activist, sculptor, draughtsman and professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Joseph Beuys would have turned 100 this year. His ideas, works, and political commitment had a significant impact on the art landscape of the post-war period and on the formation of contemporary and socially-engaged art practices. The theory of sculpture is a methodology, which Beuys conceived and applied as a means rather than a medium, and his approach towards social sculpture influenced and inspired art practitioners and society, and still does to this day. His statement: “everyone is an artist”, developed as part of his social sculpture projects, feels more relevant than ever, relating to the urgency towards reforming social compositions.
Social Sculptures project kicked off with a workshop commencing last April for local artists, which drew from and challenged Beuys’ notion of social sculpture vis-avis the context of our given time and place. The project features the practices of artists Spyros Anastasiou, Mehveş Beyidoğlu, Stella Christou, Eirene Constantinou, Rafaella Constantinou, Marietta Mavrokordatou, Andreas Papamichael, Simone Philippou, Zoe Polycarpou, Korallia Stergides and Nicolina Stylianou. Their artistic approaches employ different media, comprising of sound, sculpture, engraving, photography, installation, performance, some of which are participatory, and so forth. Yet they share a departure from the concept of ‘artwork’, unveiling within and drifting throughout hybrid forms and processes of their making.
The works and actions created for the exhibition present social sculpture in its diversity and plurality, as acted and mediated through the participants’ encounter and exchange. Sculpture is explored as a metaphor of movement, a metaphor we live by as society. Metaphor in its etymological sense to “transfer”, or “carry across”, seems to rearticulate the relationship between plurality and discursive practices through which the idea of movement occurs. Social Sculptures’ movement carries across compositions of reality, not because it reflects the aim or will of an individual and a singular artistic act, but because it derives from collaborative praxis, which is enacted and restaged. By sharing ways to get closer to the unceasingly forming and reforming of social compositions we are part of, the featuring artists grasp the notions of ‘social’ and ‘sculpture’ in their plasticity and resilience.
EXHIBITION DURATION: 23 September – 23 October 2021
OPENING HOURS: Monday–Friday 14:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–14:00
GUIDED TOURS: 6 & 20 October at 6p.m.
REGISTRATIONS for the exhibition opening and the tours necessary at +357 22 674606
***The events will take place in accordance with the health and safety measures announced by the authorities. For attending the events a valid SafePass (proof of a 72-hour-old negative PCR/rapid test for Covid, of at least one dose of a vaccine three weeks earlier or having contracted the virus in the past six months) and previous reservation are required.***