Cyprus

Crossing Boundaries and Facing Economic Catastrophes

It seems that the joint entry by Cyprus and Lithuania to this year’s Venice Biennale is seeking to challenge the persistently national character of the organization. That this does indeed pose such a challenge is certainly not to be taken as a given. Hopefully, however, this can constitute at least the first steps of a larger turn away from the state-centred path that the Biennale has been treading on since its inception. For now, however, this “deconstructive” mood towards national identity seems to lead to quite a limited venture, insofar as the pavilion is still presented as the joint mission of two separate national units, rather than e.g. as one entity. What follows, then, pertains only to Cyprus’ half of the mission, and not to Lithuania’s.

Cyprus has recently had its 15 minutes of fame, its financial crisis placing the island center-stage in the global public sphere. The extreme measures taken in response to this crisis have included, notoriously, an unprecedented haircut on deposits by legal persons in two of the country’s major banks. Amidst its overall response to this situation, the EU has promised aid that will take the form of reallocation of various funding schemes towards Cyprus. What percentage, if any, of these funds are going to find their way toward projects relating to culture and the arts? For now, it looks like the answer might be: none. If so, how far could one say that this pavilion relates to the disappearance of Cyprus’s art?

Andreas Vrahimis

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Pavilion

Organizer/Commissioner:
Ministry of Education and Culture
Artists:
Lia Haraki; Maria Hassabi; Phanos Kyriacou; Constantinos Taliotis; Natalie Yiaxi; Morten Norbye Halvorsen; Jason Dodge; Gabriël Lester; Dexter Sinister (collective)
Curator:
Raimundas Malašauskas
Open Call?
Yes
Selection procedure:
This year Cyprus and Lithuania have a joint exhibition. The Advisory Committee for the Selection of Artists and Works under the Cypriot Ministry of Education and Culture appointed the curator together with the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture. The curator issued an open call and selected the artists.

Curator

Name:
Raimundas Malašauskas
Gender:
Male
Born:
Lithuania, 1973
Lives and works in:
Belgium, France and The United States of America
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Curator

Name:
Dexter Sinister (collective)
Gender:
Male
Lives and works in:
The United States of America
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Lia Haraki
Gender:
Female
Born:
Cyprus, 1975
Lives and works in:
Cyprus
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Maria Hassabi
Gender:
Female
Born:
Cyprus, 1973
Lives and works in:
The United States of America
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Phanos Kyriacou
Gender:
Male
Born:
Cyprus, 1977
Lives and works in:
Cyprus and Germany
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Gabriël Lester
Gender:
Male
Born:
The Netherlands, 1972
Lives and works in:
China and The Netherlands
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1
Represented by galleries in:
Amsterdam, Shanghai

Artist

Name:
Jason Dodge
Gender:
Male
Born:
the United States of America, 1969
Lives and works in:
Germany
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1
Represented by galleries in:
New York

Artist

Name:
Morten Norbye Halvorsen
Gender:
Male
Born:
Norway, 1980
Lives and works in:
The United Kingdom
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Natalie Yiaxi
Gender:
Female
Born:
Cyprus, 1980
Lives and works in:
Cyprus
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Artist

Name:
Constantinos Taliotis
Gender:
Male
Born:
Cyprus, 1983
Lives and works in:
Germany
No. of participations in the venice biennale:
1

Politics & Economics

State System:
Unitary presidential republic
Ruling Political Party:
centre-right coalition of the neo-liberal, nationalist, conservative Democratic Rally and Democratic Party.
Population (World Bank, 2011):
1,116,564
GDP per capita (World Bank, 2011):
$30,670
Unemployment (World Bank, 2011):
7.7% of the labor force
Net OECD ODA Aid Donated (2011):
$37,610,000
Military Expenditure (SIPRI, 2011):
$472,000,000

Alliances


Commonwealth
IMF debt
International Criminal Court recognized
WTO

Conflicts

Country independent since:
1960 (from Britain)
Last Major Border Revision:
Ongoing border conflict
Colonial History:
Former British colony
Global Militarization Index (BICC, 2011):
6
Nuclear Force?
No
Ongoing Conflicts and Disputes:
Ongoing conflict has divided Cyprus into two de facto autonomous regions: the internationally recognized Cypriot south and the Turkish-Cypriot north. North Cyprus is only recognized as an autonomous entity by Turkey.
Participation in Multinational Missons:
UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.