2022 | Melita Couta
Conceptualised by Cyprus based artist, Melita Couta, this interactive, participatory, and performative art installation facilitates the formation of a 24 hour “STATE” and its dissolution.
A group of artists, will activate the “STATE” by engaging with the visitors through a series of actions, happenings, and workshops in order to dream, negotiate and create the STATE in a collaborative way. Some activities may include: performing State inauguration and dissolution ceremonies, writing manifestos, creating stamps, a map, a flag. These activities may happen simultaneously or impromptu, following a loose program in an unstructured and unorganised way, allowing for unpredictable outcomes and warmly welcoming failure. Here, failure is celebrated as a necessary part of a process that creates openings for regeneration and reactivation.
The STATE is unsustainable and unproductive. It is however all inclusive and a safe space for playfulness and creativity. A platform of potentials that differs and simultaneously coexists with its surrounding. It is a utopic attempt to create a separate “political” entity, a “state” of resistance where people meet in order to speculate on what is an alternative “state” of being. The project links to artistic and non artistic practises of “micronation” formations around the world. It is a micro pocket of a social space within a politically charged terrain, an anomaly to the area, a container of different potentials.
Melita Couta (artistic concept, installation artist, and event coordinator) is a multidisciplinary artist born in Nicosia, Cyprus. Couta has been working with sculpture, ceramics, installation art, performance as well as using collaborative and participatory methodologies in order to investigate subjects related with narratives through personal and collective identities and memories. As a curator and Artistic Director she has worked with rural communities on Cultural projects and Festivals in order to enhance and promote local histories and narratives. She is also an adjunct lecturer at the University of Nicosia and the Cyprus University of Technology Fine Art Department.
Pascal Caron (artistic concept, research, and Project Participant) is a university teacher, dancer, choreographer, and essayist born in Montreal, Canada in 1975. Having trained in ballet and contemporary dance alongside his academic career, he has been working as performer, dancer and choreographer with dance companies and theatre groups in Cyprus.
Evi Tselika (artistic concept, research, and project Participant) is an arts and culture researcher, writer, curator, and educator. As an assistant Professor at the University of Nicosia, Dr. Tselika’s research concentrates on social practices and histories of art, with a particular focus on the commons and politics, as well as visual cultural histories of the nineteenth and twentieth century.
Constantinos Taliotis (artistic concept, research, and Project Participant) is a multidisciplinary artist and art educator. Taliotis’s art spans sculpture, photography, video art and immersive installation. Inspired by histories of architecture, film and post-humanist narratives and driven by his interest in site specificity, perception and time, his practice invites audiences into familiar worlds made unfamiliar. Taliotis engages the public sphere through architectural interventions that treat the exhibition space as a medium through staged narratives about the here and now, while creating an embodied experience for the viewer.
Ellada Evangelou (project Participant) is a dramaturge, theatre director, workshop facilitator and independent consultant, in collaboration with theatre companies, NGOs and international organisations. She is interested in the relationship between theatre/dramaturgy and identity, and works in the intersection of aRtivism and scholarship in post-colonial, post-conflict communities.
Other Work by the Artist: