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Monday, 19 June 2017 16:06

Loan of a work by Christodoulos Panayiotou to Centre Pompidou

Christodoulos Panayiotou, Mauvaises Herbes, 2015 - Mosaïque en pierre naturelle - Collection NMNM N°2016.6.1 - Crédit photo : l'artiste Christodoulos Panayiotou, Mauvaises Herbes, 2015 - Mosaïque en pierre naturelle - Collection NMNM N°2016.6.1 - Crédit photo : l'artiste

For its exhibition Anarchéologies, le Centre Pompidou has sollicited the NMNM for the loan of Christodoulos Panayiotou's Mauvaises Herbes, 2015

This natural stone mosaic is the outcome of the artist’s long engagement, study, and observation of the mosaics found at the archaeological site of Kourion in Cyprus, where the ruins of an ancient city-kingdom can be seen. In many cases, archaeological findings that are excavated, documented, and restored are buried anew. In this way, they return to the best possible conditions for their preservation and are further promised an undefined, projected future.
Panayiotou has closely followed the new surface that emerged with the deliberate burial of mosaics and documented the weeds that appeared on it. These parasitic plants—common to the Cypriot landscape— have been rendered in a 1:1 scale, using the same technique that was used to create the ancient mosaics that lie beneath the weeds.
Mauvaises Herbes was presented for the first time at the Venice Biennial in 2015 when the Cyprus Pavillion had presented of monography of Christodoulos Panayiotou's work. The work then covered the terrazzo floor at the intersection between two rooms. This specific installation follows the topography of the excavation sites in which they are located and the vertical layering of time that an archaeologist always faces in the process of an excavation. Destroying the walls or the floor of one building to study a layer lying beneath is a decision often made by archaeologists that extends beyond the scientific realm into a political and ideological one

About the exhibition 

All power,” writes Michel Foucault, “only ever rests on the contingency and fragility of a history.” The development of archaeology as a science in the early 19th century testifies to an imaginary of origins that accompanied the creation of the European nation-states. Witness to this are the idea of the universal museum and the collections of casts intended to extend knowledge even as they firmly set the confines of art. If this “Western heritage” has today been brought into question by postcolonial critique, the myths of the past remain, shifted, reformulated and revitalised more than ever in a globalised world.

“Anarchaeology” was a word coined by philosopher Michel Foucault when, in his lectures at the Collège de France in the late 1970s, he imagined an anarchy of knowledge where the various regimes of truth could be investigated inch by inch. With this word, he sought above all to argue “the non-necessity of power as the principle of intelligibility of knowledge itself.”

The different artistic projects assembled in this exhibition are all concerned in one way or another with archaeology itself. In forms both visual and discursive, Ali Cherri, Christoph Keller, Oliver Laric, Amina Menia, Jumana Manna, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Maria Taniguchi, and the collective Umashankar and the Earchaeologists – consisting of Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Nida Ghouse and Umashankar Manthravadi – all cast a lucid and critical eye on the archaeological imaginary and its effects today. Their works above all touch on an erosion of certainties, engaging in artistic meditations on discordant truths. The abolition of time and space in the digital condition marshals together, on the same plane, the most contemporary of technologies and ancient skills revived. It is through such dyschronic moments that these works interrogate the regimes of knowledge of both past and present.

Place : Centre Pompidou, Paris - Level 4 - Galerie 0 - Espace prospectif
Dates : June 15 - September 11, 2017
11am - 9pm (closed on Tuesdays)

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