"An Elegy for Coming Undone"
Curated by Denise Araouzou
9th October - 19th November 2023
koraї | project space
Nicosia 1016, Cyprus
for arrhythmic sounds, vocal chasms and whispers
acts of faith and orbit
spells celestial earths
their wounds and
wombs archives of suns
and moons half full
spirits have no names
they can only hear your psalms
so yell louder
to be sheltered
(for Eleni Odysseos’ solo exhibition An Elegy for coming Undone)
Koraï Projects invites you to An Elegy for Coming Undone, a solo show of Cypriot painter Eleni Odysseos. The artist presents a new series of works painted on deadstock raw silk collected from fabric stores across Cyprus. The rich history of Cypriot sericulture threads through craft, commerce, exploitation, colonisation, and domestic and industrial production but has repeatedly excluded the posthumanist perspective of the silkworm, whose lifecycle is violently interrupted in the process.
Over time, the artist’s interaction with the silk lays the foundations for an interspecies dialogue that actively negotiates with the material’s symbolic connotations and expands the notions of biopolitics and power. Beyond biochemical and industrial processes, this dialogue also considers socio-ecological interdependencies and crises, literal and metaphorical fertility/infertility, and the struggle for metamorphosis on an increasingly toxic planet.
By exploring non-human death, these works invite a closer inspection of how death, spirituality and transformation are invisibilised within a society addicted to extending life and youth. The artist draws inspiration from marginalised and persecuted women's collectives across time and place, who conjure spells that tend to the community, the land and the waters, making and protecting spaces for solace and regeneration. The psycho-spiritual 'landscapes' marked in alizarin claret, amethyst, quinacridone gold, naphthol red, green gold and other deadly pigments engulf the exhibition space. Accompanying the paintings is a commissioned sound piece by electronic musician Spivak, co-produced with Odysseos.
Eleni Odysseos (1991, Cyprus) lives and works between London and Nicosia. She graduated from the MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2018 and was awarded the Abbey Fellowship at the British School of Rome in 2020. In her practice, she searches for remnants of interconnectedness. Her paintings explore desire, abjection, and isolation through symbolic figuration, choreographing a constellation of painting, text, sound, and light.
Recent exhibitions include: The Tending of the Otherwise (Procida, Italian Capital of Culture, 2022), Mediterranea 19 Young Artists Biennial - BCJEM (San Marino), Hook Selects (New York, 2021), Hotel Happiness (London, 2021) Mostra, British School at Rome (Rome, 2021), Seeking Roots, NiMAC (Nicosia, 2021), Data – Saturated (UK-CY, 2020), Be Water Again, Koraï Project Space (Nicosia, 2019), and Figurative NOW. Daniel Benjamin Gallery (London, 2018).
Painting as lexicon: symbolism, ritual, practice
19 & 26 October, 2 November, 18:00 – 20:00
Artist & curator in conversation
Material entanglements: spells & superstitions
3 November, 19:00 - 20:30
Sleep comes dropping with Spivak
19 November, 19:00 – 20:00
All events will take place at Korai Project Space
Supported by Culture Services of the Cyprus Deputy Ministry of Culture
With special thanks to Moufflon Bookshop, Dr Georg Kremer, Ioanna Gerakidi, Rumen Tropchev, Leontios Toumpouris, Andreas Mallouris, Orestis Lazouras, Loizos and Miltos Hadjioannou, Edison, Tatiana Ataliani, Constantinos Odysseos, Eleni Athanasiou, Andonis Moushis, Kouyoumjian Fabrics, Sipone Textiles, N.V. Vapsis Ltd, Yiannoula Skourou Fabrics, Jawad Nazzal, Dr Anthi Andronikou.