Oo – Cyprus Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
(1 June – 15 September 2013)

Opening: 30 May 2013, 17:00
Venue: Palasport “Giobatta Gianquinto” (Palasport Arsenale)
Calle San Biagio 2132, Castello – Venezia

Artists: Jason Dodge, Lia Haraki, Maria Hassabi, Phanos Kyriacou, Myriam Lefkowitz, Gabriel Lester, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Dexter Sinister, Constantinos Taliotis, Natalie Yiaxi.

Curator: Raimundas Malašauskas
Commissioner: Louli Michaelidou
Assistant Commissioners: Angela Skordi & Marika Ioannou
Production Manager: Francesca Bertolotti
Project Coordinators: Constantinos Filiotis & Roscianach Habibi Minelli
Graphic Designers: Julie Peeters & Joris Kritis
Website: Denny Backhaus

Contact: cyprusinvenice@gmail.com
T: +357 22809814 / +357 99451838


The participation of the Republic of Cyprus in the Venice Biennial is organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture.


Download Newsletter: Before we forget
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Cyprus Pavilion Press Release, English (PDF)
Cyprus Pavilion Press Release, Greek (PDF)
Cyprus Pavilion Newsletter: Before we forget (HTML)
55th Venice Biennale Awards: Special Mention to Cyprus and Lithuania
Press Release, 55th Venice Biennale Awards, Greek (PDF)

Exhibition Map (PDF)
Artists’ Short Biographies (DOC)
Coat of Arms (PDF)

all photos by Robertas Narkus

— Opening 1 (JPG)— Opening 2 (JPG)— Opening 3 (JPG)— Opening 4 (JPG)— Opening 5 (JPG)

all photos by Robertas Narkus,
(unless otherwise noted)

— Entrance to Oo (JPG)— Algirdas Sekus: Venecia 2, 1983 (printed 2013), B&W photograph (JPG)— Algirdas Sekus: Venecia 2, 1983 (printed 2013), B&W photograph (JPG)— Algirdas Sekus: Venecia 2, 1983 (printed 2013), B&W photograph (JPG)— Algirdas Sekus: Venecia 1, 1983 (printed 2013), B&W photograph (JPG)— Algirdas Sekus: Venecia 5, 1983 (printed 2013), B&W photograph (JPG)— Liudvikas Buklys: Not titled Yet, 2013, cabinet (JPG)— Liudvikas Buklys: Not titled Yet, 2013, cabinet (JPG)— Constantinos Taliotis: The Day the Chaly Stood Still, 2013, sculpture (JPG)— Constantinos Taliotis: The Day the Landie Stood Still, 2013, sculpture, courtesy the artist (JPG)— Constantinos Taliotis: The Day the Landie Stood Still, 2013, sculpture, courtesy the artist (JPG)— Jason Dodge: lights the height of dog’s eyes (the mourners) (JPG)— Jason Dodge: lights the height of dog’s eyes (the mourners) (JPG)— Jason Dodge: Apricot tree – Plant Life and Pine (JPG)— Reprogrammed iRobot Roomba, vacuum cleaning robot (JPG)— Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson during guided tour (JPG)— Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson during guided tour (JPG)— Natalie Yiaxi: GUIDE BoOK, 2013, book work (JPG)— Natalie Yiaxi: GUIDE BoOK, 2013, book work (JPG)— Natalie Yiaxi: GUIDE BoOK, 2013, book work (JPG)— Gintaras Didziapetris: Untitled, 2013, optical fiber light (JPG)— Gintaras Didziapetris: Untitled, 2013, optical fiber light (JPG)— Kazys Varnelis: Last shot, 2007-2008, painting (JPG)— Kazys Varnelis: Last shot, 2007-2008, painting (JPG)— Maria Hassabi: Intermission, 2013, live installation (JPG)— Maria Hassabi: Intermission, 2013, live installation (JPG)— Maria Hassabi: Intermission, 2013, live installation (JPG)— Phanos Kyriacou: Eleven hosts, twenty-one guests, nine ghosts, 2013, installation, courtesy the artist (JPG)— Phanos Kyriacou: Eleven hosts, twenty-one guests, nine ghosts, 2013, installation, courtesy the artist (JPG)— Dexter Sinister: Work-in-Progress, 2013-2014, scoreboards with custom electronics; Rytis Saladzius is a living sculpture wearing masks made by children (JPG)— Lia Haraki: Tune In, 2012, solo movement performance, photo by Haris Antoniades (JPG)— Lia Haraki: Tune In, 2012, solo movement performance (JPG)— Elena Narbutaite: Electra, 2013, metallic screen (JPG)— Gabriel Lester: Cousins, 2013, walls / Phanos Kyriacou: Syntheto, 2013, multi-purpose furniture (JPG)— Gabriel Lester: Cousins, 2013, walls (JPG)— Gabriel Lester: Cousins, 2013, walls (JPG)— Myriam Lefkowitz. Walk, hands, eyes (Venice), 2013, guided walk (JPG)— Rytis Saladzius is a living sculpture wearing masks made by children (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)— Exhibition view (JPG)

The performer species:

Performers make a living out of putting their souls on display available for consumption and application.
A supreme act of generosity and charity!
They should be very proud of their nature….

The shape of necessity:

‘the shape of necessity’ is love.
It is the bare necessity of needing the other in order to balance.
It is a journey of coexistence manifested in its most basic form: shared weight.
Isn’t love about allowing the other to help you become lighter?
My wish was to use the naked bodies both as landscape exciting enough in its form to keep the senses interested and symbolic enough to flirt between sexual stereotypes and a sensuality that triggers enough juices in the bodies, of both performers and spectators, in order to create emotion. My dream was the rawness of the naked moving body to appear simple and innocent enough as two kids playing or two animals fighting, or two humans partnering.
I saw the piece many times in its making and enjoyed it unfold every time, as there is nothing more engaging than bare simplicity.

‘I still don’t know whether a protagonist of Lia Haraki’s practice is herself or energy that makes the self happen. Or an energy that depersonalises us in an intimate act that discards the notion of a protagonist itself.
Practicing electro-muscular vibration with her is where I would like to send most anxious visitors (those that fear of missing things out and keep following ‘the next thing’) of oO to. They could experiment with new states of collective embodied identity at the pace of the pulse.’

Raimundas Malašauskas , Curator of Oo (Cyprus and Lithuania pavilions in 55th Venice Biennale)

‘ Moving from side to side
from now to now
in a forever changing moment
allowing consciousness
to perform itself
in a dance without an ego
of a body without a mind
which tunes into whatever is
with no judgment ‘

In the solo work the artist explores how motion brings emotion and how by witnessing this process one can reach a new state of being.
The solo ‘Tune In’ is the second of a series of works with research on how repetition can stimulate a kinesthetic response (‘Again’ 2011-Old Music New Dance project-Poland, ‘IntuNition’ October 2012).

Concept/Creation/Performance Lia Haraki
Music and Sound Design Pandelis Diamantides
Mentoring Evi Haraki Mahera
Lighting Design Alexander Jotovic
Sound engineer Yiannos Ionas
Production manager Yiangos Hadjiyiannis
Duration 40’
The sound of the pulse heard in the piece is a live heart transmission

‘Tune in’ was presented at the Cyprus Dance Platform, European dance festival Cyprus, Kalamata International festival, Bozar Brussels, Korzo The Hague, Made in Dublin festival and Studio 11 Cologne. Future presentations include Tanec Praha festival in Prague , the Sthens festival and the 55th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale

Moisturize into a state of agelessness

Inspired by a conversation i had with Georgina Spelvin, a former American pornographic performer

L.H. Thank you for sharing your honesty, generosity, courage and humanistic approach to what seems in my eyes a life of ultimate exposure for survival’s sake. Last question:

L.H. What’s the motto you live by?
G.P. ‘Moisturize!’

This last answer led me to question whether ‘to moisturize’ is actually the key to agelessness and why is agelessness important.
I followed the following track of thoughts I would like to share:

Why does ‘Aging’ come with a negative connotation?
Is it the absence of an aging aesthetic from the media world and so ‘we’, the western people, are not used to the old as ‘beautiful’?
Is it the fact that death is for most a negative thing and aging is near it?
Is it that it’s hard to detach from an identity that was once loved for its beauty and health?
Or is it because illness is treated by the healthy as a horrible state?
If this last question is the case, I then wonder if someone diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s actually feels ‘bad’ or is it more likely that we feel bad about him? Most probably he lives in a reality that seems normal but we are too preoccupied with ours to even imagine that.

So if we would assume for a minute that death leads to a new kind of life and so it’s not a negative thing and fear is not related to it, then in that sense all ages of the living body would neither be considered good nor bad, but just different stages the body goes through during life
until there is a transition into more life.
So then a question would be:
Is there a human quality or state that remains ageless and eternal in a body despite of its age, something that never changes and always exists?
Something that has no age?

In other words what is actually ageless about us humans?

An answer could be timeless beauty!

It is the quality that one needs in order to recognize each present moment as real and so as unique and so as beautiful.
It is that same quality that would allow people to redefine themselves everyday anew without being trapped in thinking that old patterns define who they are.
Actually the word ‘patterns’ would not exist and so aging gracefully would be to accept change as the way to live.

To moisturize one’s self would be to learn to keep fresh as an individual. In other words to detach from patterns of thinking and ways of being in order to welcome new ones,
to be rather than act being,
to exist without labelling ones existence,
to live constantly in the age of agelessness.

Lia Haraki


Walking is for me not only healthy and lovely, it is also of service and useful. A walk advances me professionally and provides me at the same time also with amusement and joy; it refreshes and comforts and delights me, is a pleasure for me, and simultaneously, it has the peculiarity that it allures me and spurs me on to further creation, since it offers me as material numerous small and large objectivities upon which I later work at home, diligently and industriously. A walk is always filled with significant phenomena, which are valuable to see and to feel.

jules and jim

In Florida, an elderly couple had been having an unexpected guest. To them it was an orangutan, but they weren’t sure. The orangutan visited them and took apples that the daughter had brought from north. Then the wife snapped a photograph of the so-called orangutan. She judged that the animal was about six and a half to seven feet tall in kneeling position and noticed that its awful smell lasted long after it had left the yard. Prior to taking the photos, she had put four apples there. Two full and two cut in half. The ape only ate the full ones. The orangutan stopped visiting when the family bought a dog.


Job Description

Current Job Title: Museum Guard, part-time
Area of Expertise: Protective Services
Summary Gallery Guards are the first line of defense in protecting visitors, staff, the works of art, and the physical facility.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.
_ Ensures the protection of his/her assigned post by patrolling the post during public hours.
_ Keeps the works of art safe and secure by preventing unauthorized persons from touching, handling, defacing, or otherwise tampering with the works of art.
_ Helps keep staff, visitors, and students safe by reporting potential safety violations immediately.
_ Keeps the Museum, the collection, and persons safe by immediately reporting critical incidents or unusual activity.
_ Interacts with visitors by providing general information and way finding information in a pleasant and responsive way.
_ Helps ensure the safety of the collection by recording daily inventory counts and monitoring temperature and humidity in gallery spaces.
_ Helps keep the Museum presentable to visitors by performing light housekeeping duties.
_ Other duties as assigned.
_ Supports the Guiding Principles of the Museum in all activities. Model behavior described in the Museum Values Statement.
Reports To: Supervisor, Protective Services and Chief of Protective Services
Supervisory Responsibilities – This job has no supervisory responsibilities.
Education and/or Experience – High school diploma or equivalent; experience working with the public
Language Skills – Ability to read and comprehend simple instructions, short correspondence, and memos. Ability to write simple correspondence. Ability to effectively present information in one-on-one and small group situations to customers, clients, and other employees of the organization.
Mathematical Skills – Ability to add and subtract two digit numbers and to multiply and divide with 10s and 100s.
Reasoning Ability – Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out detailed but uninvolved written or oral instructions. Ability to deal with problems involving a few concrete variables in standardized situations.
Computer Skills – None required
Certificates, Licenses, Registrations – none required
Physical Demands The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand and walk. The employee is frequently required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus. Vision is an integral part of a Gallery Guard’s job. Must be able to observe what is taking place on his/her post.
Work Environment The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.
Other Qualifications – Requires excellent interpersonal skills. Must be able to pass a criminal record check with no recent felony or serious misdemeanor convictions in security related areas. Must pass drug screen.


Palermo died young, aged 33, while on holiday in the Maldives. Some biographers suggest he died “in mysterious circumstances”; others say “of heart failure”. The Unexpected Death of Blinky Palermo in the Tropics became the title of a painting by Julian Schnabel.

Palermo died at 91, but it was 50-60 years too late for boxing. The convicted extortionist who, along with Frankie Carbo and three other less lights, went to Federal prison in the mid 50s, passed away in Philadelphia, his long time fief. Hardly anybody realized he was still living let alone dying and the list of mourners was blank. Those who found out later did not shed a tear.


MARVIN PONTIAC was hit and killed by a bus in June 1977 ending the life of one of the most enigmatic geniuses of modern music. He was born in 1932, the son of an African father from Mali and a white Jewish mother from New Rochelle, New York. The father’s original last name was Toure but he changed it to Pontiac when the family moved to Detroit, believing it to be a conventional American name.
Marvin’s father left the family when Marvin was two years old. When his mother was institutionalized in 1936, the father returned and brought the young boy to Bamako, Mali where Marvin was raised until he was fifteen. The music that he heard there would influence him forever.

At fifteen Marvin moved by himself to Chicago where he became versed in playing blues harmonica. At the age of seventeen, Marvin was accused by the great Little Walter of copying his harmonica style. This accusation led to a fistfight outside of a small club on Maxwell Street. Losing a fight to the much smaller Little Walter was so humiliating to the young Marvin that he left Chicago and moved to Lubbock, Texas where he became a plumber’s assistant.

Not much is known about him for the next three years. There are unsubstantiated rumors that Marvin may have been involved in a bank robbery in 1950. In 1952, he had a minor hit for Acorn Records with the then controversial song “I’m a Doggy.” Oddly enough, unbeknownst to Marvin and his label, he simultaneously had an enormous bootleg success in Nigeria with the beautiful song “Pancakes.”

His disdain and mistrust of the music business is well documented and he soon fell out with Acorn’s owner, Norman Hector. Although, approached by other labels, Marvin refused to record for anyone unless the owner of the label came to his home in Slidell, La and mowed his lawn.

Reportedly Marvin’s music was the only music that Jackson Pollack would ever listen to while he painted, this respect was not reciprocated. In 1970 Marvin believed that he was abducted by aliens. He felt his mother had had a similar unsettling experience, which had led to her breakdown. He stopped playing music and dedicated all of his time and energy to amicably contacting these creatures who had previously probed his body so brutally.

When he was arrested for riding a bicycle naked down the side streets of Slidell, La, it provided a sad but clear view of Marvin’s coming years.


The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death-ride with crouching motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle.


Base Camp was established on 25th March. The icefall reconnaissance party were ready to set about their important task.


Last night mr. andreas workshop, my potter/ collaborator and mentor, was invaded by copper thirsty bandits, who cut off all the electricity cables. The workshop is out of order for a week, but hey, so is the rest of the country.


When Edward goes to have his hands sharpened, the storefront was that of an actual hardware store called Eurogroup in Brussels Shopping Center. At the time of the filming, they did offer a sharpening service, and they did have a giant motorized Victorinox in the window.


Carved clay fingers have dirty fingernails.

Phanos Kyriacou

Behind the Scenes

Circa 1813
One day, sand welcomes a new guest in its life: glass that contains either liquid or time. Molecules gain heavy velocity. In a couple hundred years, Phanos Kyriacou will dig it up in his backyard.

Foundations for the building of Palasport Arsenale, designed by Enrichetto Capuzzo, are laid in Venice. It reminds one of Noah’s Ark on wheels. Almost forty years later, Constantinos Taliotis discovers how modernist architecture affected another vehicle—a motorcycle.

Completed Palasport Arsenale is named after Giobatta Gianquinto, a native Venetian, a criminal lawyer, member of the Italian Communist Party and mayor of Venice from 1946 to 1951.

8 November 2012
Raimundas Malašauskas lands in Nicosia to test the premises of two national pavilions as one exhibition called Oo. Stelios Votsis, one of the most revered and groundbreaking artists in Cyprus, dies the next morning.

December 2012 
The Guide BoOk by Natalie Yiaxi starts running as a sequencer. Sequencer stands for a model of an affectable subject that generates orders of bodies and clots of knowledge, depending on the circumstances it encounters. These circumstances are in transit, in the same way the content of the exhibition becomes so.

4 December 2012 
Krõõt Juurak changes her name to KrOot—her name becomes a venue to be sublet by other artists.

8 March 2013
A new obituary for Horace Goldin—whirlwind illusionist and inventor of Sawing a Woman in Half, who was born in Vilnius and died in 1939—written by Malak Helmy in Alexandria, is released.

15 March 2013
European Central Bank proposes the Cyprus government imposes a levy on deposits. An unprecedented case in European financial history. Oo shakes like never before—one of the two countries is on the brink of collapse.

24 March 2013
Enrichetto Capuzzo, the architect of Palasport Arsenale, dies.

25 March 2013
Edith Scob, the chauffeuresse of Holy Motors (2012, Leos Carax) drives a conversation about life in transition: it shows transition as a space in which one could stay, yet the space itself is moving, it is a car, and transition becomes a way to stay in change.

1 April 2013
According to Cyprus-based Greek photographer Thodoris Tzalavras, the atmosphere in Nicosia is so saturated by Saharan dust that it is possible to shoot the sun with a C8+ telescope without a solar filter, even capturing a sunspot on the upper left part.
Liudvikas Buklys goes to Prienai to film the biggest snowman in Lithuania.

11 April 2013
A dream containing several elements of Oo appears to Maria Hassabi (“there were lots of big women dressed in white, dancing around like Isadoras, lots of writing everywhere, graffiti sort of style, and still dark. Gintaras Didžiapetris’ project was a huge hamburger projected on the wall […]“).

30 May 2013
An exhibition called oO (or Oo) opens at Palasport in Venice. Band 18+ play live at the opening. A cocktail formerly known as Vilnius Sling is served. Lia Haraki tunes the building to her heartbeat.

16 June 2013
A festival of calisthenics takes place at Palasport. 120 girls (age 4–13) perform in the scenography of Cousins, a display architecture adapted especially for the event.

27 June 2013
“Ponte della Libertà, remove the poles: It will be a summer without light”, fires the June 27th issue of Il Gazzettino on the table of the cafe (precise location to be announced) in Venice.

Behind the Scenes

Bonus Track (Th. Papaconstantinou)

On the same table, a hunter and a fisherman. The hunter says “The screams of the animals I killed started staining my soul”. And the fisherman replies “Give me the animals’ screams and take the fishes’ silence”.


Tulsa, Okla
10th April

Mr. Henry Ford
Detroit Mich.

Dear Sir,
While I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasen’t been strickly legal it don’t hurt anything to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8.

Yours truly
Clyde Champion Barrow

Who has no brain has legs


In the greek dictionary of Babiniotis, the most renown dictionary of the greek language, for reasons that one might explain as purely arbitrary, page 1366 provides us with a gastronomical paradise. In that same page one finds “pasta”,”pasta frola”, “pasteli”, “pastilla”, “pastitsio”, “pastokidono”, “pastourmas”. Beyond a mere coincidence, the universal conspiracy, this “chance meeting on a dissecting-table of a sewing-machine and an umbrella” of gastronomy, is founded precisely beyond a mere coincidence; it is originated on a strict code of dictionary regulations (on alphabetical sequence / order, rather than, let’s say, size priority, or chronology) on “choices and slips” and principles that gave birth to this, ostensibly, accidental meeting on page 1366. “Still there will be a beginning”.


Voila, my likeness, my brother

Simulacrum of things past, and preludes to new substitutes

From “Plural Monologues”

In 1982, in a talk Wim Wenders gave in French at a colloquium on narrative techniques in Livorno, Italy, published in “The logic of images: Essays and Conversations” (1991) under the title “Impossible stories: Talk given at a colloquium on narrative technique” he recounts of a story where: “I’m sitting alone in a hotel lobby, waiting to be collected by someone I don’t know. A woman comes in, looking for someone she doesn’t know. She comes up to me and ask: ‘Excuse me, are you Mr So-and-so?’. And I very clearly say ‘Yes!’. Just because I’m fascinated by the thought of experiencing the beginning of a story or a film” (pg. 53)
In “City of Glass” published in 1985, Paul Auster describes the following scene as being the beginning of his story:
“Hello?” said the voice.
“Who is this?” asked Quinn.
“Hello?” said the voice again.
“I’m listening,” said Quinn. “Who is this?”
“Is this Paul Auster?” asked the voice. “I would like to speak
to Mr. Paul Auster.”
“There’s no one here by that name.”
“Paul Auster. Of the Auster Detective Agency.”
“I’m sorry,” said Quinn. “You must have the wrong number.”
“This is a matter of utmost urgency,” said the voice.
“There’s nothing I can do for you,” said Quinn. “There is no
Paul Auster here.”
“You don’t understand,” said the voice. “Time is running out.”
“Then I suggest you dial again. This is not a detective agency.”
Quinn hung up the phone. He stood there on the cold floor,
looking down at his feet, his knees, his limp penis. For a brief
moment he regretted having been so abrupt with the caller. It
might have been interesting, he thought, to have played along with him a little. Perhaps he could have found out something
about the case—perhaps even have helped in some way. “I
must learn to think more quickly on my feet,” he said to himself.
(pg. 7)

There is no data on whether Paul Auster was at the talk Wenders gave in 1982. There is no data on whether Wim Wenders read Paul Auster’s “City of Glass”.

“Not only television was black and white. Life was black and white” (Y.D.P.)

I said “There will be a shooting star shower tonight”
You replied “It’s not the stars falling down. It’s the sky scrolling up”

Monument Valley, Paliometocho

When I told you Cyprus is the island of love, this is what I had in mind

Constantinos Taliotis

make your

guide boOk

this is how we do it

Guide BoOK





horse jumping into a diving tank
1953, life magazine

lettuce leaf shaped plate minutes after falling on the floor 2012, life


Plastic tokens and a Scottish dagger
- and an auspicious space

A chemical change
-shining hope or lesser evil?

A sense of unease
- the roots are depressingly familiar

A life on the line
- a coed in Concord

No exploration of motives
- no revelation of spy funds

A pride of prejudices designed by trinity
- king midas of sex

Discipline for the people
-a chocolate medal

The miracle came off smoothly
- a passion for privacy for the man who was everybody

In the old courtly way, in such haunts and disguises,
- bird of prey go bump, bash and grab in the night

Big enough for dinner
-alternately weeping and boiling

Punches and Polemics as the accused became the accusers
-some egos need massaging

A monarch digs, a champion swings,
- a circus of nostrums and nutrition

Everything in its place
- planning to return, having the last word

Healing and forgiveness
- a state of reverse paranoia


notes from a lecture

# 4. Søren Kierkegaard on Trauma: The Concept of Anxiety as a Theory of Traumatic Time Speaker: Isak Winkel Holm.
Wednesday 4th of May at 7pm.


Natalie Yiaxi