[csaa-forum] Invitation Iconoclastic Controversies - a visual sociology exhibition

nico carpentier nico.carpentier at vub.ac.be
Thu Jan 7 04:15:14 ACST 2016

Iconoclastic Controversies: A visual sociology of statues and 
commemoration sites in the southern regions of Cyprus
-Venue: NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol, Cyprus
-Duration: 23/1-6/2/2016

The Iconoclastic Controversies exhibition, by Nico Carpentier, will take 
place at the NeMe Arts Centre, from 23 January until 6 February 2016. On 
Saturday 23 January NeMe invites you to opening the exhibition and to 
the accompanying seminar, Monuments and Memorials as Rhetoric / 
Objectivity as Male.

The exhibition which will take place at the NeMe Arts Centre contains 20 
photographs, accompanying text panels and eight listening posts of 
recorded interviews that investigate the monuments, landmarks and 
statues that are part of the everyday life of Greek Cypriots. “The 
statues are vehicles of communication. They are vehicles of ideology 
and of information”, explains Nico Carpentier, “and they allow us to 
reflect about past, present and future.”

The photographs are used to analyse how statues and commemoration sites 
in the Greek Cypriot community narrate and frame the Cyprus conflict, 
and how they in many cases contain references to the “Self” 
and the “Other”. They present a heroic “Self” to the “Own” 
community, or show the suffering of the “Self”. But the exhibition 
also investigates how some (exceptional) sculptures undermine this 
traditional presentation of the “Self” and offer a different 
narrative of the conflict, and of the identities of the people involved.

The photographs were taken during Carpentier’s stay on the island, 
from September of 2013 to September 2014. This project moves away from 
traditional academic texts to examine and analyse complicated social 
phenomena, such as those produced by the political situation in Cyprus. 
The idea behind this exhibition is that photographs can work just as 
effectively to communicate an academic analysis. Quite possibly they 
work even more intuitively.


On 23 January 2016, at 18:30, before the opening of the exhibition, NeMe 
has organised a seminar to stimulate further reflection. This seminar, 
Monuments and Memorials as rhetoric / Objectivity as male will be in 
English. It is open to the public and will take place at the Photography 
Lab Room at Heroes’ square (at the corner of Pavlou Mela and Vasilou 
Makedonos, Limassol). Speakers are Vayia Karaiskou, Aysu Arsoy and 
Chrystalleni Loizidou. The moderator is Vicky Triga.


Exhibition: Iconoclastic Controversies: A visual sociology of statues 
and commemoration sites in the southern regions of Cyprus
-Venue: NeMe Arts Centre, Limassol, Cyprus
-Opening: 23/1/2016, 8.30pm
-Duration: 23/1-6/2/2016
-Opening Times
****Tuesday-Friday: 17:30-20:30
****Saturday: 10:00-13:00
Seminar: Monuments and Memorials as rhetoric / Objectivity as male
-Venue: CUT Photography Lab Room at Heroes’ square, Limassol, Cyprus
-Date/Time: 23/1/2016, 6pm-8pm


Seminar: Monuments and Memorials as Rhetoric / Objectivity as Male
At Cyprus University of Technology Photography Lab Room situated in 
Heroes’ square, Limassol, Cyprus
23/1/2016, 6pm-8pm

“Memories are not ready-made reflections of the past, but eclectic, 
selective reconstructions based on subsequent actions and perceptions 
and on ever-changing codes by which we delineate, symbolise, and 
classify the world around us.” (David Lowenthal, The Past is a Foreign 
Country; Cambridge University press, 1985, p. 210.)

The recent renewed interest in what may be seen as augmenting a Cypriot 
collective memory through examining our public history is fed by the 
desire to improve the relations between the two main communities in 
Cyprus. Negotiation and (possible) reconciliation about a shared past, 
in combination with education, then become significant tools to turn 
this desire into a cultural reality.

Understanding the loaded narratives of public monuments and memorials, 
since mainly all are commissioned by political parties in power and not 
private individuals, is a fundamental area for analysis and reflection. 
It is worth noting that commemorating heroes of past conflict means 
privileging some versions of history and discounting others. As such, 
memorials and monuments are a means of forgetting as well as remembering.

Art historian and critic Arthur Danto states a relevant clarification 
that the term ‘monument’ signifies celebration, positive 
remembrance, and the eternal present, while the term ‘memorial’ 
denotes the sacred, mourning, and the finality of the past. Danto’s 
definition together with the 80’s feminist slogan: Objectivity is male 
subjectivity frame the seminar’s discussion about the dominant ideas 
on patriotism, heroism, service and sacrifice. In nearly all cases, the 
masculine interpretation becomes the voice of our idea of history 
because patriarchy had the means to create this visual legacy of public 
commemoration. Traditional commemorative representational memorials, 
using socially unconnected modernist formalism, promote a rhetoric which 
is a synthetic version of a past reality. They are carefully crafted to 
promote a heroic translation of events and are equally imbued with a 
subtext expressing not the imitation of actual reality but a desired 
reality or political outcome fraught with historical contingency.

Nietzsche in his “On the Utility and Liability of History for Life” 
states that history inscribed in the physicality of monuments 
represents “a belief in the coherence and continuity of what is great 
in all ages, it is a protest against the change of generations and 
against transitoriness”. History, of course, and especially very 
recent history in our immediate region, has proved that the concepts of 
continuity and coherence of place or ideals have been replaced with a 
forceful scale of insecurity and transitoriness.

Speakers: Vayia Karaiskou, Aysu Arsoy and Chrystalleni Loizidou. 
Moderator: Vicky Triga


In collaboration with:
the Association for Historical Dialogue & Research (AHDR), the Cyprus 
Community Media Centre (CCMC), CUT-radio, and NeMe

Supported by:
the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB - Belgium), Uppsala University, the 
Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO - Belgium) and the Cyprus 
University of Technology

Thanks to:
Yiannis Christidis, Vaia Doudaki, Fatma Nazli Köksal




Nico Carpentier
Uppsala University
Department of Informatics and Media
Kyrkogårdsgatan 10
753 13 Uppsala
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) - Free University of Brussels
Charles University in Prague
Iconoclastic controversies exhibition:
A visual sociology of statues and commemoration sites in the southern 
regions of Cyprus
New article (open access):
Differentiating between access, interaction and participation
Conjunctions, Vol 2, No 2 (2015)
Centre for the study of Democracy, Signification and Resistance
International Association for Media and Communication Research
ECREA mailing list
European Media and Communication Doctoral Summer School
E-mail (UUppsala): nico.carpentier at im.uu.se
E-mail (VUBrussels): nico.carpentier at vub.ac.be
T (UUppsala): +46 (0)18 471 6341
Room (UUppsala): Ekonomikum building E329
Web: http://nicocarpentier.net/

More information about the csaa-forum mailing list