FA/DE Famagusta Deryneia Mural Art Project | “The great escape” & “untitled”


untitled Nurtane Karagil, Twenty Three Derinya, 2015 Photocredit: Panagiotis Minauntitled
Nurtane Karagil, Twenty Three
Derinya, 2015

The work of Nurtane Karagil and twenty three presents itself with a strong graphic accent. The surface has been reduced and placed in a wooden frame, playing with the visual equivalent of the frame, to symbolize a scene which requires an inside and an outside, an ambiguity that reflects the situation of the island of Cyprus and all its paradoxes. The image tells us about a reality that at first sight is not different from ours, from that West which is so close, but the fact that is being turned over immediately propels us into another world, similar but opposite. 50 years, this is the distance from “normality” for Cyprus, from the flow of existence without walls and divisions, tensions that we, here, barely remember and that still live in the stories of the elderly, very far from us. This static time marks life in the island, where everything seems calm and “western” but then you find a wall, a barbed wire and uniforms of other colors that remind you that it is not like this, that something is still static. This awareness comes out from the work with a surgical coldness: external hands seem to play and even determine the course of the sun and the tides. These limbs come from outside the screen – external forces or internal? or both in a squalid game of roles? – to represent the frame of a country absurdly frozen in a situation that most of the West doesn’t even know. And so the impression is that this work talks, with its bright colors, smiling and exasperated, of a grotesque truth, of a country that has been waiting for too long to overturn its status quo and to get closer and find its “normality”. A place where men and artists, are ready for the change, today.

"The Great Escape" Opsis Synopsis, Umay Kutay Yilmaz Famagusta, 2015 Photocredit: Panagiotis Mina

“The Great Escape”
Opsis Synopsis, Umay Kutay Yilmaz
Famagusta, 2015

The work of Opsis Synopsis and Umay Kutay Yilmaz shows itself as a romantic and melancholic image divided between love and escape. Frustration for the existential condition of the island and its inhabitants is represented by opposed elements that through a coherent and simple composition are able to tell the deep emotional tension behind this artwork. A big boat, symbol of the sea which surrounds the island is transformed into a flying object: a balloon filled with suitcases. The large suitcases cover completely the bottom of the boat: there is not enough space for seafarers, only for the weight of their life. The need to escape from the contingencies and to look beyond, to break away from the island, to feel the freedom of that air which separates the earth from the earth, to climb over the sea, is symbolized by this hybrid element between marine and sky blue, in which memories, history, affections are packed together. But the boat is already high in the sky over Cyprus, we recognize the lighthouse of the City of Famagusta, and the barren land underneath is crushed by a starry sky that dominates all the elements. The anchor doesn’t let the boat leave, the desire not to abandon our house becomes a concrete form, a commitment symbolized not by a chain but by the instrument that makes a stop in the middle of the sea safe, that leaves the soul swing but that doesn’t leave us adrift. The scene is suspended, the need to leave has got caught in the image itself, in the flap and the folds of the island. The strip of land that has raised is the image itself, so that the artwork seems to detach from the wall: then a dream? Or to turn the page through the sweet and terrible tension that drives us away, but that requires us also a personal commitment for change?

Simone Pallotta, Curatore, WALLS

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