12 June 2016
Protocinema presents at Alt Bomonti, İstanbul

Protocinema presents Dying on Stage by Christodoulos Panayiotou on 12 June 2016 at Alt Bomonti. In this performed reading illustrated by video projection, the Cypriot artist investigates, in a meticulous, researcher-like way, the spectacle of death. From the forbidden to the accidental, from tragedies to idealizations, he lists the shapes and forms of an impossible representation that goes beyond the divide between low and high culture.

Christodoulos Panayiotou chooses the performed conference as the format for his exploration into the bewildering question of the relationship between the stage and death. A trained dancer, he was inspired by the opening night of the La Bayadère ballet restaged by Rudolf Nureyev in 1992, already terminally ill. Illustrated by numerous videos accumulated through the years, screened at each of the artist’s birthdays, Dying on Stage reveals for the very first time, in three parts, the entire body of his research material, consisting mainly of extracts from films, operas, concerts, and variety shows. From Pier Paolo Pasolini to Amy Winehouse, taking in Dalida on the way, his reading and its various digressions articulate these “ghost” images into a long monologue punctuated by a dance section from Jean Capeille. In this distancing operation, Panayiotou sets in motion not just the metaphysical dimension of tragedy but also the triviality of the TV show in order to bring home the capacity of onstage representation even to neutralize the notion of mortality. Ultimately, the show can be read as a wholehearted declaration of love addressed to the art of the spectacle, which deconstructs the aesthetic hierarchies and brings audiences together in the face of their unique destiny.

Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978, Cyprus) is an artist based in Limassol, Cyprus, and Paris, France. His wide-ranging research focuses on the identification and uncovering of hidden narratives in the visual records of history and time. Forthcoming exhibitions include Camden Arts Centre, London (2019) and Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2019 – 20), and selected solo exhibitions include Casa Luis Barragan, Mexico City (2017); the 56th Venice Biennale, The Cyprus Pavilion (2015); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2013), Museum of Contemporary Art, St. Louis (2012) and Kunsthalle Zurich (2010). His work has also been shown in a number of international survey exhibitions including the 14th Lyon Biennial (2017); the 13th Sharjah Biennial (2017); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel (2012), and the 7th Liverpool Biennial (2012). He participated in the Serpentine Park Nights (2015) and Serpentine Poetry Marathon (2009). In 2019, the first UK solo exhibition by the late Swiss visionary artist, healer and researcher Emma Kunz (1892–1963) at Serpentine Gallery that featured over 40 of her rarely seen drawings was conceived in conversation with Panayiotou, who has a long-term interest in Kunz’s work. Panayiotou also founded The Island Club in Limassol, Cyprus, an artist-run exhibition space.

Shots by Çağlar Kanzık