Cuprum

Cuprum follows the aftermath of the 1974 invasion in Cyprus and uses military commissioned photographs taken by the artist, originally taken to be given to the military archives. Under unauthorised possession of these photographs due to military censorship of visual data, Cuprum intervenes on the photographs to reassess their photographic quality by mixing them with alternate material to obscure the subject and analyses the reforming qualities a photograph is embellished with when mixed with different media. The process reinterprets the meaning of a digital photograph in establishing a relationship between that and the intervention materials. Copper dust is widely used in the production of the pieces as well as the wall piece that is used as a geographical pin-point for the works. Use of copper for the pieces reflects the derivation of the word copper from the name ‘Cyprus’ due to the country being a major copper resource in antiquity. Cuprum questions military censorship and the military apparatus in reflection to the emerging of a dual history in the cultural division of the island and how the photographic machine can cause a misinterpreted reading of history. The reconsidered pieces look at how interventions and the curatorial placement of the digital image reflect commentary stances. The censorship of subjects is used to make a statement on the obscuration of a truthful history due to the multilayered nature of the divided communities’ interpretation of horrific events. The ethics of presenting these images to the public are questioned within the act of censoring, which reevaluates their documentary photographic nature, converting them into commentary mixed-media pieces and in this way allows them to be transmitted to the public. The project uses the artist's authorship of the photographs as the license of usage. The wall piece is a replica of the Cypriot Buffer Zone which splits the two communities and works as a statement on the impact of cultural division and the duality of local history.

© 2018 by Alexis Andreou

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