War as Archival Image and its Semiotic Translation
‘War as Archival Image and its Semiotic translation’ in relation to art and the environment is a project for the AS Art and Design: Critical and Contextual Studies course. It is dealing with the socio-political effects of war atrocities and subversive acts on cultures globally. The work is focused on the disastrous events that took place in my country, Cyprus in the period of 1964-1974 and the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the North side of the island. I was using my own experience as a newly-recruited Soldier in the National Guard of Cyprus as my primary-source in my research. The work presents the corrupted environments imposed by the army and the authorities against citizens, which is experienced through the visualisation of corruption and the kind of dystopia encouraged through the military system.
All research is conducted with analysis and resources from both the Turkish-Cypriot occupied part of the island and the South, Greek-Cypriot part of Cyprus. Through the work I chose to maintain a neutrality in the biased conditions of the war aftermath and present forms of extremism from both sides in the research.
The soldier-portrait series are depicting insensitivity and lifelessness, as the ideals of a good soldier. The self-portrait recreated with small plastic soldier figurines is a translation of the massification of soldiers by the military institution which denies individual identity and personal objections. The military boots painted with oils work as a symbol of a soldier’s experience and his own course and hardship in a military environment. These artworks all respond to the routine of the army, being strictly punctual, precise, and essential to follow.