Klitsa Antoniou’s collective project The persistence of the Image, resulted from the collaboration of the artist with eighty-five artists, architects, designers, sociologists, art historians and art students who live in Cyprus and were asked to work on a photograph of Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca. Antoniou’s choice of image is pertinent within the overall idea of the Roaming Images project and its investigation of the often contradictory meanings and memories associated with images depending on the ideologies and geo-political contexts in which they are produced and circulated. The tekke, which was constructed in its present form in the early nineteenth century and was dedicated to the memory of Mohamed’s wet nurse, Hala Sultan who died falling from her mule during the first Arab raids on Cyprus in the seventh century, presents a space of contestation both within Islamic and Christian cultures. The technique that the artist uses manages to animate these inherent contradictions of the space of the tekke. Through the animation of the interventions to the image of the tekke and their asynchronised projection on four gigantic books accompanied by the insistent, piercing sound of turning pages the projection represents the Freudian idea of screen memories, which according to Freud are not childhood memories as such but memories about childhood. […] The screens, the books of hegemonic histories from both sides of the Cypriot conflict are animated with the screen memories of the individual interventions in order to reinterpret the histories and create a space that allows alternative narratives to emerge. However, the image of the tekke persists through the projection, refusing to be erased, reminding us of the Ottoman history of the island and its geographical positioning within the Middle East as well as the cultural heritage associated with such positioning. The symbols and images that flicker in front of our eyes provide a visual representability that reminds us that looking east might be an alternative to looking west.
(Gabriel Koureas, The Persistence of the Image, Thessaloniki Biennale Exhibition Catalogue)
Watch the Video