Forget me not…Δεν ξεχνώ

 

The members of Cypriot Printmakers participate in the 4th Edition of the Athens Print Festival-NOSTOS with their own visual art proposition that is inextricably linked to the Festival’s chosen theme for 2018. The title of the group exhibition is the phrase – “Forget me not…Δεν ξεχνώ”.

The “Forget me not” motto was created by Nikos Dimou on the morning of 14 August 1974, the day when Attila II severed Cyprus in two. An adman at the time, Dimou gave instructions for the creation of the “Forget me not” emblematic slogan which was later printed on stickers, posters and much more, e.g. exercise books that have nurtured several generations of Cypriot pupils. For more than 40 years, the “Forget me not” slogan has left an indelible mark on the Cypriot society, having emerged as it did during the Turkish invasion. Strongly imbued with a socio-political content, the very concept of “Forget me not” has had starkly different receptions throughout the years from one generation to another.

The theme was delivered to the members of Cypriot Printmakers, made up from visual artists-printmakers, some of whom have experienced the 1974 events that remain vividly imprinted on their memory, whilst others were born in raised in divided Cyprus. The aim has been the creation of prints that encapsulate how artists construe the phrase “Forget me not” by either preserving or rejecting its political and cultural substance.

In a nutshell – what does “Forget me not” mean today to each and everyone of us? And how can this motto persevere outside the Cypriot context and local social borders? The answer to these questions is given by visual artists-printmakers Evgenia Vasiloude, Stathis Paparoditis, Kyriakos Theocharous, Hourik Torossian, Despina Theocharous, Christina Symeou, Aznive Papazian, Christos Hadjistylianou and Efklides Papadopoulos.

Featured at the exhibition are visual art installations, video-installations, one-off utilities, and of course traditional prints on paper. All works, created specifically for the purposes of the exhibition, are imbued with complex conceptual interpretations based on traditional printing methods. At the same time, the printmakers’ presentation contains a pronounced element of “abolishing” the traditional aspect of the framed print – which in fact endeavours to bring out the use of printmaking as a means of setting up a new-contemporary visual art language without, however, breaking with the traditional values of the art of printmaking.

 

Margarita Kounnafi

Art Historian, Exhibition Curator

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