Haris Epaminonda’s exhibition at Modern Art Oxford centres on the newly commissioned film Chapters, coproduced by the hosting museum together with Kunsthaus Zürich, Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia, and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice. The work is filmed in Cyprus and consists in a poetic series of meticulously staged scenes with underlying narrative elements of love, longing, afterlife and ritual: it appears, as the artist states, as an object that continuously moves, a sculpture that has no fixed form.
Renaissance artist Fra Angelico, Georgian film director Sergei Parajanov and Japanese Kabuki theatre are the main references of the work, where the fixed frame of the camera shapes a series of ‘pictures’ or ‘tableaux’, capturing archaeological sites, ancient buildings and historical details. The images are accompanied by a soundtrack by Kelly Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols. The landscapes are punctuated by colourful characters, recalling the formal structure and the iconology of a Renaissance painting and the sketchiness of the Kabuki theatre.
The structure and ideas explored in Chapters are expanded into the three-dimensional world of the gallery. Parallels are drawn with the film’s interior locations and open landscapes, creating a series of intimate spaces in which to view it. The film is presented in a different way in each gallery, crafting a succession of intimately connected but distinct exhibitions.
Until September 8, 2013
All images: Film stills, Chapters, 2012. Photo: Javier Folkenborn.