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Kunsthaus Zürich presents a solo exhibition by Haris Epaminonda
Haris Epaminonda, Production shot, Cyprus, 2012. Photo: Javier Folkenbornİ Haris Epaminonda.

ZURICH.- From 15 February to 5 May 2013, the Kunsthaus Zürich presents ‘South of Sun’ by Haris Epaminonda. It is the young Cypriot artist’s first solo exhibition in Switzerland. At its centre is a new film which combines mysterious landscapes, architecture, people and rituals to create a visually striking composition that conjures up multiple associations. The film is receiving its premiere at the Kunsthaus.

For her first solo show in Switzerland, Haris Epaminonda (*1980) produced her most elaborate film to date, ‘Chapters’, which will be shown for the first time at the Kunsthaus Zürich. The Berlin-based artist filmed the new work in Cyprus last autumn, in collaboration with ‘Point,’ the centre for contemporary art in Nicosia, Modern Art Oxford and the Fondazione Querini Stampalia in Venice. In the past she has used found film material, which she combined and re-edited. She directed the new film herself.

In it, she questions the nature of classical film-making. Rather than following a linear, predefined narrative structure, the project will unfold over the coming months and at the various venues in which the exhibition will be shown. The first of these is the Kunsthaus Zürich, where Haris Epaminonda will be presenting the film material in its entirety and with only minor edits: a total of six hours of footage originally shot on 16mm and then digitized. Divided between four screens, it incorporates a number of narrative elements, including love, longing and eternal separation, which appear then vanish or overlay each other in the parallel projections. The result is an associative journey that is constantly altered and recombined by the action of chance, time and the viewer’s gaze. The actors, objects, animals and spaces shift back and forth between sculptural representations and their own symbolic and metaphorical meanings. The specially composed soundtrack is the product of a collaboration with ‘Part Wild Horses Mane on both Sides’ – a duo consisting of the sound artists Kelly Jayne Jones and Pascal Nichols.

For Haris Epaminonda, sound is an essential medium for conveying a sense of floating, timelessness and placelessness. This ‘in-between’ state is entirely characteristic of her work. She creates pieces that consciously defy precise categorization and instead open up widely varying perspectives and readings.

Visitors can expect to encounter a universe of melancholic beauty, staged by Haris Epaminonda together with curator Mirjam Varadinis.

The Kunsthaus Zürich recognized Haris Epaminonda’s potential at an early stage. Since 2010, when she was initially invited for an exhibition at the Kunsthaus, her work and her career have progressed at breathtaking speed. Her appearance at the most recent documenta (13) as part of a duo with German artist Daniel Gustav Cramer, with an installation that occupied an entire building in the north wing of the Kulturbahnhof in Kassel, signalled her breakthrough onto the international stage.

The Gruppe Junge Kunst, which purchases new works for the Kunsthaus using funds provided by the patron association, the Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, bought photographs from Epaminonda’s ‘Untitled’ for the Kunsthaus collection back in 2009. In this series of Polaroids that she began in 2008 and intends to continue until Polaroid film ceases to be available, Epaminonda photographs images of different cultures and regions of the world from books. These are then ‘coloured’ to match the time and context of the book, in terms of both image quality and ideological background. Epaminonda focuses on clichéd depictions and representations of the unfamiliar, repeatedly interrupting the sequence with wholly abstract pictures of details. In so doing, she creates space for new interpretations, giving rise to a work that veers between travel diary and anthropological research.

During public guided tours of the exhibition, visitors will learn not just about the genesis and message of the new film, but also about the importance of the works acquired for the collection. The tours take place on Sunday 17 February at 12 midday and Thursday 21 March at 6 p.m. Private guided tours by arrangement.

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