In the site-specific project Mystical Es Vedrà, Phil Akashi
observes how modern Ibiza (Eivissa) became an intricate mosaic of cultures and a crossroads of civilizations. Founded by the Phoenicians who transformed the island into a strategic enclave in the 7th century B.C., the history of Ibiza has been enriched later with Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs occupations. Since 1999, large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Inspired by myths and legends of Es Vedrà, Phil Akashi created a monumental artwork integrating parts of the major ancient Greek epic poem, Homers Odyssey, mentioning the island to be home to sirens and sea-nymphs, who tried to lure Odysseus from his ship.
The artist also incorporated numerous elements which recall the Phoenician past of the island such as letters of the Phoenician alphabet, replicas of Sa Caleta remains where the Phoenicians first settled, and representations of the Phoenician Tanit goddess worshiped as the goddess of fertility, life and death. The Tanit goddess is also said to be born on the holy island of Es Vedrà and became the symbol of Ibiza.
By doing so, Phil Akashi engages his audience with a reflection on languages, civilizations and cultures, and eventually pays tribute to one of the most spiritual, enigmatic and inspiring corners of the White Island.
Phil Akashi (Brussels, 1978) is a nomadic artist known for his conceptual and cross-cultural experiments with language, materiality and aesthetics.
Phil Akashi works explore, challenge and engage questions relating to the notions of democracy, power, resistance, culture and civilization. As a vibrant player in the East/West dialogue, his narratives are critics, sometimes anti-establishment, confrontational, and, at the same time, peaceful and meditative.
Self-proclaimed the Alchemist of language, Phil Akashi carved out a unique visual language often combining the use of traditional crafts with techniques of the abstract expressionism and street art movements. Inspired by the work of Xu Bing, Idris Khan and Christopher Wool, he is dedicated to expanding the materiality and aesthetics of words and texts.