Kyrillos Sarris' work-installation The impossible landscape painting (work in progress) is an endeavor to record the painful loss of a place. The documents, designs, notes, literary texts and miscellaneous items collected by the artist are placed into display cases and wall-mounted compositions, composing an open reading/narration.
Photographs from an excursion to Saint Hilarion Castle* (1963); his grandfather's notes; a photograph depicting young carnival goers with a political comment (1954); the burned toy of a child (1964); research material by foreign travelers, official maps, videos from the Pentadaktylos peak in Cyprus and other mountains (Tourkovounia, Athens) (1993); small-scale paintings created from memory (2004); rocks and soil samples; the artist's own notes from his research and creative process are all collected in a narration-composition of the landscape-place, through its fragments.
The critical and political stance of the artist towards the visible and inaccessible landscape revisit the important theme of landscape painting in western art through the lens of reflection. The artist makes use of sort of archival artistic practices; he processes and categorizes facts and experiences; creates works that resemble "archives", and negotiates issues of memory and historicity, reinterpreting the role and concept of the archive. This leads to new, alternative narrations, using expanded expressive artistic means, activated by the multilevel mechanism of the archive as a tool for the recording of history, the preservation of memory, the protection of truth, the retrieval of knowledge, and the expression of resistance.
Memory and the experience of the place, the recalling of images through sensitive associations, the emerging commentary and biographical references activate the role of the artist, who renders the landscape from memory, bequeathing to the work qualities that go beyond a common description and representation. Neither the spatial and temporal distance, nor the distance from the events and experiences are obstacles; instead, they allow the development of transcending processes, in an undertaking that reveals an artistic work consisting of fragments and pauses, which capture the alternations and permutations of historical time.
The wall-mounted, small-scale modular paintings, joined by the materials in the display cases and the unique elements of the artist's visual expression, are all integrated, moving the viewer beyond the experience of multiperspectivity, to a process of perception that negates the linear exposition and joining of elements, allowing the emergence of combinations, positions, and aspects of the reality and the contextual subjects.
* St Hilarion Castle lies in the occupied Kyrenia province, in Cyprus. Location: Pentadaktylos peak, at 725 m. The castle was built in the Byzantine times, in the late 11th century. The church was dedicated to Saint Hilarion the Young (21 October). The fortification wall, towers, storage facilities, and various buildings have been preserved.
MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and State Museum of Contemporary Art Collections