Images by Popi PissouriouBorrowed
Publication with contributions by Maria Toumazou, Aristotelis Nikolas Mochloulis, Georgia Triantafyllidou, Maya Tounta, Koula Savvidou, Evagoras Vanezis
Designed by Popi Pissouriou
Borrowed is a bi-lingual publication (English and Greek) that presents a series of visual essays and texts, exploring notions of sharing and indebtedness, writing and sentiment, appropriation and homage, memory and time. It is the outcome of Maria Toumazou's fellowship with the project Formworks, a curatorial initiative developed by Evagoras Vanezis at Thkio Ppalies Project Space, Nicosia. Formworks makes the question of methodology key to its development and promotes experimental modes of collaboration by focusing on exhibition histories and discursive approaches in relation to contemporary practices.
In the poem Borrowed (2017), Triantafyllidou recounts her borrowing a scarf on a chilly summer night, an act of kindness between two women who were up to that point unknown to each other. Because of circumstance, the scarf remained unreturned. In the series of works In Search of Marina Avraam (2021), Toumazou sculpturally reinterprets Avraam’s jewelry (a woman she hasn’t met), using as reference only the photographs from the latter’s 1990 exhibition catalogue at ADAC gallery in Paris. In Borrowed Time (2008 - 09), Savvidou documents the passing of time in a hospital room.
These three works, all reproduced in the publication, become the starting point for two texts. Tounta reflects on borrowing as a concept permeating Triantafyllidou’s poems and echoing through Toumazou and Savvidou’s artworks, whilst recounting her experience of visiting Cyprus. Vanezis looks into the photographs of Toumazou and Savvidou as enactments of poetic archaeologies, hinging on the re-contextualisation and re-framing of objects, starting from a meeting at Savvidou's studio in Nicosia.
A conversation between Triantafylidou, Toumazou, and Tounta provides insight into Triantafyllidou's poems and the female gaze. The slippages of language and the opaqueness of translation are emphasized in Aristotelis Nikolas Mochloulis’s rendering of Tounta’s text, as well as the web of interconnections that brought the project about.
The layout of Borrowed is based on Marina Avraam’s catalogue. The essays reference each other and create a depository of crucial returns, through which parallel stories unfold: of chance, encounters, and dialogue that took place over a period of two years, between 2020 - 22. The sequencing of the book is based on the movement of these returns.
The publication is co-published by Thkio Ppalies Project Space, Nicosia and Grazer Kunstverein, Graz. The realization of it is kindly supported by Hot Wheels Athens, and the Cultural Services of Deputy Ministry of Culture, Cyprus.