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Art Seen gallery is pleased to announce the solo exhibition of Vassia A. Vanezi. The show ‘We will Meet Again' is curated by Maria Stathi with a text by Maria Photiou.
Vassia Vanezi is a multimedia artist whose work provides insights that address social, political, and cultural issues. The show ‘We will Meet Again' includes three series: abstract geometric paintings, linguistic installations in different forms, and woven structures.
In the works presented at this exhibition, Vanezi explores the themes of loss, displacement, memory, and belonging. These works have in common the phrase ‘I forget but I remember’. This phrase is presented with different sensory techniques: a threaded needle pulled through a blanket’s fabric, and the juxtaposition of the words into a visual poetry book. This recurring phrase reflects the artist’s autobiographical experiences: from experiencing the 1974 war as a five-year-old child to becoming a refugee, unable to return to her ancestral home. Through her work, Vanezi invites the audience to remember the place they come from, as well as not to forget the occupied villages and towns.
The visual poetry ‘I Forget but I Remember’ talks about the refugee experience by using emotive words such as ‘home’, ‘bombs’, ‘walls’, ‘borders’, ‘homeland’, and ‘remember’. The work evokes what displacement is for the ones unable to return, barred away from their homes and who remain behind the walls of the Green Line border. It also reflects the passage of time of one living in exile while they slowly lose older family members, who pass away and then buried in foreign lands, away from their homelands.
Vanezi also engages with history and symbolism with the usage of the red yarn. The colour red has been used throughout history and internationally to represent women: in Italy, red shoes became the symbol against femicide and violence against women; Canada celebrates Red Dress Day, an awareness day for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls; the Suffrage Movement adopted red lipstick as a symbol of power; and during World War II, European and American women wore red lipstick as a symbol of resistance and faith in victory.
Vanezi uses red and gold threads to embroider the words ‘I Forget but I Remember’ to a blanket given to her family by the Red Cross following the 1974 war. Vanezi carried the blanket with her into the different cities she lived. As she explains, the blanket is a memento of ‘those who have now gone, my lost homeland, the people I lost, and the life that is gone and will not return’.
Through her practice, Vanezi provides a documentation of oral and aural histories from the past (I forget and remember) and the enduring agonies experienced by refugees who cannot return to their homes. Her work also provides an outlet to advocate social justice for the ones who will not experience their desired homecomings. The phrase ‘DEMOCRACY NEEDS DAILY DEFENCE’ acts as a reminder for our collective responsibility during the current climate to defend social justice, nonviolence, and environmentalism. It relates to T.J. Demos’s statement in ‘The Migrant Image’ (2013: xxiii) that today ‘what is needed more than ever are powerful and creative artistic expressions and interventions that join other social movements for positive change, social justice and equality, working together towards the progressive re-creation of our common word’. ‘We will Meet Again’ also conveys hope – hope to meet again with our loved ones and our lost homes.
Dr Maria Photiou
Art Historian and Researcher
*Friday 17.11.23 at 18:00 Art Performance by violist Alkistis Misouli
* Wednesday 22.11.23 at 18:00 Meet the artist Vassia A. Vanezi. Talk and discussion around her solo exhibition 'We Will Meet Again'.
About the artist
Vassia A.Vanezi is a Greek Cypriot visual artist who lives and works between Athens and Nicosia. Her education includes interdisciplinary studies such as Art in the School of Fine Arts in Athens, Political Theory in Pantion University, Weaving and Music in Scalkotas Conservatory.
She exhibits regularly in Greece and Cyprus. She had 10 solo shows and participated in many group shows among others at Documenta 14 in Athens, Signal #6 in Brussels ,Benaki Museum, Nautical Museum, Museum of Modern Greek Culture, National Historical Museum, Ethnological Museum of Thrace. She explores themes of time ,language, loss, displacement, history, community and the human condition. She also investigates social contracts, personal and collective memory, the ephemeral character of human existence and activity. In her artistic practice she engages with social observation, political commentary and explores how these fields interrelate with one another and collide in the human condition. She creates drawings, installations, poetic gestures, sculptural objects, soundscapes and sound structures, linguistic installations, woven structures.
Her artworks are included in public and private collections in Greece ,Cyprus, Europe and USA.
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 16:00 – 19:00 or by appointment
For more information, please contact: Maria Stathi, Founder & Director, Art Seen +357 22006624 | email@example.com | www.art-seen.org