Me: What’s your relationship to architecture?
Phanos: Well, in my practice I relate to the building environment through the observation and documentation of peripheral movements and actions of animate and inanimate actors that occupy a space. But I am not really interested in architecture as a design outcome. I am fascinated by the potentiality of things that have not being ‘properly designed’ and are open to modifications.
Me: That makes me think of open-source software.
Phanos: Yes, in the sense of systems of becoming, something that is in continuous development.
Me: I’ve just heard a telling of the myth of Europa yesterday which put the story in similar terms. Three brothers who set out to find Europa but continuously find other things along the way, rendering the importance of Europa, not one of being but one of becoming, precisely as you say about architecture.
Phanos: There’s always interesting interior and exterior narratives of physical and historical movement related to architecture. I don’t know whether you’ve been to Cyprus, it’s where I live and it’s a palimpsest of different pasts and styles it momentarily adapted towards.
Me: I haven’t been to Cyprus but I lived in Sicily for a while, and we speak about the stratification of the island all the time. They have a cake which is called cassata siciliana in which the ingredients brought by different conquerors are layered: inside there’s a cheese paste with ricotta dating back to the Romans, coated with marzipan made from sugar, almonds and pistachio brought by the Arabs, and finally, some decorations said to have been added by the Normans.
Phanos: This layering sounds quite architectural, actually!
at. this moment, the first solo show by the Cypriot artist Phanos Kyriacou in Italy, is opening on 15 October as part of MACRO’s SUPPLEMENT section. From 15 October to 15 November, a community of different works conceived as a large installation will allow you to explore the relationship between conditions and states of matter, typical of Kyriacou’s work, and invite you to reconsider your perception of any given space.
Find practical exercises by the artist here.