Christodoulos Panayiotou’s multidimensional work addresses issues and concerns ranging from the complex contemporary understanding of what constitutes “the public” to the construction of national identity and history. He frequently takes ceremonies, festivals, and theatrical spectacles as points of departure from which to explore the structures and customs that inform social experience. His process also engages the archives of the press and regional and state agencies of his country, Cyprus, to reflect on how interpretations of a collective sense of identity are dependent on the manner in which images and information are arranged and presented. For his presentation at CAM—the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States—Panayiotou presents new and preexisting works that demonstrate both the range of techniques and the socio-political concerns that define his practice. New works created for the exhibition include a multi-part series of appropriated photographs from official Cyprus archives and a site-specific mural based on a particular historical set design that develop interrelated themes of celebration, festival, display, hegemony, and symbolic domination. The title of the exhibition combines allusions to A Thousand Days, a 1965 book by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. about the Kennedy Administration (seen in one of the images sourced at the Press and Information Office Archives), and the collection of traditional Middle Eastern folk stories, 1001 Nights, to underscore Panayiotou’s emphasis on building narratives about power and presentation both within and between his works.
Christodoulos Panayiotou (b. 1978, Limassol, Cyprus) lives and works in Paris and Limassol. His work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, and the Norrlands Operan – Vita Kuben, Umeå, Sweden (both 2011); the Kunsthalle Zürich, and Cubitt, London (both 2010); and Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2009), among others. Recent group exhibitions include: Incongru. Quand l’Art Fait Rire, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Art, Lausanne, Switzerland; The End of Money at the Witte de With, Rotterdam; and You are not alone, Joan Miro Foundation, Barcelona (all 2011); Live Cinema / In the round, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; The Living Currency, 6th Berlin Biennale – Hebbel am Ufer (HAU1), Berlin; and Catastrophe, The Quebec City Biennial, Quebec City (all 2010); Insiders, CAPC Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France; Lyst, Overgaden Institute of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen; The Columns Held Us Up, Artist Space, New York; and Convention, Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (all 2009). In 2011, he received the “Future of Europe Prize” from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Leipzig, and in 2005, he won the 4th DESTE Prize from the DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Athens. Panayiotou has been an artist-in-residence at CAPACETE, Rio de Janeiro (2011); IASPIS, Stockholm (2009); and at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin (2008).
Christodoulos Panayiotou: One Thousand and One Days is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Dominic Molon, Chief Curator.