Polys Peslikas Will Represent Cyprus at 57th Venice Biennale

The art critic Jan Verwoert will curate the pavilion.

Polys Peskilas, Betrayal of the Dog (2010). Courtesy Nicos Pattichis Collection.

The Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture has announced that Polys Peslikas will represent the republic at the 57th Venice Biennale. The art critic Jan Verwoert will curate the pavilion.

Peslikas, born in 1973 in Limassol, on the southern coast of Cyprus, is currently based in Berlin. The artist sees painting as means to explore the concept of time and create new relationships with existing narratives. His practice is highly collaborative, and he often invites other artists working in other mediums, including dance, to contribute in his work.

The exhibition, titled “Coming to Life Through the Medium of Painting,” will also include the participation of the artist collective Neoterismoi Toumazou, the writer Mirene Arsanios, and the ceramist Valentinos Charalambous.

“On the basis of his practice, Peslikas made a strong case for the power of painting to convey the intensity of elementary experiences,” Verwoert said of Peslikas’ work and his upcoming exhibition in a statement. “He emphasized that [the] experiential potential [of painting] may most strongly be felt when painting veils itself; chiaroscuro lets the eyes wander; colors become atmospherical, spectral even.”

The curator explained that Peslikas will display paintings at the pavilion, setting the stage for the guest artists: “So the peculiar appearance of painting in the envisioned exhibition space may be akin to the ghost of a theater curtain, which remains present before your eyes, even when the play is already in progress.”


Peslikas, who is the artistic director of VOLKS, a new arts space in Nicosia, also helped establish the arts magazine Ysterografo.

The exhibition will take place at the Associazione Culturale Spiazzi art space, near the Arsenale.

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