residents of varosha, 2017


“Residents of Varosha”, 2017, installation:
“Residents”, exprerimental film, duration: 7 min.
“Dance” and “Seaside Famagusta”, videos, duration: 3 min and 32 sec.
objects (foam rubber and organic glass)
T-shirts with drawings: 6 pieces (in collaboration with Lukrecija Balbierytė, Karolina Bartoševič, Anastasija Diukova, Lada Moskalenko, Julija Skobeleva and Gabija Sperskaitė)
and see shells: 2 pieces

The artist is analysing the problematic phenomenon of “desertification” and suggesting the importance of the process of composting, which philosopher Donna Haraway is actively articulating now. It is a possibility to renew a worked-out land. Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. In this case, decomposition becomes a precondition of a new life, and composting for philosopher becomes a good example to define the ongoingness, which extends the theory of becoming in the philosophical discourse. She is interested in collectively-produced, borderless sympoietic systems that are opposite of self-produced autopoietic systems. As big problems of ecosystem appeared due to human activity, Donna Haraway is criticizing post-humanism (the concept that was articulated by her significantly), and inviting to compost – to participate in the collective process of renewal.

In the installation “Residents of Varosha”, layers of the past and the present are “composted” , and the main characters in the work, the turtles in Varosha, are revealed. They inhabit the abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot town of Famagusta, Varosha, which has been occupied by the Turkish army since 1974. There are lots of sea turtles foraging in this area, and fishermen regularly catch them in their nets. But nothing is known about nesting numbers in this ghost area. However, in the project, these turtles take on different shapes. The decoration on their shells, created by art school students, could be interpreted as various combinations of marine ecosystems where turtles play an important role.

A photo collage of Famagusta’s derelict Varosha area, details of holes in an abandoned building that have acquired the forms of foam rubber objects, and the video “Residents” are part of the installation. The film shows not only this gloomy part of the city of Famagusta, but also tourists vacationing in another part of Cyprus – playing cards or practicing Tai Chi. The film records how tourists glance at the watch, as if they were in a hurry or waiting for somebody, though in both locations time runs slow as a turtle.