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15m² IS A MOBILE EXHIBITION PLATFORM WHERE ARTISTS AND CULTURAL PRODUCERS ARE INVITED TO DEVELOP AND PRESENT / PERFORM / EXPLORE A PROJECT RELEVANT TO THEIR AREA OF INTEREST AIMING TO CREATE A COMMUNITY OF INTERCONNECTED INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS.

A CONTINUATION OF A PROJECT BY PANAYIOTIS MICHAEL, 15m² TAKES ITS NAME FROM AN AREA THAT WAS USED AS DANCEFLOOR AND PLAYGROUND IN THE EXTERIOR OF HIS-OTHERWISE UNREALIZED- PARENTAL HOUSE*. TAKING VARIOUS SPATIAL FORMS AND EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES OF PROXIMITY THROUGH OPEN FORMATS OF EXCHANGE, 15m², INVITES ARTISTS TO CONTRIBUTE THEIR OWN INTERPRETATION OF A 15m² ‘PLAYGROUND’. THE PLATFORM PRESENTS ACTIVITIES THAT TAKE PLACE IN A VARIETY OF SPACES AND PLACES [INSTITUTIONAL OR NOT, PUBLIC / PRIVATE], IN THE GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS WHERE THE PARTICIPANTS LIVE AND / OR WORK. USING A PERSONAL ARRAY OF MEDIUMS AND MATERIAL, EACH PARTICIPANT CREATES A PHYSICAL OR MENTAL SPACE THE SHAPE OF WHICH CAN TAKE ANY FORM IN AN AREA OF 15m².

 

ART HISTORIAN CHRISTINA LAMBROU AND GRAPHIC DESIGNER MARIOS PASCHALIDIS JOIN MICHAEL IN 15m². LAMBROU, TOGETHER WITH MICHAEL, COORDINATE THE 15m² PROJECTS, AND PASCHALIDIS MANAGES THE COMMUNICATIONS AND DESIGN.

 

* BACKGROUND STORY: 15m² IS THE CONTINUATION OF A PROJECT THAT ARTIST PANAYIOTIS MICHAEL

HAS BEEN WORKING ON FOR THE LAST FEW YEARS:

 

BACKGROUND STORY DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 1960s, MY PARENTS BOUGHT HALF A PLOT OF LAND IN THE SUBURBS OF NICOSIA CALLED AYIOS DOMETIOS (SAINT DOMETIOS) AND BUILT A HOUSE. IT WAS ACTUALLY A BACKHOUSE.

 

IN 1973, THEY DECIDED TO BUILD A NEW HOUSE

IN FRONT OF THE BACKHOUSE. THEY HAD THE ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS DESIGNED, SIGNED THE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT AGREEMENT, AND BOUGHT SOME OF THE MATERIALS. JUST BEFORE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THEIR HOUSE WAS TO BEGIN IN 1974, THE WAR HAPPENED, MAKING 5/6 OF THE DISTRICT OF SAINT DOMETIOS PART OF THE OCCUPIED AREA. MY PARENTS’ PROPERTY BELONGED TO THAT 5/6, IT WAS GOING TO BE 80 METERS AWAY FROM THE BUFFER ZONE.

 

IN 2013, I DECIDED TO FINALLY “BUILD” THE HOUSE

IN MY OWN WAY, AS AN ART EXHIBITION. THE FIRST TIME WAS DURING MY RESIDENCY AT BETHANIEN, BERLIN WHERE I CONSTRUCTED THE WINDOW

FRAMES OF THE HOUSE. THE FOLLOWING YEAR, I CREATED AN ANIMATED IMAGE BASED ON THE ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS FOR MY

PARTICIPATION IN A GROUP EXHIBITION AT NIMAC

(NICOSIA MUNICIALITY ART CENTER). SINCE THEN, I’VE FOUND DIFFERENT WAYS TO WORK ON VARIOUS IDEAS CONCERNING THIS ISSUE.

 

MY THIRD ATTEMPT AT EXPLORING THIS ISSUE IS BASED ON ANOTHER ELEMENT: A CONCRETE STRUCTURE THAT MY FATHER BUILT IN THE YARD OF THE BACKHOUSE, WHICH CONNECTED THE HOUSE TO THE STREET. IT CONSISTS OF A CORRIDOR THAT LEADS TO A ROUND PLATFORM, WHICH WAS USED AS A DANCE FLOOR AT THE PARTY OF MY PARENTS’ WEDDING. TWO SMALLER CORRIDORS BEGIN FROM THE DANCE FLOOR AND END UP, THE FIRST AT THE BACKHOUSE’S MAIN ENTRANCE AND THE SECOND AT THE KITCHEN’S DOOR.

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THE CORRIDORS AND THE DANCE FLOOR WERE WHERE I USED TO PLAY AS A KID. THIS CONCRETE STRUCTURE WAS BOTH A COMMUNAL SPACE USED BY MY WHOLE FAMILY AND VISITORS, AND A PRIVATE, CONFINED AND INTIMATE AREA-MY OWN PERSONAL SPACE AND PLAYGROUND AS I TRANSFORMED IT TO A PLACE THAT OFFERED ME ENDLESS FREEDOM OF IMAGINATION AND A VAST OPENNESS FOR CREATIVITY. LIKE EVERY KID, I BUILT A PARALLEL UNIVERSE WITHIN WHICH I WOULD SPEND A LOT OF TIME PLAYING AND INVENTING MY OWN GAMES AND TOYS. TRANSFORMING GLASS MARBLES INTO COWBOYS AND INDIANS INFLUENCED BY OLD AMERICAN TV SERIES, BONANZA, AND THE HIGH CHAPARRAL; OR MAKING UP NEW LANGUAGES AND ALPHABETS, USING THE CONCRETE STRUCTURE AS A BLACK BOARD ON WHICH I WOULD WRITE THEM DOWN; OR DRAWING MAPS OF IMAGINED COUNTRIES THAT WERE IN CONTINUOUS CONFLICT AND REAR RANGING THEIR BORDERS; OR ORGANIZING MY OWN OLYMPIC GAMES WITH EXISTING AND INVENTED SPORTS.

 

I THOUGHT TO SHARE THIS SPACE WITH OTHER ARTISTS/ART PROFESSIONALS, TO OFFER IT TO THEM FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF TIME AND ALLOW THEM TO PLAY THEIR OWN GAMES AND USE THEIR OWN TOYS IN WAYS THAT THEY LIKE. TO DO THAT, I CALCULATED THE AREA OF THIS STRUCTURE TO BE AROUND 15m²  (SQUARE METERS) IN TOTAL.

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