the collar, the map, and the Green Line


Sylvat took this photo on a visit to what I call my village. For me the kick is in the easiness of Theodora’s gaze, unlike mine, and the balance between her desire and her contentment with the possibility of just roaming this landscape, performing basic physical functions as need be. The red of her collar seems what my eye tries to resist in order to focus on the vast yellow. So the red of the colar as the punctum, or point of formal or narrative rupture, or of plastic dissonance — for which I feel the need to apologise, to Theodora as well. But the collar also hyphenates a subtle perspectival shift: Theodora focuses at a greater depth, perpendicular to the lens.

[…] And then Sylvat superimposed a map of Nicosia. The original photograph was already too dear to me, but the next time I saw Sylvat she talked about the relationship between ownership and practices of measuring and mapping. About how superimpositions of maps define property, and later I remembered what we were talking about in the fields: my mention of how strange the notion that an unidentifiable piece of this tacitly inaccessible land could be my entitlement. About how unreal this seems, how vain and frustrated a set of political promises, and after these images, how much like a collar. […]

Tomorrow Sylvat will be sharing the work she produced during her two-month residency in Cyprus:


**pasting from NIMAC’s email invitation

Open Studio- Sylvat Aziz. NiMAC’s Educational Centre
Thursday, May 12th
18.00-20.00- Open Studio
at NiMAC’s Educational Centre for Children, in Tempon Street.

Sylvat Aziz presents documents from her experience in Nicosia at the end of a two-month residency; mapping, photographing and exploring facets of the city and region through digital collages. Sylvat Aziz is the artist in residence of the Fine Art Programme, University of Nicosia and is hosted by the Nicosia Municipal Art Centre: Associated with the Pierides Foundation. Aziz trained as a painter and printmaker at Pratt Institute NYC and Concordia University, Montreal. She currently teaches at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Her area of research is popular culture in Islam and comparative cultural studies.

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