OPEN CALL – Exhibition: Seeking Roots

Exhibition: Seeking Roots

7-31 December 2020, City Plaza, Nicosia

This Open Call invites young artists (up to 30 years old) across disciplines to approach from different angles the topic of the exhibition, Seeking Roots.

The exhibition focuses on the concept of identity formation in Cyprus through the appropriation and subsequent reinvention of tradition. This tendency in the world of art is reflected on the attempt of artists to turn to signs, symbols and techniques of thepreceding generations. Participants are invited to question traditional concepts that extend the analogies of history to the present, signifying these partially or even elliptically, relieving them of redundant loads of meanings, leaving thus room for new identity interpretations.

One could argue that the Cypriot cultural heritage is a melange of Greek, British, Ottoman, Venetian, Frankish, Byzantine, Egyptian, Phoenician, and many more influences, which are open to a rereading and renegotiation. Consequently, artists are asked to dive into Cyprus’ past in order to draw features and motifs which they will combine with contemporary ones, in an attempt to touch on aspects of the Cypriot identity.

The exhibition will run from 7 December to 31 December 2020 at City Plaza in Makarios Avenue, in Nicosia during the Nicosia Pop Up Festival 2020. The works will be selected through the present call, aim at promoting young artists with fresh creations, which incorporate the island’s cultural and social history.

The Open Call applies for works that have either of the following:

  • Use traditional craft/art techniques combined with modern materials and/or conceptual ideas.
  • Use symbols, signs or materials inspired by archaeological sites and findings.
  • Explore the concept of identity creation in relation to contested pasts.
  • Investigate the contemporary identity-crisis that is prevalent in Cyprus, and connect it to the multiple-narratives that evoke it.
  • Embrace/challenge the concept of “roots” as a necessity for belonging to a group
  • Suggest novel ways to examine/come to terms with the cultural history, heritage and inter-generational experiences.

    It is hoped that the exhibition will re-negotiate the never closed and never-ending struggle of coming to terms with the past and tradition in a contemporary world, where post-structuralist and post-colonial theories challenge and redefine theexistence and meaning of these concepts. Contemporary Cypriot identity –as any national identity– may be impossible to pin-point and define, and, therefore, this exhibition is not an attempt to do that, but rather to visually investigate its differentmanifestations, understandings and interpretations, as well as the very struggle of defining it.

Submission Guideline: Proposals for existing works or new productions are both welcome. Proposals (maximum 350 words) should clearly describe the work, its concept and rationale, the materials/techniques used, and its expected contribution to the general themes of the exhibition. Applicants should also send their short CVs and (if available) any photographs or links to samples of their works online. All proposals must be submitted to the Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre at

Submission deadline: Sunday, 15 November 2020
For their participation in the exhibition, selected artists will be given a budget of €350

Please Note: The curatorial team will choose works based on their quality and relevance to the exhibition topic. The selected works must be submitted until Monday, 30 November 2020.

The realization of the project will depend on the epidemiological conditions that will prevail in Cyprus at that time.

Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, Associated with the Pierides Foundation 19, Palias Ilektrikis, 1016 Nicosia
T: 22797400,,

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