In his ground-breaking site-specific installation “ANIMA”, Cypriot visual artist Michalis Charalambous invited visitors to interact with virtual artworks via cutting-edge technology, exploring ancient Cypriot representations of the posthuman, as reimagined in the present through his own artistic vision.
The private viewing of “ANIMA” at the Cyprus House in central London took place on Thursday 23rd of June and was attended by an international audience, who enthusiastically explored and engaged with the unique artworks.
In “ANIMA”, Michalis Charalambous focuses on the radical transformation of the meanings of the concept of the "human" in the late 20th and early 21st c., through the term’s theoretical, material and/or virtual reconfigurations within the contemporary techno-scientific context. “ANIMA” is an innovative on-site VR, AR and physical installation, through which Charalambous explores the transcendence of entrenched perceptions of the limits of the human condition and the transformations observed in the meanings of “human nature”, following an opposite route: through in depth research in ancient Cypriot masks, figurines, idols, etc., conducted at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia, with the support of Eftychia Zachariou and Efthymia Alphas, and at the British Museum in London, under the guidance of the AG Leventis Curator of Cypriot Antiquities, Thomas Kiely.
The show was curated and produced by Cultural Counsellor, Marios Psaras, and was technologically supported by Panayiotis Kyriakou, researcher at CYENS Centre of Excellence in Nicosia.
Marios Psaras welcomed the audience to the show and described the journey that brought ANIMA to London, before giving the floor to Thomas Kiely, who highlighted the importance of inventing new ways to engage with archaeology in the present, and last but not least to the artist, who talked about the inspiration around “ANIMA” and thanked the organisers and sponsors.
ANIMA was organised by the Cyprus High Commission – Cultural Section, in collaboration with the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, The British Museum and the CYENS, Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence, Cyprus.
Photography by Benjamin Deakin.