Julie (Iouliani Vontitsianou) (2012)

Work created by Stylianou & Stylianou [Theopisti & Elena Stylianou]

“Julie (Iouliani Vontitsianou)”, site-specific installation at the Xatzigiorgakis Ethnographic Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2012-2013

Quote from Re Aphrodite, In “Terra Mediterranea -In Crisis” catalogue, 2012:

“What is contained and what is rejected within narratives of history, heritage and museological culture is demonstrated through the repeated efforts to reflect on silences through the exhibition. Stylianou and Stylianou look back through the history of the house and construct a retrospective science-fiction, imagining what the life of one of its ladies, Iouliani Vontitsianou (Hadjigeorgakis daughter in law) would have been like today. This artist intervention titled “Julie” takes a critical museological angle exploring “the ways museums select and display objects to reinforce specific narratives”, while it also makes playful use of contemporary consumer culture. A seemingly uncomplicated subversion, the piece raises questions about the unapparent mechanisms for inclusion and exclusion from the historical record as well as their tremendous power as foundation to what has been described as the social imaginary. The intervention, which involves participatory elements, can also be seen as an attempt to reconfigure collective memory, reflecting on Stylianou and Stylianou’s own roles as women as well as academics with art historical and museological interests belonging within specific power-structures of memory. The artists’ fabrication of this woman’s everyday life can be seen as humorous but also cautionary abour our deep investment in history despite our knowledge of its unreliability, while their choice to bring in objects that may not seem to belong in a museum collection raises questions around our cultures of collecting, classifying, and ordering our world in broader terms.”