Over Te Horizon, 2018
Curated by Yiannis Toumazis Nimac, Nicosia, Cyprus
In the framework of: Drone Vision: Surveillance, Warfare, Protest. A collaboration between Nimac in Nicosia, Hasselblad Centre in Gothenburg and the Zahoor Ul Akhlaq Gallery of the National College of Arts in Lahore, 2018
Stelios Kallinikou’s project revolves around one of the fundamental axis of our times: surveillance. The project develops the photographer’s interest in exploring issues that touch upon the country’s history whilst thinking about the nature of the photographic medium. The colonial past of the island is once again the starting point. Kallinikou climbs to the top of the castles of Pentadaktylos, which were built by the Byzantines in the 11thcentury BC, used by the Franks and destroyed by the Venetians. The ascend of the photographer to the top of the mountain through physical effort carries special importance. The position of power is conquered by and with the body and the camera remains attached to the photographer, acting as an extension of the hand. Kallinikou therefore climbs to the top of the castles and activates his gaze upon the plains, the mountain tops and the seas, as a guard in the Middle ages would do. The difference is that he is not armed with a spear and a bow but with a camera. This is contrasted to one of the crucial elements that characterize drone technology, which holds vast implications –namely, that they assume their position without having the limitations of the human body. At the same time, he focuses on the surveillance equipment HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project) found at the British sovereign bases in the areas of Akrotiri and Troodos. Like a colonial heritage prevalent in the Cypriot landscape, this equipment creates aerial webs for gathering information. These complicated mechanisms, whilst being geographically located in Cyprus, expand their operations to unknown lengths and breadths, determining new spectral borders.