Visualizing Stories at the Young Artists Biennale in Milan
CyI’s Imaging Center for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage is delighted to contribute to Cyprus’ participation at the Milano 2015 Young Artists Biennale*. Andriana Nikolaidou, CyI intern in advanced imaging, was one of the selected artists to represent Cyprus in the important art event and exhibition with her work ‘The Stories Behind’. The artwork reflects Andriana’s recent interest in computational photography and application in history and archaeology. The main inspiration for the work comes from the use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI**) to document the numismatic collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (BOCCF) that covers the history of Cypriot coinage from the 6th century BC to the modern era. CyI’s technical specialists Ropertos Georgiou and Avgoustinos Avgousti have been leading the application of advanced imaging, multimedia and data management technologies on the coins of the BOCCF’s collection.
‘The Stories Behind’ is an art installation that expresses an intellectual attempt to re-live history through coins’ imagery and to engender new historical connections. Adriana’s work focuses on the significance and value of tradition in art, examining how history can be traced on a single object. The illumination of the embossed side of the coins and the decryption of their coded iconography through high-resolution digital imaging and visualization techniques such as RTI lead to a path of historical narrative and mythical creatures. Coins’ delicate character, historical background and story-telling imagery reflect their illustrious nature. In this framework, the visual exploration of a simple golden coin composition creates a poetic similitude with a star constellation.
Reading the myths behind star constellations leads to a game of knowledge and discovery; a treasure hunt in the mythological skies. In this context, the work is a wall-based installation with an iconographic interpretation of constellation myths through coins’ images. The wall is transformed into a starry sky; replicas of coins made out of different materials combine with high-resolution RTI videos to narrate mythical stories.
The artwork is realized with the support and permission of the Bank of Cyprus Culture Foundation and the Cyprus Institute.
*The Mediterranea Young Artists Biennale in Milano is the seventeenth edition of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean, a project born on 1985 by the International network BJCEM (Biennale des jeunes créateurs de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée). This year’s event was organized by BJCEM and the City of Milan in collaboration with Arci. The exhibition took place in Milan at the Fabbrica del Vapore, from October 22nd to November 22nd, 2015.
**RTI: Reflectance Transformation Imaging is a computational photographic method that is photographing objects under varying lighting conditions to reveal surface details. These images are then processed into one singe image and with the help of a virtual light the user can control the light angle to inspect the object.
Andriana Nikolaidou works predominantly in the medium of sculptures and installations, engaging historical themes with digital scenarios. Questioning notions of the physical and the virtual, she blurs the line between visual and scientific perspectives, thus challenging the perception of space.