Kyriaki Costa

21st century Iconoclasm

Kyriaki Costa

21st century iconoclasm

Video stills, 6 photos, 24x30cm.

Video installation: 3 films, 1 minute each, loop


The project constitutes a 'visual sequence' involving photos and videos of significant monuments of both European and non-European origin. Initially, the viewer's 'eye' is puzzled as to whether those images speak of symbiosis or disorder. Ultimately, the answer to this dilemma brings us to the concepts of fluidity and mobility. The artist has allowed herself to mix monuments as a 'virtual place' where everything fits; a dream is born.

A helicopter casually moves a monument to an unknown “elsewhere”. It is not the final destination that should be in focus, but the process of re-contextualizing cultural heritage, often with the effect of re-working its narratives for purposes of marketability. A collective European identity that cherishes and maintains local traditions and character, although promising, is here presented as an issue of contention. 


It is the same logic that drives Costa’s anagrams in the stamp ‘Rebuplic of Crypus Qualyti Porducts’. A stamp (as well as the repetitive act of stamping) reminds the process of mass production, the arbitrary labelling of products, and the loss of a product’s uniqueness in the line of industrial manufacturing. Monuments here become such products.


Returning to her own locale, Cyprus, Costa selects landmarks and the iconic sculpture of Archbishop Makarios III to inversely reflect on the specific impact they could have on the island and on people’s memory of the past. Monuments and landscape are drowning in water. One interpretation could be that it is process of cleansing them from the burden of responsibility to sustain cultural heritage.


In 2009 Kyriaki’s work “ Presence in absence ” received first prize at the PAD international awards in Italy, for the “ Mediterranean between present and future ”competition. She is a member of the Cyprus Chamber of Fine Arts and the Cyprus Fashion Designers Association. She has participated in many group exhibitions and international art fairs. In 2006 she represented Cyprus at the Cairo Biennale with the piece “Sweet Land”; the Cyprus delegation received the ‘Best Pavilion Prize’.

My european story

…I still enjoy living in Nicosia, the island’s capital and largest town, but also the only divided capital in the world.

I was born in Cyprus in to Cypriot parents. At the age of 18 I left the island and spent six years studying art in Greece and the United Kingdom before returning to settle down and work in Cyprus.

My country has not had a fortuitous history. However, I still enjoy living in Nicosia, the island’s capital and largest town, but also the only divided capital in the world. I am a visual artist working on a freelance basis, focusing on social, political and cultural issues as well as the lives of individuals, and my work is often a critique of situations arising within these contexts. The fact that I live in a country with a complex and perennial political problem is inevitably reflected in my work.

I believe, however, that sometimes it is important to take a distance from one’s own specific setting – in my case a small and relatively new country - and to interact, share views, exchange opinions, personal concerns and agonies within a wider artistic forum. Our entry into the European Union suddenly made all this possible, pushing the physical boundaries back and opening up new communication channels with artists and their communities across the continent. Through such contacts and my own trips to other European countries I feel an enriched sense of identity as a citizen of a wider community.