States of the Arts


Untitled X

by Helene Black
Mixed media, painting

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Untitled X juts out towards the viewer, its jagged form cutting into the area surrounding the canvas. The sharp, angular shapes bring its materials to the fore. Stainless steel and glass are embedded in the paint to heighten the sense of pointed tactility. The work’s warped perspective results in a frenetic frenzy. It may have been made for the gallery wall, but it seems to carve out a space in three dimensions. By building depth and texture on its seemingly flat surface, it blurs the lines between brushstrokes and metal shards in a kinetic, illusory vortex.

Words by Sophia Martin-Pavlou

A Girl in Black

directed by Michael Cacoyannis
Feature film

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A Girl in Black surveys the beauty of Hydra, the idyllic Greek island, through low, panning shots. Houses are piled up high on its slopes, densely packed yet delicately arranged, connected by quaint, quiet streets. The protagonist, Marina, is aloof and reserved. Filled with pain and empty of pocket, she struggles on as the town shames her for the loss of her father and sister. Injustice and societal pressures form central themes. The film deduces that even familial bonds can be torn apart, and highlights the plight of women who do not fit the role assigned to them.

Words by Sophia Martin-Pavlou

Oysters with the Missing Pearls

by Sevgül Uludag

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Sometimes old wounds may be reopened, in hope that they will heal more healthily. In Oysters with the Missing Pearls, journalist Sevgül Uludag draws from the oral histories of displaced Turkish and Greek Cypriots, reflecting upon the losses caused, both by clashes in the early sixties and by the Turkish invasion of 1974. Uludag allows people to tell their stories on their own terms, and patches together the disparate voices that result. The collection serves as an important historical document, recording past trauma while remaining optimistic about the future.

Words by Sophia Martin-Pavlou


by Alexia Vassiliou

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A fluttering tambura is strummed intermittently; a gadulka is bowed with the softest of touches; a piercing kaval offers sharp interjections. This trio of instruments may trade motifs, but their primary role is to support the voice of Alexia Vassiliou. Moving from anguished moan to desperate cry, her winding sequences stretch across an extended register. Drums enter, pounding a repeated rhythm, inspiring the singer to soar higher still. As the piece grows to a spirited climax, Vassiliou’s wordless vocals complete a heartfelt ode to her home city.

Words by Hugh Maloney

More to discover

Untitled X: You can read more about Stainless Waters, the series from which this artwork is taken, on Helene Black's official website here.

A Girl in Black: You can watch the film here, and read an obituary of Michael Cacoyannis written by Ronald Bergman for The Guardian.

Oysters with the Missing Pearls: You can visit Sevgül Uludag's blog here.

Famagusta: You can listen to the song here.

Question of the day

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Humans Being, a work of performance art by Lia Haraki. An exploration of the shared human experience through movement. (→)

– Katherine Fieldgate, Silent Frame Sub-Editor (via Patreon →)

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