Spaces of Enchantment tells a story where the story itself is a kind of wandering that is continually story-producing. The story is stimulated by two walks, independent of each other that were undertaken by Haris Pellapaisiotis with Ruth Keshishian and Diana Wood Conroy. The story that is told is not constituted by a single narrative that explains itself but is composed of interconnected fragments of episodic encounters. Each encounter modulates the becoming of a new visual, textual, and audio fabulation that crosses freely different modes of thinking, temporalities, physical and sentient spaces. Spaces of Enchantment is one of several videos which emerged from the larger art project developed by Haris, entitled Walking Narratives and Affective Mapping where the artist invites someone to lead him on a walk anywhere in Nicosia that holds some personal resonance for them. In that process of retracing a particular route in somebody else’s footsteps, walking beside them and with them, talking and listening, the artist’s body is “capacitated … relationally activated” (Massumi, 2011), attuned to its environment through someone else’s shared perceptual experience. This micro-perception by the artist, of his own variable and nuanced changeability, represents a phenomenological moment whereby what is called “affect” enters the frame as a distinguishable presence, not as a shape or form –it does not pre-exist in bodies– but as an awareness of something that was not there before, and which has been generated by bodies coming together. The retracing of a path that exists simultaneously in different modes of time –both in memory and the present, both familiar yet new– signals ways of perceiving the city as an ephemeral landscape composed of objects, scenes, and atmospheres that resonate with each walker. The city is animated by the logic of kinesis and kinaesthesia and a mode of working that is processual where knowledge that is already attached to things, scenes, objects, and spaces, is suspended in preference to the artist’s presence; to be present is to be touched by things in the world physical or not, human and non-human.
Haris Pellapaissiotis (CY)
Haris Pellapaissiotis is a photographer and video artist as well as an academic. He lectures on visual art and photography at the University of Nicosia. Prior to his re-settlement in Cyprus in 2001 he lived in London where he lectured on photography at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. He holds a B.A. in fine art, Post-graduate in Media and Communication (photography) and a PhD in art. His work has been shown at various international venues. He is recently completing a major new collaborative art project entitled Walking Narratives and Affective Mappings, which is be made available as an online exhibition in 2021.