Leonie Katsarona

Anaemic Archives

Anaemic Archives is a film installation comprising of a documental video and a book that explores the artistic result of uniting past and present. The work addresses my Cypriot heritage conceptions through a series of experiences and constructed reality emerging from the Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974. As an artist, I seek to question and reflect on the norms of family structures and unravelling history using the function of an object; my grandmother’s personal sewing machine.

The word “Anaemic” is used as a paradox for wars, identifying them as symbols of feebleness and weakness, as in such situations people get both physically and mentally hurt. The content of Anaemic Archives resembles a situation that I have never experienced, through a process in which I partly re-build my existence in an artistic and precise way. Without knowing where I belong in relation to my grandmother’s sewing machine, I try to locate myself out of a particular cultural time frame. The images form a storyline through an object, with the apparent narrative being withdrawn. Less linear, associative and subconscious stands of narrative emerge, the seemingly nostalgic ensemble of images develop a haunting if not subversive and confusing undertone while settling in the audience’s mind.

Both artworks can be considered as individual pieces of art however, both have a special quality of images to show, never being stylised, but rather capture everyday actions taken ‘en passant’. The intention of framing my own identity content as an effort to maintain depth and complexity through the object of a sewing machine, the collective memories of war, and the interweave of history with past experiences, is a process of reconstruction, as I metaphorically saw memories together in order to stop history from going back. The installation plays a game between motion and the comprehension of images through interpretation; an interpretation which strives to maintain the complexity of the piece to its audience.