“Imagine”, a word of 88 “pins” covering the entire island of Cyprus, refers to John Lennon's iconic song about the world with no boundaries. The island, a unity tragically divided into four parts by the border between Northern and Southern Cyprus, UN buffer zone and British air force bases — is a perfect place to remember Lennon's timeless message.
Also, this project develops a method of exploring the world by means of art. It is a way of traveling that involves creation rather than consumption. The artist establishes a connection with a certain place on Earth: observes it, gets inspired by its unique features, and then channels its spirit into a piece of art, healing its trauma.
“Imagine” is a collaboration between two artists: Tati S. Titch who works with the concept and the medium of instant photography, and Anna Kim, a mixed media artist and painter. This format is a combination of their pieces that sometimes include artifacts found on locations and recycled/upcycled materials. The result can be best described as a freestyle, multi-dimensional collage. Each piece is then photographed and published on a digital map, where a visitor can view the pins, connected to the exact spot of its origin.
The project is divided into two parts: collaborative and photographic. The division line is a border between two countries. Anna Kim was banned to travel to Northern Cyprus, which imposes the two-part structure. The legal issue led to a bifurcation of both the visual language and the artistic approach: semi-abstract instant photography and post-impressionistic paintings on one part and documentary photography on the other.
It took the artists three months to visit each pin on the map of the island, and another five months to fulfill the digital part of the project (collect photos, digitalize artworks, upload all the materials to an online map). Technically, the project is complete, however it’s still ongoing: as far as the island of Cyprus is not united yet. All the physical works of art were granted to the organization of Cypriot Youth which works towards the reunion of Cyprus.
"Henceforth, it is the map that precedes the territory — precession of simulacra — it is the map that engenders the territory and if we were to revive the fable today, it would be the territory whose shreds are slowly rotting across the map." — Jean Baudrillard, "Simulacra and Simulation”.
“Imagine”, a geotag art project accomplished in 2016, continues the semiotical exploration of the new realities created by technology. The project consists of a series of artworks with a fixed location. When tracked on a map, the locations form a word, the author’s message to the island and its inhabitants.
The geotag project is bringing into interaction the opposing logics of reality and hyperreality: does the physical piece of art (the reality) precede its representation on a digital map, or is it the representation itself (geotags on a digital map) that precedes and determines the real? Signifier and signified are switching places depending on the viewer’s perspective. In this case — the physical medium is a material for building the metamessage.
“Imagine” brings up a similar question: although the locations are predetermined by an abstract concept of the shapes of the letters, the artworks themselves were made possible by the reality of the represented locations. Moreover, an abstract concept of frontier, a pure convention and a line on a digital map, has a real impact on the project by preventing one of the artists from finishing it. However, we believe it can be changed and when Cyprus will have no borders, the project will be visually modified and finally accomplished.