by Michalis Charalambous

in collaboration with Panayiotis Kyriakou, CYENS ITICA research group

ANIMA [latin for ‘soul’] focuses on the radical transformation of the meanings of the concept of the “human” in the late 20th and early 21 st c., through the term’s theoretical, material and/or virtual reconfigurations within the contemporary techno-scientific context. In this innovative on-site VR, AR and physical installation at the Cyprus House, the transcendence of entrenched perceptions of the limits of the human condition and the transformations observed in the meanings of “human nature” are explored, following an opposite route: through in depth research in ancient Cypriot representations of the “post-human”, conducted at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and the British Museum in London.

The site-specific installation traces a threat connecting ancient metaphysics with contemporary advances in biotechnology. ANIMA, the show’s title, itself echoes its own etymological, semantic and metonymic journeys across time and space. From its original Latin interpretation of the Greek psyche (soul) through to modern English appropriations-variations that denote the non-live-action moving image, anima alternately signifies the intangible or the unseen, a departure from the indexical, and at the same time a centripetal inward incision into the depths of existence, the search for an essence that would define the human and differentiate it from the non-human: the animal, the object, the post-human. 

Text by Dr. Marios Psaras

Artist Bios

Michalis Charalambous (b. 1987) is a Visual Artist.  Michalis’ practice includes ceramic and digital media. He graduated from the Fine Arts School of Visual and Applied Arts of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2013. His Master dissertation (MA, Open University of Cyprus, 2019) focuses on the activity and influence of independent Artist-Run spaces in Cyprus. He has participated in national and international festivals and exhibitions like solo exhibition ANIMA Cy House in( London, 2022) ,the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture (Cyprus Pavilion, 2018), the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art (2017, “Imagined Homes”),  the special screening program at 58th  Thessaloniki International film Festival,  the Athens Ethnographic Film Festival (2016) with the documentary “Anamones” and the PAFOS 2017 group exhibition “Weaving Europe”. Finally, he has been hosted in artist residencies in Lecce/ Puglia, IT (BJCEM, “LandXcape”) and in Barcelona, SP (Can Serrat).

Dr. Panayiotis Kyriakou has recently concluded his doctorate studies at The Cyprus Institute. His research interests include natural interaction, human capturing, user experience in Virtual and Augmented Reality, in relation with museum education and cultural heritage. He has earned his BSc and MSc at the Computer Engineering and Informatics department of the University of Patras. He has participated in a number of research programs as a software engineer during the last 15 years, starting at the Research & Academic Computer Technology Institute, in Patras-Greece (2007 – 2008) at European Project Palette, then at the Open University of Cyprus (2009 – 2012), at AgriRobot and REVIT, at The Cyprus Institute (2012 – 2018), at V-Must, Gravitate, EMAP and CARARE and recently at CYENS (2018 – today). Panayiotis is also one of the founders of Mirror 3D Lab, where he has undertaken the role of software engineer in projects that deal with high quality 3D scanning services of simple objects and artifacts, as well as 3D scanning of people and faces, human posture capture and analysis, design and development of virtual and augmented reality applications, creation of game assets and game development. He is also a Research Associate at CYENS, currently in RTPVE MRG and previously in Museum Lab group, ITICA and CCAPPS MRGs.