Marianna Christofides What If You Find a Hornet Nest in a Hotel Room

Marianna Christofides,… what if you find a hornet's nest in a hotel room? 2012, offset print, framed, 70 x 100 cm, Edition 5 + 2 AP, text: Marianna Christofides, Bernd Bräunlich

What associations are triggered when one enters a room in an abandoned hotel in Greece and comes across an hornet's nest attached to a curtain rail? The nest had been built layer by layer by hornets from North Africa.
In the work a photograph of the found scene is embedded in a seemingly scientific text concerning the layered composition of the earth’s crust and its folds and fissures in mountainous regions of Europe. Footnotes on geological termini such as thrust from the South or autochthonous massif have been added referring to current social and cultural fluxes – the writing of history, the notion of the endemic, the shifting of borders. What connects tectonically non-shifted rock with the realisation that places of one's personal history can't be detected any longer? How does the origin of rock strata lead to the breadfruit tree's migratory history and the settling of Oceania? Where do parallels appear between geological melange and the Mediterranean Sea as an EU-buffer zone?
Marianna Christofides In the Hollow Where Water Remains

Marianna Christofides, In the Hollow Where Water Remains, 2014, graphite print/drawing, framed (54 x 40 cm), engraved text (43.5 x 35 cm), light panel, Edition 4 + 2 AP, text: Marianna Christofides, Bernd Bräunlich

"In an interview with my uncle in 2008 during the shooting of the film Pathways in the dust. A topography out of fragments in Cyprus he was recounting the story of a single breadfruit tree in a moist hollow amidst the dust plain of Mesaoria. The fruit would be carved into toys – lorries and tanks – by them as children in the 30s.
My uncle's rather incidental question about how this tree may have come to the island accompanied me in the time to follow and would become the stimulus for the work l'histoire d'histoire d'une histoire. There the voice-over begins:

“I want to find a story. A story in images. Images that carry with them a sense of arrival and onward journey – trace a path, become movement. To search for images which steer sight towards a threshold.”

I found the image that was missing in my uncle's story in a press photo of the Continental Airlines that was taken in 1971 in Hawaii. The place of remembrance itself lies today unreachable within the restricted military zone in the north of Cyprus.
There, scattered in the olive groves and small gorges, one finds bulbous stones from which a rare pigment is won. It is used in icon painting on Mount Athos in Greece – the Cypriot Green Earth. Its winning is, due to today's political situation, nearly impossible and therefore the pigment is available only in small quantities.
I apply it as the first layer in the print. A part of the (hi)story permeates the work as a medium in its actual materiality.
In the text, it says: “A little outside the village in the dry, hard earth there's a hollow where water remains and the breadfruit tree grows.” "

Marianna Christofides