Theopisti Stylianou-Lambert is a visual artist, researcher and educator. She is currently an Associate Professor at the School of Fine and Applied Arts at the Cyprus University of Technology and the coordinator of its Visual Sociology and Museum Studies Lab. Her artistic and research interests are intertwined and include museum studies and visual sociology with an emphasis on photography. Find her at theopististylianoulambert.com.
Arte-facts is an art and research project that investigates the intimate relationships Cypriots have with copies of archaeological findings in the domain of their own homes. I am focusing on a specific statue—the statue of Aphrodite of Soli—whose original can be found in the Cyprus museum, while copies can be found decorating gardens in various parts of Cyprus. The title of the project uses a hyphen to separate “arte” from “fact” because it attempts to challenge both concepts of “art” (through the questioning of issues of authenticity and originality) and “fact” (through the questioning of dominant interpretations). This project moves meaning-making away from the public space of museums to the private space of the home. It focuses not on larger issues like national identity, history and conflict, but on more intimate issues like personal identity and people’s personal relationships with artefacts (whether they are originals or copies). Finally, it attempts to illuminate the social biographies of objects and their interactions with people.