The Presence of Absence

The life of the dead in Cyprus and Denmark

Death is a universal human condition, but with specific cultural traits. Through contemporary art, religious images, archeological findings and present practices, the exhibition The Presence of Absence examines how we connect with the deceased.

Visitors had the opportunity to experience personal and religious narratives through items and artworks from both Cyprus and Denmark. They were all interpretations of the importance of the deceased in our lives. What do the body of the deceased, the rituals and the narratives mean to us?

The exhibition ran from September 23, 2017 to January 7, 2018.



The Presence of Absence displayed pieces by Camilla Monsrud (DK), Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen (DK), Emil Westman Hertz (DK), Ergenc Korkmazel (CY), Rinos Stefani (CY), Susan Vargas (CY), Yiannos Economou (CY).

The artifacts displayed were from The Antique Museum, Aarhus Universitet; David’s Collection, Copenhagen; Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copehagen; Daniella Mouyiannou (CY) and The Ethnographic Collection, Moesgaard Museum

The Exhibition was curated by Ane Bonde Rolsted, visual anthropologist; Ditte Lyngkær Pedersen, visual artist and curator, and Catriona Hodge, curatorial assistant. It was a collaboration between Prof. Ton Otto, Moesgaard Museum, Prof. Charalampos Chotzakoglou and Dr. Ioannis Eliades, Society of Cypriot Studies.

The exhibition was supported by European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 and Pafos 2017 as well as the Danish Arts Foundation. It was displayed as part of European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.

Pafos, Cyprus, shared the title as European Capital of Culture 2017, which inspired this project of beautiful stories and unresolved conflicts. In July 2017, The Society of Cypriot Studies opened a sister exhibition in Pafos.

Photo: Susan Vargas - Offering to the Unknown God