Caryatid Encounters

Rosa Aiello

4 June – 10 July 2021

“Caryatid,” meanwhile, means simply inhabitant (or child) of Caryae. The homonym…is given by Hesychius, the ancient lexical authority, as variously meaning hill, mound, blood clot, or altar. The word, in short, contains the tropes of a shrine where blood sacrifices take place.”

  • The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture, Geroge L. Hersey

“[Caryae] was captured and all the menfolk killed. The married women were…led through the city …[and] were displayed before the city as permanent examples sustaining a weight of punishment for their heavy sins. Thus the architects of that time designed for public buildings figures of matrons placed to carry burdens; in order that the punishment of the sin of the Caryaean women might be known to posterity and historically recorded.”

  • Vitruvis

“Come on in” to Helen’s frustrating and heart-bending world of one-on-one domestic encounters…where invasion, hosting, accommodation, support, and self-destruction combine and confuse. Meet Helen, a woman in distress, tens of thousands of euros in debt, her neuroses pushing her to a climax of interior discomfort. Will her new advertising job for Sanssouci Palace, or her invitation to prospective renters (delivered hot from the oven!) save her from her vanilla nightmares? Will one of her guests break through her lipstick ‘n’ blazer veneer? The exhibition, Caryatid Encounters is a personal journey made through an architectural symbol to answer the question: who is Helen, if she is not performing what she thinks is expected of her?

Starring Bitsy Knox as “Helen,” Caryatid Encounters was made with Laura Langer (AD); and Giacomo Gianetta (2nd AD); Co-produced and edited with Theta.Cool; cinematography by Mariel Baqueiro AMC; lighting by Jacopo Falsetta; location recording by Robin Rutenberg; wardrobe by Zoë Field; makeup by Lau Perez Bravo; set designed with Laura Langer; music composed by Tomás Nervi. Featuring, in order of appearance, Max Eulitz, Carolin Karnuth, Bob Kil, Luzie Meyer, Martina Römert, Laura Langer, Lau Perez Bravo, Robin Rutenberg, Giacomo Gianetta, Simon Baker, Tomás Nervi, Juan Pablo Larraín. Helen’s character and dialogue developed with Bitsy Knox. Letter design by Max Eulitz. Workout by PUMPKING. Sal’s dialogue written with Juan Pablo Larraín. Party music by Dylan Aiello. German translation by Elisa R. Linn; set construction by Lachlan Petras; food by Vivi Ableson. Thank you to Sanssouci for the use of the Palace.

Special thanks to Dylan Aiello, Ann McLaughlin, Joe Aiello, Mackenzie Davis, Rózsa Farkas, Justine Do Espirito Santo, Dennis Hochköppeler, Tomás Nervi, Bitsy Knox, Laura Langer and the Arts Council England for their support throughout the process.

List of works:

Entrance (from left to right)

(above door)
Living Room Offering, 2021
Two C-type prints
Each: 15 x 10 cm (5 ⅞ × 3 ⅞ inches)

Antonienstr. 1, 13403 Berlin, 2021
Hahnemühle Photorag print, C-type prints, framed
61 x 81 x 2 cm (24 × 31 ⅞ × ¾ inches)

Hallway Offering, 2021
C-type print
15 x 10 cm (5 ⅞ × 3 ⅞ inches)

Welcome to her Counting House, 2021
Cookies, tea towels, plinth
Dimensions variable

All the Best for the Guest, 2021
58 C-type prints mounted on window
Dimensions variable

Office Offering, 2021
Two C-type prints
Each: 15 x 10 cm (5 ⅞ × 3 ⅞ inches)

Main gallery (from left to right)

Kitchen Offering, 2021
Two C-type prints
Each: 15 x 10 cm (5 ⅞ × 3 ⅞ inches)

Caryatid Encounters, 2021
HD coloured video with sound
47 minutes 1 second, looped

Bedroom Offering, 2021
Two C-type prints
Each: 15 x 10 cm (5 ⅞ × 3 ⅞ inches)