Larnaca Biennale, Cyprus 2018

The architectural installation ‘ASPIE CITY’ designed by MAS under the theme ‘Container and Content’ and exhibited at the first ever Larnaca Biennale in 2018 aims to raise awareness for a marginal but special group of people with Asperger’s Syndrome.

In 1944 Dr. Hans Asperger wrote: “for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential … the necessary ingredient may be the ability to turn away from the everyday world, from the simply practical, an ability to rethink a subject with originality to create in new, untrodden ways, with all abilities channelled into one speciality”.

According to Asperger, such individuals seem to think in pictures and their retention is visual rather than verbal, which leads to an inventive and creative way of thinking. ‘ASPIE CITY’ represents visually through its multiple layers of transparency their difficulties in daily life, as they live in their own world and see the outside world differently from others.

This installation unites twenty-five inspirational “Aspies” from different time periods, countries, genders, and professions, to form a much larger image. Described by Dr. Tony Attwood as “a bright thread in the tapestry of life”, Aspies are important members of our community where difference should not be excluded, but welcomed and celebrated as in ‘ASPIE CITY’.

Selected from more than 300 high quality pieces of work submitted from all over the world, our unconventional installation became a part of history as the Larnaca Biennale in 2018 was the first event of its type to occur in Cyprus. With more than 18000 visitors at the main exhibition and more than 4000 spectators attending the parallel events spread across the city of Larnaca, the Biennale very quickly became the most popular arts event on the Island, so much so, that a second edition was approved for 2020.

From inside the ‘Myth Factory’, ASPIE CITY also experienced great success both locally and globally by reaching out to the masses raising awareness and celebrating its own difference. On the 29th November 2018, one day prior to the event’s closing ceremony, MAS was kindly invited to speak about ASPIE CITY by Alberto Martínez Arias live on ‘El Ojo Crítico’ for RNE Radio Nacional de España. The full interview podcast can be tuned into here.


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