To a certain degree sacredness is in the eye of the beholder

by Stefania Strouza

Stefania Strouza and Apostolos Vasilopoulos

On July 1933, a cruise sponsored by the Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne (CIAM) left Marseilles, its final destination being the congress site in Athens, Greece. Aboard the ship Pâtris II the architect Le Corbusier recounts: “In the heat of the summer of 1933 we launched ourselves into the ancient waters of the Mediterranean, like Ulysses on his Odyssey.” 36 years later, in 1969, Pier Paolo Pasolini will reenact another journey, this time from the East to the West, that of Euripides’s Medea played by Maria Callas. Medea’s world of static objects is encountered with Jason’s historical sense of linear progression. On their return to Greece, the drama progresses until the final clash of the two worlds, mythical and rational, along with the forms of consciousness each one represents.

‘To a certain degree sacredness is in the eye of the beholder’ takes these two journeys as a basis to propose a reversed reading upon Greek modernity. One that revisits the latter’s tension as something central and urgent; a cultural trauma. Based in Vienna and Athens respectively, an artist and an art theorist, commence a dialogue that moves from the West to the East and vice versa. Their engagement reveals the Greek example as a case of a narration that reached a halt in the form of a “Great Divide”; a dichotomised collective identity between West and East.

Staged in the exhibition space, objects produced by Stefania Strouza form an abstract visual code inspired by modernist design. As an opening event of the exhibition, sound-artists Tamara Wilhelm and Caroline Profanter are invited to perform an auditory approximation of the story of the “Great Divide”, based on Maria Calla’s operas and Pasolini’s Medea soundtrack; a sonic collision as an attempt to re-imagine a cultural conflict.

Tags abstract, conceptual, political, research
Technique Installation

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