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Eleusis 2023, Anatomy of a Transformation

2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, in collaboration with the Photographic Club of Elefsina, organizes, from November 9 (opening at 20:00) to December 18, the action Mystery_24 Anatomy of a Transformation, at the Leonidas Kanellopoulos Cultural Center.

23 photographers—members of the club—compose the landscape of Elefsina, showcasing its hidden coordinates, its cultural idiosyncracies, as well as the works of its people, in a rare photographic exhibition about the city, curated by photographer Vassilis Gerontakos.

Mystery_24 Anatomy of a Transformation is part of the theme of the programme of Elefsina Still^ by 2023 Eleusis, including photography projects such as photographic exhibitions, residency programmes and special editions of photographic albums, inspired by the ever-changing city of Elefsina and its people. The idea for the action started from the Photographic Club of Elefsina in 2016, as an ideal way to kick-start its operation in the city that would host the title of European Capital of Culture. Wanting to create their own future memories, the members of the Club implemented a 4-month creative photography workshop in 2019 and, using collective research and work as a vehicle, held meetings and visits to industrial sites, archaeological monuments, neighborhoods and the surroundings areas. The landscapes of Elefsina activated their imagination and through the art of photography, their gaze was transformed into artistic expression.

The fruits of the workshop of the Photography Club of Elefsina are included today as evidence of the real-time recording of the history of the city and its people, in this group photography exhibition, as well as in a special printed publication—a photographic album. The set of photographs was created exclusively for the action Mystery_24  Anatomy of a Metamorphosis and will be presented to the public for the first time, starting on November 9.

Curator’s Note (Vassilis Gerontakos)

Over the golden horn of the bay of Elefsina hover the ghosts of ships, the Titan and Kronos factories, the loaded trucks of the highway, Spring and the despair of Demeter and Persephone, the music of Manos and Dead Can Dance, the labyrinth of mysteries and shipyard shifts, the heavy-duty work stamps, the funeral portraits of the Asia Minor workers.

Elefsina was the victim of chaotic industrial development and the irrational exploitation of natural space. A violent intervention by the human element in the harmonious development of nature, which resulted in the undermining of the natural landscape, the standard of living and the spiritual activity that had accompanied the area for thousands of years. The myth of Persephone conveyed—in a way—the ritual of nature, moderation, the rhythm, the scale of values that govern the relationship between humans and nature. Thus, a sacred relationship was broken, resulting to disharmony and spiritual decline.

Painfully aware of this loss, this action aims to sensitize the general public to the need for an environmental awakening, an exploration of ecological issues; to raise awareness of a new perspective that brings into focus the precious value of natural resources and life sources, pointing out the intrusive and transgressive way, but also those mechanisms that maintain natural and spiritual development by exploring nature.

Considering that team effort and interaction with the public is essential, our goal is for the future horizon of this city to be open to creation, knowledge and cultural development. There have already been enough sacrifices on the altar of the “industrial minotaur.” Enough hypocrisy in the face of the veneer of the divine mystery. Desire returns to the eyes of young people, gazing at the horizon of their own destiny.

Elefsina is making its own future memories.

A place of arrival, presence and revelation. 

A city that decides its own future and finds its steps in a dance

that resembles Europe again. Elefsina, a palimpsest. 

Participating Photographers: Voula Androni, Xenia Antonopoulou, Vassilis Gerontakos, Spyridoula Gini, Nikoletta Granitsa, Elissavet Efstathiou, Maria Zygouri, Christina Katrivesi, Eleni Liouli,  Maria Bempeni, Katerina Paliocosta, Maria Panariti, Vicky Papaioannou, Maria Roussi,  Litsa Spiliotopoulou, Chrysoula Staboliti, Popi Stavrianou, Yiannis Tsiatsianis, Anna Tsolakidou, Agapi Fesatidou – Psarraki, Manousos Fratzeskakis, George Christogeorgakis, Dimitris Psomopoulos.

More information here.

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