Elefsina, Old Olive Mill Parking
#Elefsina & Revolution
Photo © Erato Koutsoudaki
On Friday June 3rd, we’re proud to present the opening of the narrative historical installation ‘Elefsina and Revolution’, a collaboration of artists, historians and locals. In addition to showcasing rare archival material which deals with the relationship of Elefsina with the 1821 Greek Revolution, the work will also bring to live Dionysios Solomos’ emblematic poem “The Free Besieged” through an innovative in situ installation.
Design and curation:
Dr Stefanos Kavallierakis
Architecture design collaborator:
Olga Brouma, set designer
Alekos and Christos Bourelias
Eleftheria Tsitsa, poet-translator
Peter Thompson, for the
translation of “Free Besieged”
Studio 19st – Kostas Bokos
Production design & direction:
Line production assistant:
Simplice Mukuri, Konstantinos Petronanos, Oleg Dergatsiov
Lazaridis Scenic Studio
Voudouri E. & Co L.P.
Commission and co-curation:
2023 Eleusis European Cultural Capital
With the support of the Public
Benefit Enterprise of the
Municipality of Elefsina (K.E.D.E.)
The historical exhibition, artistically curated by Erato Koutsoudaki and scientifically curated by Stefanos Kavallierakis, with the valuable contribution of local history enthusiasts and collectors, consists of two complementary parts: the in situ art installation “Fragments” and the narrative historical installation “War Scene.”
The in situ art installation “Fragments” attempts to compose the traces of the performance “The Free Besieged” by Dionysios Solomos, directed by Eleni Efthymiou, as it was presented in the exact same location in June 2021. The verses used in the performance, interspersed on 60 mirror columns, allude to a deployed military unit or a cemetery. By transporting the verses of Solomos’ painfully relevant poetic work through time and space, the work offers visitors a rare opportunity to imagine themselves as besieged Mesolonghians and to reflect on their own reality, if life had placed them at that historical juncture. The installation is an important occasion for reflection on the dialectics of history, in the grim context of the current reality of war.
The narrative historical installation “War Scene” stands opposite to “Fragments,” inviting the audience to discover the relationship between Elefsina and the Greek Revolution of 1821. Located inside a reconstructed war tent, abstractly reminiscent of the military headquarters of a 19th century chieftain, the narration places emphasis on locality. After all, the multiple layers of historiography comprising the history of Eleusis, the development of the greater region and its contribution to the 1821 Revolution constitute an individual chapter. Who were the local protagonists (the “minor heroes,” in Vasilis Panayiotopoulos’ words) that “established” history typically disregards? What were the parameters and individual aspects of the region that shaped the outcome of the events?
The installation is open to visitors Wednesday to Friday 18.00-21.00 and 12.00-21.00 in the weekends.
The organisation wishes to thank the Municipality of Elefsina, the Mayor Argyris Economou and especially the Deputy Mayors Leonidas Pappas and Fotis Tatakis, the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Elefsina and specifically its President, Nikolaos Villiotis and Vice President Sofia Adam, as well as Manos Papageorgiou, Vicky Pasiopoulou, Olga Pavlaki, Ilias Rousis and Giannis Sideris.
Special thanks are also extended to the Eleusinian collectors Giorgos Pavlopoulos and Kostas Likidis, as well as the folklorist researcher Panagiotis Pestrovas, for the
kind donation of material, and for their practical support. Further thanks to the BoD and the curators of the National Historical Museum for the kind permission to publish copies belonging to its collections. Lastly, we would like to sincerely thank Dimitris Giotas, Pantelis Boukalas, Peter Mackridge, Thanasis Moraitis, Dionysis Savvopoulos and all copyright and related rights holders who have contributed to the realization of the narrative installation by kindly providing access to their material.