La prophétie d’Erysichthon

Exposition d’Irini Gonou et Miltos Pantelias

Une proposition de Jean-Claude Altoé et Robert Kueny

Avec le soutien de l’association les Gens de la Fontaine

Le nom chantant d’Erysichthon résonne avec la Grèce et ses mythes. Avec des figures extraordinaires, des récits épiques et merveilleux. Témoins de l’Histoire, d’une culture, ils nous permettent de comprendre d’où nous venons, qui nous sommes et peut-être où nous allons. Le nom incantatoire d’Erysichthon qui, dans les Métamorphoses d’Ovide, avoisine celui du Minotaure, de Dédale et d’Icare, nous échappe pourtant. Qui est ce curieux Erysichthon ? Pourquoi le rencontrons-nous ici, aujourd’hui ?

Le mythe nous raconte qu’un roi de Thessalie, Erysichthon-l’arrogant, voulut faire abattre un grand chêne, arbre sacré placé sous la protection de Déméter, déesse de la terre, de la moisson et des saisons. Les raisons de cet acte : faire valoir son pouvoir, contrôler, dominer. Ses compagnons, qui connaissaient la puissance des arbres habités par des nymphes sylvestres (les Dryades), refusèrent d’exécuter l’ordre de leur maître. Erysichthon-le furieux prit alors la hache et trancha le grand chêne, duquel jaillit le sang de la nymphe qui l’animait. Erysichthon-destructeur, de la nature, de la vie. Déméter, folle de rage, s’empressa de faire appel à la Faim, afin qu’elle jette un sort au roi. La sentence fut terrible. Désormais, Erysichthon-l’affamé aura toujours faim et ne pourra jamais plus être rassasié. Le drame final voit Erysichthon-l’insatiable mort, dévoré par lui-même.

Loin des entrailles ensanglantés qui achèvent le mythe, l’exposition La prophétie d’Erysichthon qui réunit le travail du couple d’artistes grecs Irini Gonou et Miltos Pantélias, convoque la figure d’Erysichthon-l’effrayant, non pas littéralement, mais en tant que symbole de la société contemporaine, destructrice de sa nature et de son environnement. Comme si le mythe, raconté par les Anciens, était une prophétie annonçant ce que nous sommes peut-être devenus aujourd’hui : une société assoiffée de dominance – sur les Autres, sur la nature –, un Erystichthon-glouton ou autre Erysichthon-déforesteur. Néanmoins, Déméter n’a aujourd’hui pas encore dit son dernier mot, et si l’on considère ce mythe comme une prophétie, il peut être opportun d’en imaginer une autre fin, une autre suite. Et si Erysichthon-l’insatiable devenait Erysichthon- le repenti ? Baignés par les mythes de la Grèce antique et nourris par de multiples cultures, croyances et époques, Irini Gonou et Miltos Pantelias nous invitent, aujourd’hui plus qu’hier, à repenser la place de la nature dans nos sociétés contemporaines, en faisant entrer en scène un nouvel Erysichthon.

Les peintures de Miltos Pantelias font entendre le murmure des vagues. Elles donnent à voir l’immensité, la quiétude et l’inquiétante puissance de la nature, en particulier ici, de la mer. Pourtant familières, Les mers aux couleurs sépias, vides de toute présence, semblent lointaines, anciennes. Ce que des cadrages imposés dans les œuvres elles-mêmes, fenêtres dans le tableau, ne manquent pas de souligner : les mers sont devenues images et songes, paysages oubliés, hantés par la nostalgie. Natures mortes. Pourtant, ce qui caractérise l’œuvre de Miltos Pantelias est le traitement en palimpseste, retour du passé dans le présent, au présent, que le recours à la fable mythologique transposée à notre réalité ne manque pas de rappeler. La mise en espace de ces peintures, qui donne du relief aux papiers et les font émerger aux yeux du spectateur, participe à ramener dans le présent, ces paysages absents, et à nous rappeler que tout n’est pas perdu. Still Life.

Moins dans la représentation, c’est par l’usage de matériaux naturels et ce qu’ils véhiculent comme vertus apotropaïques que la nature prend corps dans l’œuvre d’Irini Gonou. Les tentures sont toutes réalisées à partir de matières végétales, teintes avec des végétaux et parsemées d’éléments naturels collectés par l’artiste. Plumes, feuilles et roseaux. Comme des jardins composés, suspendus, les tissus fluides dessinent un parcours labyrinthique dans l’espace de l’exposition, invitant le spectateur à l’errance. Libre et flottant. D’autres œuvres, comme des livres ouverts, sont ponctuées de phrases calligraphiées par l’artiste ou découpées dans des ouvrages, que l’on peut ou non déchiffrer. Écritures arabes, grecques, latines et écritures archaïques se chevauchent, s’entremêlent sur les roseaux devenus amulettes. Marquée par une pensée animiste et syncrétique, les œuvres d’Irini Gonou, fragiles collages, nous soufflent ainsi tout bas, les secrets des nymphes et les larmes d’Erysichthon.

Éloges de la nature, par le biais de la représentation pour lui ou de son utilisation matérielle et symbolique pour elle, les travaux d’Irini Gonou et Miltos Pantelias nous montrent la préciosité de cette nature, afin d’éviter que le mythe d’Erysichthon, qui pourrait s’apparenter à une prophétie, ne s’accomplisse pleinement.

Claire Kueny, historienne de l’art

Exposition du 6 mai au 5 juin 2016

Vernissage : Vendredi 6 mai à 18h30

 

galerie altoé. atelier

62, rue Jean-Jacques Henner

68130 Wittersdorf

Posted in art | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

In art there is no East and West…

In the Arab world, they say, everyone is a poet. And everyone knows Adonis, the Paris-based Syrian exile who invented the Arabic prose poem and who has frequently been mentioned as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Since 2011, he has also been a controversial figure in the debate about the war in Syria. As the Syrian uprising began in early 2011, Arab intellectuals awaited Adonis’s comment, not only because of his stature as a poet but also because he is Alawite, the sect to which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad belongs. In June of that year, Adonis wrote an open letter to al-Assad, calling for a democratic transition. Yet the Assad regime had already killed some 1,400 civilians, and many criticized Adonis’s response as too little, too late.

Now eighty-six, Adonis has elaborated his views about the failure of the Arab Spring in a regular column in verse for the Pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, and in a recent book,Violence et Islam. It was released in France in November, the same month as ISIS’s rampage in Paris that killed 130 people.

I met Adonis at a cafe on the Champs-Élysées.

Jonathan Guyer: At the beginning of the Syrian war you wrote a letter to President Bashar al-Assad. What would you say to him now?

Adonis: Nothing has changed. On the contrary, the problems are bigger. How can forty countries ally against ISIS for two years and not be able to do a thing? Nothing will change unless there is a separation between religion and the state. If we do not distinguish between what is religious and what is political, cultural, and social, nothing will change and the decline of the Arabs will worsen. Religion is not the answer to problems anymore. Religion is the cause of problems. That is why it needs to be separated. Every free human believes in what he wants, and we should respect that. But for religion to be the foundation of society? No.

When was the last time you visited Syria?

In 2010.

Before the war. Can you talk about the atmosphere then?

I don’t know—I hear the news, just like you. I know that Syria was destroyed, but for what? What is the project? Look, the revolutionary must protect his country. He fights the regime, but defends institutions. I heard that Aleppo’s markets were totally destroyed. This wealth was like no other, how do they destroy it? The revolutionary does not loot museums. The revolutionary does not kill a human because he is Christian, Alawite, or Druze. The revolutionary does not deport a whole population, like the Yazidis. Is this a revolution? Why does the West support it?

Your views on the Syrian conflict have drawn criticism in the Arab world.

You know, there are many Arabs who are employed by the revolutionaries and they always criticize me. They say that I am not with the revolution—[the revolution] that destroyed the museums.

What is the revolution and who is with it?

Something that cannot be said…A writer can never be on the side of killing. It is not possible, you know. But some people love killing and violence. How can a poet or a painter be on the [same] side as a person with an explosive belt who goes into a school and detonates himself? How? Those are children. How, how do you kill them? It is an unimaginable monstrosity. My brother, if the regime is tyrannical then fight the regime. Do not fight children and schools. Do not destroy the country. Do not kill innocent people. Fight the regime. It is humiliating. To belong to this world is humiliating. I have not seen anything like this in history, to destroy a country entirely—like Yemen—just to put in place an imbecile as president…

You see people supporting it. Intellectuals. How can you fight them? They criticize you for not being on their side. You have to become a monster like them.

Like the jihadists—

Not only the jihadists, because the jihadists are part of the people. The people who do not want this should announce their refusal publically. Have you ever read a single official statement against this? There are individuals who say what we are saying now. But have you read an official statement from [an Arab] country, from a prominent political party, or a big group against what is being done by the jihadist groups? There is a kind of acceptance. Patience is a kind of acceptance. There was not one single protest in any Arab country against what is happening. What is the meaning of this? They kill humans and sell women in markets. They are destroying museums, the greatest human achievements, and there has not been a single protest, not a single statement [against it].

In your new book, Violence et Islam, you wrote that ISIS represents the end of Islam. Will there be a new beginning?

You know, we have to remain believers. How so? If people, if humanity, comes to an end, then the world ends. As long as there are individuals—what I am saying now is that I am not alone. There are many individuals, in Egypt and other countries, who say what I am saying. This is why we have to remain confident that the human will reach a stage where he will find better solutions. But when and how will be determined in time. But I can say that the Arabs will never advance as long as they think and operate in this old, jihadist, religious context. It is not possible. This is what is extinct, what has ended. ISIS is the last shout. Like a candle about to go out, it ends with strength.

The renaissance needs time. Our society, during the fifteen centuries since the foundation of the first Islamic state, has not been able to establish a society of citizens. With a citizen’s duties come rights. Until now, Arab societies are formed of individuals who carry out the same duties but have different rights: the Christian does not have the same rights as the Muslim, for instance. Fifteen centuries. How can we solve fifteen centuries in a week or two, a month or two? But I trust that the time will come, but outside this context.

Does change require a new engagement with the West? I read your poem, “Desire Moving Through Maps of Matter” (1987), about the Eiffel Tower floating in the Mediterranean Sea, and a conversation you wrote between Abu Nawas and Victor Hugo. The bridge between Arabs and the West—

The East and the West are economic and military concepts, and were created by colonialism. We can say geographically that there are East and West. Economics and colonialism took advantage of that.

But in art there is no East and West. You see it in the paintings of Paul Klee and how he was inspired by Tunisia and Eastern Arabia. You see it in the paintings of Delacroix and how he was inspired by Morocco. When you read Rimbaud, you see that the best thing about Rimbaud is that he is not a Westerner; although he was born in the West, he was completely against the West. When you read Abu Nawas, or Abu Al-Ma’arri, you do not say that they are Easterners or Westerners. The creative ones are from one world, regardless of what country they come from or where they went. They live together beyond geography, beyond languages and nationalism, and they belong to the creative world of humanity. In this sense there is neither East nor West. Whitman is just like Abu Tammam for me. He is a part of me, and I am a part of him.

But the West has developed social institutions that you think are lacking in the Arab world.

The problems that Europe experienced were overcome by the establishment of new societies, completely separate from religion and the church. In the Middle Ages, the ecclesiastical courts were just like the jihadists today. They killed people and burned them. But the West succeeded in separating church from state, and created modern societies. We are still in this stage. And if the West was successful in this separation then there is no reason to prevent the Arabs from separating [the two] as well. We are struggling for this separation. We will do it despite everything and despite Western politicians as well, because Western politicians unfortunately despise Arabs, and despise Arab regimes. Despise. [The West] uses these regimes as tools to execute its plans.

So how can an effective separation between religion and government be achieved?

Start [again] from the beginning. It needs struggle. Struggle is necessary. You cannot do things sitting down. You have to struggle, stand, and fight. Write and get imprisoned. I wonder why Arab prisons are not full of writers. I wonder why, because it means that Arab writers are not doing their jobs. They are not criticizing. They are not talking about deep issues, the real issues of life. They are not talking about the real crises. Hence, my criticism is of the writers, not the state. The writers should always be in prison, which means they are telling the truth. By being out of prison, it means that they are not telling the truth. As long as their books are getting banned… we can say that culture has a role.

But can poetry address the terrible, barbaric violence now engulfing Syria? One thinks of Adorno’s claim about poetry after Auschwitz.

This is talk. Auschwitz was a catastrophic disaster, but humanity has gone through many catastrophic disasters. On the contrary, I believe that writing starts with asking questions and uncovering the sources of evil, wherever they come from. Because with Adorno’s words, he prevents us from posing questions and forces us to accept. This is wrong. I do not agree with him. Now the writing starts, after Auschwitz.

What about writing poetry during the Syrian civil war?

You cannot compare the bomb with the poem. You should not draw this comparison. Any ignorant bullet can change a regime, any despicable bullet can kill a great person, like Kennedy, for example. You cannot draw such a comparison because it is fundamentally wrong. Making poetry is like making air, like making perfume, like breathing. It cannot be measured by materialistic standards. This is why poetry despises war and is never related to it. But after the war is over, it is possible to contemplate the corpses, the rubble, the destruction, the ruins. Then one can write something, but it is [still] an element of the war.

We are told that ISIS has written poetry, that Osama bin Laden wrote poetry.

This is not poetry. It should not be considered poetry—definitely not. Because poetry is a social phenomenon. When culture is a part of everyday life, everyone is a poet and everyone is a novelist. You now have thousands of novelists. But if you found five who are good to read, then you are in a good place. In America… there are thousands of novels; you will find five or six good ones, and the rest is garbage. The same goes for the Arabs. All Arabs are poets, but 95 percent of them are rubbish.

You wrote recently about immigration as an important part of Arab culture. We now face an immigration crisis in the Middle East and Europe. Can you talk about that?

I see immigration as caused by two things: either there is no work or there is no freedom—no work or no freedom. So the citizen, or the human, looks for a place to work and be free. And Arab countries are poor. For two hundred years we have been unable to establish a single good university or research institution, and we have great resources. We spend them on useless weapons. We buy weapons, and we buy planes; we even buy pilots to fly the planes and fight for us, like Saudi is doing in Yemen.

The world is mud. We are primitive. We are still in the Middle Ages, and you are asking questions of modern times. Do not be fooled by the [foreign] cars or the American University in Cairo. We cannot produce a car. We cannot produce a coffee cup. How are we modern then? Western politicians are fooling us. You are the intellectuals. You should know the facts.

In your recent writing, you have raised questions about Arab identity. For instance, “Who am I—who are we?” (Al-Hayat, 10 December 2015).

It is difficult not only for the Arab. It is difficult for the human being, broadly speaking. Because religion has provided answers: the Christian is Christian; the Jew is Jewish; the Muslim is Muslim. Each “other” is under scrutiny, under inspection. If he believes in what I believe, then I recognize him; and if he does not believe, then I do not recognize him. That is why the concept of the other in monotheistic religions is undefined. Thus, for the unreligious person, the concept of identity is complex.

There are suggestions concerning this issue among the Arab Sufis. You know that Rimbaud said, Je est un autre. I is another. The Arab Sufi, a thousand years before him, said, “The Other is I.” You know, in Islam, the Muslim inherits his identity, like he inherits his home, like he inherits his field, like he inherits his father’s money. Identity is imposed on him a priori. The Sufis said, No, identity is a continuous creation. The human shapes his identity by shaping his work and ideology. And if identity is a creation, then the “I” does not exist individually; it exists with the other, and the other is a part of it. For me to be myself, I have to pass through the other. Likewise, identity in Sufism is infinitely open.

As long as a person is alive, his identity is continuously renewable. If he were a poet, his identity would not end even if he died, because his texts are renewed and reviewed continuously, and are read in different ways, so his identity is open. In this sense, too, poetry is against religion. It cannot be with religion. I mean, you will not find one poet in Arab history who was religious. It is impossible to say This is a big, grand poet and that he is religious. If he were religious, he would be like the Sufi who calls himself a believer and believes in a god that is completely different than the official Islamic God—the God of tenet, law, and institution. So the true power of the human being is not in giving an answer; the real power is in posing questions.

Seventy years ago, you chose the name Adonis.

No, I created a name to exit the world of religion.

But now the name has become—

A crime!

Why?

It is criticized for not being an Arab or Muslim name. Unfortunately, religious culture has debased all of culture. It has become shallow.

What then is the future of Arab culture in—

I told you, as long as death and love are there, art will remain. Don’t worry. The readers are fewer, but that’s okay. Nietzsche, the agitator of modern thought, was not published [in his time]. No one knew him. This is the destiny of art, always. Many get published and sell millions, but their books belong in the trash.

—Translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Guyer and Sharaf Al-Hourani

April 16, 2016, 10:00 am

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/04/16/syria-now-writing-starts-interview-adonis/

Posted in art, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

PROVERBES

« Quand deux amis se querellent, le secret pleure », proverbe Bambara voulant dire que quand deux personnes sont amies, elles sont confidentes. Quand une bagarre éclate entre …

Source: PROVERBES

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ΣΕΜΙΝΑΡΙΟ // επι-Γραφές: Το σώμα της λέξης

η γραπτομηχανη της Μ.

Cover idea 6_kentridge B

.

επι-Γραφές: Το σώμα της λέξης

Σεμινάριο για τη Γραφή και την Οπτική της Αντίληψη

.
Συντονισμός: Γεωργία Τσουδερού

Διδάσκοντες: Μαρία Γιαγιάννου, Ειρήνη Γκόνου, Αλέξανδρος Μαγκανιώτης

Διάρκεια: 16-19 Μαρτίου 2016

Συμμετοχή: 70 € (50 € μειωμένο)

.

{Σελίδα στο Facebook}

.

*Λίγες θέσεις – θα τηρηθεί σειρά προτεραιότητας*

.

Το πρόγραμμα «Labirinto: Culture e Civiltà Mediterranee» πραγματοποιεί στο Μουσείο Άλεξ Μυλωνά-Μακεδονικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης (Museum Alex Mylona, πλ. Αγίων Ασωμάτων 5 στο Θησείο) το διατμηματικό, διαδραστικό και διαπολιτισμικό εργαστήριο με τίτλο: «επι-Γραφές: Tο σώμα της λέξης».

Ο εικαστικός-αρχιτέκτονας Αλέξανδρος Μαγκανιώτης, η εικαστικός-ανθρωπολόγος Ειρήνη Γκόνου και η συγγραφέας-θεωρητικός τέχνης Μαρία Γιαγιάννου οργανώνουν τρία τμήματα με διαφορετικές και διαπλεκόμενες προσεγγίσεις στις θεματικές της γραφής και της γλώσσας των εικόνων. Συμπληρωματικά, προσκεκλημένοι εκπαιδευτές θα αναδείξουν την ψυχολογική (γραφολογική) και την αντιληπτική (οπτική ή μη-οπτική) διάσταση της γραφής. Το εργαστήριο απευθύνεται σε όσους επιθυμούν να διευρύνουν τα ενδιαφέροντά…

View original post 2,154 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Sudanese lyre: an object with many voices

British Museum blog

By David Francis, Interpretation Officer

Of all the objects I’ve worked with in my eight years as an interpretation officer at the British Museum, the Sudanese lyre is perhaps the most intriguing. Made in northern Sudan, probably in the late19th century, it would have been played by a male musician at weddings and harvest festivals as part of a small band. It may also have been used in zār ceremonies – healing rituals involving spirit possession that are still practised in Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia today.

Just as fascinating as the actual instrument are the coins, beads, shells and, as yet, unidentified objects that are attached to the lyre. In a sense, the Sudanese lyre is both a single object and an assemblage of many objects each with their own story to tell. In this blog I talk with some of the curators at the British Museum and the Royal…

View original post 1,568 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Irini Gonou @ Art International Istanbul 2015, with Nitra gallery

_DSC1856     

“…Irini Gonou returns to her inner self, by looking for her own personal “garden”; a garden as a refuge, a “sheltered and secure” retreat; a private place away from the world, an inner space. Sculptures and assemblages of textile, text and talisman, are Gonou’s retreat. The element of nature is evident as the works are made of herbal dyed cotton and linen textiles, antique Turkish and Chinese silks and inscribed reeds are the common place of the widespread belief of supernatural protection. In many cultures script is believed to have a magical power and the written word is thought to provide protection and through the reproduction of these beliefs Gonou manages to create a three dimensional space in which her being is safe, calm and can be regenerated. The calligraphy and the writing have a key role to her work, as “their deep consciousness of the religious, moral and magical association that words have accumulated over the centuries” as Mark Mazower notes about her work. Last but not least, she explores also the concept that cloth is believed to be a living thing, it records life, so the notion of memory and the passing of time is insinuated through the element of the thread‐ the weaving of the past, the present and the future. In Gonou’s work there is nothing that could be considered as a signifier for technology, as the artist agrees with Heidegger that technology is often an enemy to contemplation…”

_DSC1862_DSC8162

Curated by: Aliki Tsirliagkou

Posted in art | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Χ Ο R Κ Ι

la performance musico-magique de Katerina Fotinaki

afissaGR

D’où date la Sorcière? Je dis sans hésiter:
des temps du desespoir.
Jules Michele
 
I am wondering, when did witchcraft begin
And Ι answer with certitude : at the same time that desperation did.
Jules Michelet

“…Il y a quelques années, il m’a fallu digérer un cocktail indigeste de chagrin d’amour et de trahison amicale. Et tout ça, en plus avec ma jambe cassée. L’immobilité du corps ainsi que celle de l’âme m’ont poussé à faire une espèce de convocations improvisées sans vraie destination :

des petits extraits de poèmes que je répétais interminablement, comme une prière. Mais une prière adressée à qui?

Il s’agissait très probablement d’une bouée de sauvetage qu’a inventée d’instinct la tête pour ne pas sombrer dans la folie. Car cette nature mystique de manière souterraine et arbitraire a agit comme un substitue d’espérance.Quelques années plus tard j’ai lu des choses concernant la magie en Grèce antique.

J’étais très étonnée de constater des similitudes entre ce que je venais de lire
et mon experience personnelle.

Est-ce qu’il se pourrait que la Poésie et la Musique fonctionnent comme un rituel personnel et atypique pour “exorciser” le mal?

Et par consequent un  a n t i d o t e  au désespoir ?

Chacun répond pour soi-même.

Nous, nous posons juste la question”.

“…Some years ago I was forced to.. swallow a bitter cockteil  of frustrated love and friendship betrayd, all at the same time. And on top of that, having my leg in plaster cast!
This sudden state of immobility, both of my body and soul urged me to invent some kind of impromptu invocations
that had no actual addressee : dispersed words, or small extracts of poems that I would constantly repeat, for hours, as if in prayer. But in this case.. a prayer to whom?
In fact, it was the only solution that my mind could find- instinctively reacting – in order to save itself from madness.
Because this unconscious and totally arbitrary mystic sense of this experience acted as a substitute of hope.

Many years later, when I was reading about witchcraft in ancient Greece, I was stunned when I realised that there was some similarity between this and my own experience.

So can actually Music and Poetry be used as a kind of atypical personal ritual so that someone “exorcises” bad things?

And in this case act as an a n t i d o t e  to desperation?

Everyone will give their own answer.

We are just posing the question”.

 THE TEAM:
Musique – Selection des textes : Katerina Fotinaki
Voix off (conjurations) : Aglaia Pappas
Artwork : Irini Gonou, Miltos Pantelias
Historical consultant: Giorgos Andrikopoulos
Mise en scène : Fotini Papachristopoulou
Music – Selection of texts : Katerina Fotinaki
Spells’ voice over : Aglaia Pappas
Artwork : Irini Gonou, Miltos Pantelias
Consultation historique : Giorgos Andrikopoulos

Direction : Fotini Papachristopoulou

COMPOSITIONS :
Jay Hawkins, Leonard Cohen, Violent Femmes,
Guillaume de Machaut, Henry Purcell, Georges Aperghis,
Loudovikos of Anogia,  Manos Hadjidakis, Mikis Theodorakis,
Katerina Fotinaki
TEXTS:
Orphic Hymns, Ancient greek spells, Sappho
T.S. Eliot, William Blake, Alfred Tennyson,
Od. Elytis, K. Palamas, D. Solomos
Première : Athènes – Mardi 3 Novembre – Théâtre Porta
Fist show to come : ATHENS – Tuesday 3rd November – Porta Theater
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment