Mystery 29 Elefsina Raw Museum | Benaki Museum
Talking portraits, photographic documents by Greek and international artists, lithographs, rare collectors’ exhibits and valuable museum objects
Curated by architect-museologist Erato Koutsoudaki
Organization & production: Delta Pi
Opening hours: Thursday, Sunday: 10:00 – 18:00, Friday, Saturday: 10:00-22:00
An emblematic project that serves as a precursor to the programme of 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, co-organized with the Benaki Museum, about the visible and invisible history of Elefsina. A rare journey into the mysteries and uniqueness of a city—a timeless reference point for all of Greek history. Admission is free of charge.
Exploring the present and the past of the city, what is schematically called the “DNA” or the collective Subconscious of the place, Mystery_29 Elefsina Raw Museum, curated by architect-museologist Erato Koutsoudaki, attempts to interpret the city as an Exhibit, and invites the audience to a journey to the core of its existence; from antiquity to modern times, through tradition and domestic exile and internal migration, displacement, industrial growth, the long-suffering labor realities, the city’s relationship with the arts and Aeschylus, whose birthplace it is, the people and the communities that comprise it.
Mystery_29 Elefsina Raw Museum is one of the three strategic projects of 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, representing the theme “People – Society,” one of the three main axes of its programme. The exhibition will also feature samples of projects related to the two other themes: Mystery_99 THE ARK – LANDSHIP, the largest pilgrimage procession in the 3,500-year history of the city as part of the theme “Environment” and Mystery_111 Eleusis Terracotta Army,an emblematic project dedicated to those who have worked or continue to work in Elefsina, as part of the theme “Labor.”
The design of the Exhibition Mystery_29 Elefsina Raw Museum moves on three levels: the first one follows the logic of the cabinets of curiosities of the Italian Renaissance. By paying tribute to the Eleusinian collectors who preserve the evidence of its past with admirable perseverance, it hints at the origins of museum practice. Unique documents and exhibits, some of which belong to the collections of the Benaki Museum and are rarely or for the first time presented to the public, along with everyday objects of sentimental value become treasures to be discovered. The second level, through a series of talking portraits, places important persons of the local society in the role of Exhibition guide, as well as others who have inextricably linked their lives with Elefsina.
The third level highlights anonymous recordings of views and moments of the city. Lithographs of 18th and 19th century travelers and historical images taken by important international photographers, converse with works by contemporary Greek photographers who capture aspects of the city, while earlier stories of the residents, through their personal photographic collections, fleetingly pass before us. The records, however, also include words written about Elefsina by great thinkers, poets and writers of the global intelligentsia, conversing with exhibits and memories, highlighting contemporary and past mysteries of the city. Lastly, a plethora of actions will complement Mystery_29 Elefsina. Raw Museum, which will be announced soon.
The musical ensemble dissonArt presents, for the first time in Greece, Morton Feldman’s emblematic work: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello.
Centring on a folk festivity − the panigíri (feast day celebration) of Saint George held on 23 April, close by the church on Pagalou Street − Panigíri is a live cinema festival.
This exhibition brings the multi-faceted persona of a brilliant actress, a resolute champion of democracy, and a tireless politician to life.
Freely borrowing elements from the Eleusinian Mysteries, the group exhibition Visions from the Underworld, curated by The Agprognostic Temple, takes the myth and the secret cult around it as a starting point and way of navigating between parallel universes.