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    Posted July 6, 2014 by

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    Santorini Theatrical Workshop presented a short version of Aeschylus famous Greek tragedy Agamemnon in ancient Greek on the opening ceremony of the 2nd Santorini Biennale. The performance, directed by Stella Karamperopoulou took place at Aressana Hotel, Fira. The players: Irene Zambeli, Nikos Koulouriotis, Jenny Kyritsi, Peristera Babloudi and Arion Ilios Papavasiliou.

    Why Agamemnon? Why Aeschylus? Why in ancient Greek?

    I could give a short answer and say, because the two curators Kikos Papadopoulos and Gregory Frangos and Evangelia Mendrinou from Arresana like the group. But there is more to find out.

    Agamemnon is the first part of a trilogy – of Oresteia. So there will be a 3rd Bienniale in 2016 as a trilogy implicates? The contract for the main venue – a large exhibition hall in Messaria, giving space also for the contemporary collection of the 1st Santorini Biennale - covers already the year 2016. So note in your travel calendar Santorini shall be in 2016 on your agenda.

    Aeschylus had a passion for questions of “time” – time as an abstract entity. He thought about it when time had not the fast flow we are now in. I was asked a few hours after the play: “Reiner, have you blogged it?” I said: “What is blogging?” I know well the one asking made a joke but indeed there shall be more often time to write and not to blog. So I do it today and notice with a smile that I am still not too late to be the first. You may know Aeschylus invented “players” - the two-player concept. Until then there was only one player on scene and a choir. This brings me to the point: an artist needs a curator, a mentor, someone supporting the arts. Kikos and Gregory do it and not blame the crisis for doing nothing in Greece or just claiming money support.

    Last point ancient Greek. It is very unusual that old languages are not extinct or blown off the surface. The tradition to use old Greek in plays is kept alive. I like it as I am in Digital Art, in conserving art that was made in computers. Was made? Yes 40 years ago it started: Digital Art. Many of the old works are extinct, can’t be experienced any longer as the hardware for it no longer exist. I spoke about “time”. Now art in 3D that was made 10 years ago gets slowly extinct. What a strong message in the contribution DREAMT FOREST by Navah Dreams aka Liliana Papadopoulou from Paros that forests will need to be replanted in the future as they will only exist in a simulation. A call to plant 1,668 trees. A call to continue the mission of Santorini Biennale.

    The memory on an artist might change in time. There was no seen word on Aeschylus on his doing for the arts as his life ended. And most of this work got lost. His gravestone says that he was a great warrior in the Greek wars. So let´s the warriors for art take control over to get them known.

    Here comes the text on his plate - 455 BC [I hope it is right copied as I cant read Greek]:

    Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, the Athenian, who perished in the wheat-bearing land of Gela; of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak, and the long-haired Persian knows it well.

    Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος Ἀθηναῖον τόδε κεῦθει - μνῆμα καταφθίμενον πυροφόροιο Γέλας·- ἀλκὴν δ' εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος ἄν εἴποι - καὶ βαθυχαιτήεις Μῆδος ἐπιστάμενος.

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