THE ROAD TO ELEFSINA
By Diane Shugart and FaveLAB
Archaeological site of Elefsina. Photo: L. Richards.
EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF CULTURE 2023
'Mysteries of Transition' is the theme explored in a year-long program of events celebrating Elefsina as one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2023. Planned arts events feature the work of 192 Greek and 137 international artists spanning visual arts, music, architecture, design, photography, dance, theater, performance, and more.
Elefsina is located just past the southwestern rim of Athens. It is the smallest city to be named a Cultural Capital of Europe since the program's launch in 1985 — but also the oldest. Timisoara (Romania) and Veszprem (Hungary) have also been designated European Cultural Capitals for 2023.
Archaeological site of Elefsina. Photo: Chr. Ziegler.
FaveLAB RESIDENCY PROGRAM
For 2,000 years a farming community was the spiritual center of the ancient world. Pilgrims from all over came to Eleusis (modern-day Elefsina) to be initiated to mysteries befriending them with death. Men, women, free people, and slaves, Greeks and foreigners. It did not matter who you were.
The rituals of initiation were kept secret as it was forbidden under the penalty of death to reveal the teachings.
Objects, words, and performances inside the Temple of Eleusis made the concept of immortality seen, heard, and felt by the initiates.
What would mysteries teach us about ourselves, about the world, about our mission in life today? How powerful would the bliss experienced by initiates be in a world governed by greed and ravaged by war?
The artist residency The Road to Elefsina analyses history and the concepts of the mysteries, reviving the experience of the ritual walk from Athens to Eleusis while offering insight into the vast history of Greek civilization.
The 2023 residency and exhibition project deals with questions on creating, sharing, and experiencing art. The program addresses artists from all disciplines while placing emphasis on objects, performance, jewelry, textiles, and video.