2010 Erysichthon: Modern Reading of Myth, Cultural Center of the Municipality of Elefsina Leon. Kanellopoulos, Elefsina


Duration: 5 July - 3 October 2010

Within the framework of the DASOS-LIFE-CULTURE program of the Academy of Athens and the Museum of Goulandris Natural History and under the auspices of the President of the Republic there is a visual exhibition "Erysiths, modern reading of the myth".

Organization: Hellenic Folklore Research Center of the Academy of Athens in collaboration with the Municipality of Elefsina and sponsored by Titan.

Coordinator: Aikaterini Polymerou-Kamilaki, Director, Research Center for Greek Folklore at the Academy of Athens

Exhibition Editor: Louiza Karapidaki, permanent collaborator. of the Folklore Center

Assistant curators: Eleftheria Kambitaki, Fanio Michalopoulou

Exhibition catalogue


Artists participate:

Angelos Io, Athanasiadis Alexandra, Akyla Elena, Alexiou Leda, Apostolou Thomas, Vergi Chrysa, Verouki Pavlina, Vlassopoulou Packy, Bolesch Katharina, Voutsas Velissarios, Vrellis Petros, Giannakaki Maria, Gounou Irini, Zannis Stephanos, Zolotakis Apostolis, Themelis Ioanna, Ventseslav Iotoff , Kapakiannidis Konstantinos, Karavella Aleka, Katsaris Manos, Kontogiannopoulou Leda, Kontosfiris Haris, Kountouris Michalis, Koskiniotis Vasiliki, Kritikos Spyros, Liti Aphrodite, Lolis Andreas, Makris Thanasis, Manousakis Michalis, Mantzavinos Tasos, Martha Takis, Mark Gregory, Marouda Kalliroi, Mitsopoulos Panos, Moschos Nikos Moudatsos Kostis, Beroutsos Thanasis Bechraki Venia, Olympian Peace Pantelias Miltos, Kostas Papanikolaou, Patrick Savina, Samos Paul Siouti Marina, Spyridon Kalliroi, Tammam Magda, Taxiarchopoulos George, Tetsis Panagiotis, Tzanis Dimitris, Tzatzilos Eleni, Tsakiris Giorgos, Tserionis Giorgos, Tsintzos Christos, Tsironis Kostas, Tsolis Kostas, Hantzaras Apostolos, Charisis Christos, Chatzidimitriou Tzeli, Yalom Reid

The Reasoning of the Exhibition

We usually say that "nature punishes". But nature has no feelings to anger and punish. What appears to us as a punishment is the reaction that our actions cause when disrupting the balance of its elements. Man's interventions, when they are directed by greed, rudeness and recklessness, are dangerous, whether it is the destruction of a forest or an alsyl, or the pollution of the atmosphere, the rivers and the seas.
The primitive man, confronted with the elements of nature, deified them and gave them prices in order to satisfy them. As his knowledge of his natural environment grew, he discovered that he needed to protect it in order to be friendly with him. Thus, vital elements of his survival were devoted to deities, who worshiped with events and protected themselves with sanctity. Thus the forests and gorges were devoted to deities, the trees had a soul that protected them (Driades, Amadryades, Dendrytes gods), the springs, the rivers, the lakes had the fairies, the nymphs, the lamies that prevented the prospective advantage to profit, undermining the future of future generations. The myth of Thessalian Erysithonas, which rescues the poet Kallimachos in the Demetrius, shows that our ancient ancestors had realized that man towards nature must be careful and pious because he will suffer sooner or later the consequences of his own actions, since it is interrelated with the cycle of his life. Erysichthon was an advantageous, profane and ungodly man. One day he was forced to cut a sacred tree of Demeter. Despite the nymphs' wishes and warnings, he formed the tree. For his punishment, Demetra sent him an insatiable hunger that was not satisfied with anything. She ate what she had and did not, spend all her riches to buy all her goods and eat them. He sold his own daughter, the witch Mistra, to buy food. He finally ate his own members and died, never satisfying his hunger. The myth symbolizes the irresponsibility, the unreasonable exploitation of natural resources, which inadvertently consumes insatiably and above its physiological needs, depriving the future of its children and all the alive of nature - the forms of which its daughter takes successively - and he finally eats his own flesh and leads to extinction.