UPON THE EARTH UNDER THE CLOUDS*
9th June – 30th November, 2017
Aisxylia Festival 2017 & Eleusis 2012 – Cultural Capital of Europe
Palaio Elaiourgeio, Eleusis | Old Oil Mill, Eleusis
Photo by Nicholas Momferratos
The installation Upon the Earth Under the Clouds by Danae Stratou, was inaugurated on June 9th, 2017 at the Old Oil Mill of Eleusis, within the context of Aisxylia Festival 2017.
Upon the Earth Under the Clouds is a large-scale site-specific installation conceived for the Old Mill and the city of Eleusis. Using water and soil as its core materials and ceramic pots as its dominant morphological feature, the work enters into a dialogue with the rich history of Eleusis, from antiquity to the long industrial history of the city and its present-day structure. Woven into its narrative are the myth of Demeter and Persephone, mortality, the notion of voyaging, the existential quest for a destination, and migration, not only as a defining feature of the city’s history, but also as a repeated historical occurrence.
Through this project, the artist aims to connect past and present, using water as the conduit. Reflecting the sky above, the water’s surface joins earth and sky, the out-of-reach with the tangible and, by extension, the imaginary and the real, mortality and the transcendent, the familiar and the unknown. Flowing water moves and carries us along with it, crossing and connecting places and civilizations. It reflects the vastness of space and hints at the “vast”, eternal flow. It alludes to those communal experiences which bridge conflicts and differences: angst and the adventure that is life, shared by everyone “upon the earth under the clouds”. Stretching out from across the Old Mill, the sea is one of the watery elements conceptually linking the beginning and the end of the installation, being its symbolic entrance and exit.
Water also acts as a means to explore Space, a dimension that permeates Danae Stratou’s body of work. Space here is a specific place that resonates with history, brimming with human stories of various cultural and psychological hues tied to human settlement, birth, co-existence and how people build their lives. The viewer becomes the sensitive receiver of all these aspects and is urged to consider how space influences thought and, conversely, how thought and man’s presence affect space.
Upon the Earth Under the Clouds is a contemporary installation. Its sparseness aims to capture the significance of fundamental questions about life. Focusing on these, incorporating the specific into the general, it hopes to contribute to a viewing of reality with greater clarity and perceptiveness.
Finally, the work is an opportunity to ponder on larger issues such as the role of art in a time of crisis, the political and ethical aspects of art and the way in which the production of a work of art can involve a local community and the resources of a region, particularly in the present circumstances.
A 20′ minute Video Documentary has just been released on Youtube showing the production process of Upon the Earth Under the Clouds, from the construction of the clay pots at the pottery workshop in Crete through to its installation and completion. The documentary is accompanied by songs by Brian Eno from the album: Another Green World.Guided Visits
On the occasion of the extended exhibition period of Upon the Earth Down Under The Clouds and shortly before its conclusion on November 30, Danae Stratou and Alexandra Koroxenides, Art Historian – Project Curator, invite you to 2 guided visits.
Alongside the installation we will visit the exhibition Elements, at the “Leonidas Kanellopoulos” Cultural Center. Elements records and documents aspects of Danae Stratou’s installation Upon the Earth Under the Clouds in a way that communicates with the artist’s previous works, which focus on elements of the natural and human environment.
Guided Visits dates: 5 & 11 November
In addition to scheduled tours, group visits can be arranged upon request. Please email Mrs. Voudouri: email@example.com
*The title comes from a phrase spoken by Panagiotis Farmakis, the protagonist in Filippos Koutsaftis’ documentary Agelastos Petra – Mourning Rock.
Photo by Danae Stratou
The Municipality of Elefsina, Eleusis 2021 Cultural Capital of Europe and the P.A.K.P.A.A.’s Department of Culture jointly host Danae Stratou’s exhibition Elements at the ‘Leonidas Kanellopoulos’ Cultural Centre in Eleusis.
This deeper exploration of Upon the Earth Under the Clouds and the opportunities for further interaction that it provides will continue in the coming months, via a series of educational and other initiatives organized by Eleusis 2021, to be announced shortly.
Alongside Elements (21/9-30/11/2017), Upon the Earth Under the Clouds remains open to the public at the Old Oil Mill. For a more complete experience, a visit that combines both installation and exhibition is recommended.
VISITING INFORMATION:Duration: 21 September- 30 November 2017
Visiting Hours: Tuesday – Friday: 9:00-13:00 &18:00-21:00
Saturday –Sunday: 18:00-21:00
Closed on public holidays
Address: 37 Dragoumi Str, Elefsina
Entrance is free