Amphiareion of Oropos
Sunday 12th June I 12:00 pm
Visual artist, performer and researcher Mary Zygouri continues her long exploration of the visual practices of site-specific performance and presents her new project “LYSIS” (translates to “deliverance” in Greek), at the archaeological site of Amphiareion of Oropos on Sunday 12th June 2022, with the kind support of NEON Organization of Culture and Development.
In this case, investigating the processes of sleep, dreams and the analysis of dreams as artistic tools the artist has focused her project on the archaeological site of Amphiareion mainly as an ancient dream divinatory and healing shrine, while also dealing with its unique location and geomorphology. Through her research project “LYSIS” and using the artistic process and experience on site, she attempts to re-associate the healing and dream divinatory practices of the past of Amphiareion (dream incubation, purification, dreamy and divinatory enthusiasm, ecstatic lucidity, reverence, dream and water divination etc.) with the poetics of performative action and the methodologies of contemporary performance, adopting the multi-faceted perspective of a dream, and involving in her artistic action the dynamics of symbols, rituals, gestures, nods, and whispers.
The core of this project exploration is based on: a. the enigmatic mythical figure of Amphiaraus (a glorious king, brave warrior, tragic hero, oracle, and healer), b. the ritualistic process of dream incubation (enkoimisis), c. the relation between water and Time (hourglass), and d. the dialectical relation between Art, Dream and reality.
The element which unifies the “narrative” of the actions and the shifting from one location (“station”) to another is the presence of the offerings as markers (over-sized human body parts – eye, ear, mouth, leg, etc.). The offerings will correspond to melea (original hybrid compositions of speech, movement and music) as performative representations of dreamy and other emerging elements.
The exploration experience, in its entirety, will take place at the archaeological site of Amphiareion, including a period of artistic and research preparation (May 12th – June 12th) that will conclude with a live public presentation/performance. During the preparation phase, the artist converses with a number of guests from various science and art fields (theater/performance, music, dance, psychology, archaeology) on the topics introduced through the multi-faceted and polysemous identity of the archaeological site.
The final LYSIS performance on June 12th at the Amphiareion of Oropos will be an idiosyncratic guided tour, a site-specific dreamy narrative during which the audience is asked to follow the performance in six different locations within the archaeological site.
The artist invites the visitor to reflect on the meaning of the healing use of dreams for the sake of performative art, offering visitors a collective multi-sensory and participatory experience, and indirectly highlighting conceivable versions and effects of a collective subconscious process.