Freely borrowing elements from the Eleusinian Mysteries, the group exhibition Visions from the Underworld, curated by The Agprognostic Temple, takes the myth and the secret cult around it as a starting point and way of navigating between parallel universes.
The city of Elefsina will always be known for the Eleusinian Mysteries – the most secretive religious rites in ancient Greece, celebrated annually for almost two millennia (1600 BC – 400 AD). Key figures of Antiquity such as Pythagoras, Plato, Aristophanes, and Cicero who participated in the Mysteries described them as the greatest experience of their lives. Anyone who would reveal specific details of the initiation ceremony could be punished by death. Hence, to this day, the exact nature of the events – which consisted of a pilgrimage from Athens to Elefsina and a secret initiation rite – is shrouded in mystery. During the ceremony, the initiates would drink kykeon, a sacred barley-based drink that contained the fungus ergot, often causing hallucinatory effects. The festivities took place to commemorate the return of Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, goddess of agriculture and fertility, after she was abducted by Hades. Vowing to avenge her daughter’s abduction, Demeter rendered the earth sterile, causing drought and famine. As a compromise, Persephone would spend several months with Hades in the underworld – symbolizing the dark, fruitless winter months – and the rest of the year with her mother on Mount Olympus.
Curatorial Team: The Agprognostic Temple (Dome Wood & Sam Steverlynck)
Executice Production: Andie Chantzi
Participating artists: Danai Anesiadou, Lysandre Begijn, Serene Blumenthal, Kimsooja, Joris Van de Moortel, Shana Moulton, Panos Tsagaris, Filip Vervaet, McCloud Zicmuse, Theodoros
Opening: 3/2 at 18:00
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Friday: 17.00 – 21.000, Saturday & Sunday: 12.00 – 20.00 | 4/2: Closed | 5/2: 11.00 – 20.00