BERGREN FORUM - "Alternative Art Spaces and A Psychedelic Goddess Cult”
Lydia McCarthyIn Athens there is an active, young, international art community that has sprung up in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. Exhibitions open nightly - in studios, apartments, old homes, parks - with a gritty, experimental and DIY culture taking precedence over commercial, market driven spaces. The energy and chaos of the city permeates the art community. In a northern suburb of Athens lies Eleusina, a Culture Capital of Europe in 2021 and the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the ancient Greek cult of Demeter and Persephone that was active for over 2,000 years. Psychonauts of the 20th century like Gordon Wasson, Albert Hoffman and Terrance McKenna wrote about the secret ritual of the Greater Mystery, believing that the brew ingested by initiates, kykeon, was psychoactive. I will present my research into these two facets of Greek culture and the work I made during a month-long artist residency.
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