Antigone Now festival exploring contemporary interpretations of the ancient myth

Onassis Cultural Center New York

October 13, 2016

October 13–16, 2016

Onassis Cultural Center New York
Olympic Tower
645 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022

The Onassis Cultural Center New York launches Antigone Now, a Festival of Arts and Ideas, October 13 through 16, featuring new works by artists Phoebe Giannisi, Alexandra Kehayoglou, Maria Papadimitriou, Georgia Sagri, Stefanos Tsivopoulos and Carrie Mae Weems. The story of Antigone, seen through the eyes of contemporary artists and thinkers, is celebrated in over 30 free events for all ages during Antigone Now. 

One-time only. Reservations required:

Past Tense, October 13, 8pm 
Through song, text, projection, and video, Carrie Mae Weems‘ performance-lecture is informed by Sophocles’ Antigone—about a teenage girl who sets out to do what she believes is morally right. Weems said of Past Tense, “While working on Grace Notes (commissioned by the Spoleto Festival USA) for months it occurred to me that I was telling the story of Antigone, wherein an innocent man dies by unjustified means and his sister fights for the right to bury him honorably. But the wider community refuses her; her right to justice, and to peace, is denied.” Weems explores themes of social justice, violence, gender relations, and politics. She is accompanied by singers Eisa Davis, Alicia Hall Moran, and Imani Uzuri.

Antigone Model – Coda; 2016, October 15, 2pm
Georgia Sagri‘s seven-minute Coda is performed in a loop for half an hour and every repetition presents a different interpretation. Each minute of the variation represents one figure of the Antigone tragedy.

Nomos The Land Song, October 15, 4 pm
Pheobe Giannisi‘s commission is a performance examining the animalistic dimension of tragedy as well as issues of gender, land and dispossession, through movement, music and poetry.  

Art installations on view through December 2016

Alexandra Kehayoglou‘s installation, Repoussoir for a New Perspective, is a large, hand-woven tapestry on view in the public Atrium daily 8 am to 10 pm. In earth tones using tufted wool, the sculptural form represents the cave formations and volcanic activity that produces intricate outcroppings and patterns in the landscape on the Greek island of Milos. 

Laboratory Antigone by Maria Papadimitriou, an immersive installation, comprises elements inspired by the artist’s reflections on the history of ancient Thebes, the personae of Antigone and Oedipus, and impressions while traveling between Athens and Volos, Greece. Suspended animal hides reference six pivotal characters in the myth. Large-scale imagery of a tannery and video of spinning tannery barrels provide an architectural environment and, with the hides, evoke themes of mortality. A recorded monologue from Antigone read by Amalia Moutoussi accompanies the installation. 

In We, Antigone, Stefanos Tsivopoulos produces a narrative based on the life of the film’s subject. Rakeem Edwards is a young, gay, black man born in Georgia and raised in Alaska. He lived in group and foster homes before moving to Portland to pursue an acting career. While Rakeem works several part-time jobs to survive, his main creative output is to perform as a drag queen at parties where he is paid to cry. Through Edwards’ experience, the film questions how issues like race, sexual orientation, income inequality, and social mobility play a major role in defining and expressing oneself. The artist reveals that, as with Antigone, Edwards feels like a stranger in his own land. 

For a detailed schedule and reservations: