212 Medea

The solo exhibitions 212 Medea (Narratives from a place in limbo) by Stefania Strouza, curated by Daphne Dragona. is presented from 4 November 2021 to 23 January 2022 at the Service Yard and the Project Space of the Megaron the Athens Concert Hall.

With a number of works presented for the first time in Greece –two of which were created especially for the exhibition–, the artist refers to the suspended condition in which the planet finds itself today. She focuses on moments of conflict, on imprints of disaster and on the possibility of reparation and regeneration. The exhibition takes its title from the asteroid named 212 Medea, which occupied Stefania Strouza in the context of her artistic and research work on the myth of Medea. Upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere, asteroids are transformed into shooting stars which are also earth-threatening bodies in the event of a collision. Medea is identified with the unpredictable and the destructive but also with the opposition to the self-evident and the imposed. In studying her story, Strouza focuses on an unexplored aspect of her character that demonstrates the anti-heroine’s relation to natural phenomena, animal instincts and the Earth itself, while at the same time always remaining alienated herself. For the artist, the existence of asteroid 212 Medea is a trigger for producing a visual narrative in which the myth’s modern connotations in relation to the natural environment are revealed.

The exhibition presents three sculptures and one video. The sculptures are suggestive of bodies geological and cosmic, human and non-human, material and active, bodies that bear traces of collision but at the same time can bring about changes. Centrally placed is the sculpture 212 Medea (Perpetual Silence Prevails in the Empty Space of Capital), which resembles both an asteroid on a collision course and a female body, referring to the relation between gender identity and the climate crisis. The sculpture 212 Medea (If only I had stayed the animal I was) refers to the acknowledgment of other living worlds beyond the human, while the smaller sculptures SPK-ID 2000212 (A880 CA), in the form of fragments, are a reference to the flows of matter, to moments of explosion and constant transformation. Finally, the video Monologue (Medean Remix) is based on excerpts from the works of Euripides, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Heiner Müller. In this, Medea recalls and embodies the fundamental relations between ‘nature’ and culture, as well as between humans and other living beings.

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