The Onassis Foundation (USA) Announces the
Inaugural Onassis Cultural Center NY Season

Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined, October 8-11
World Citizens, October 23
Commission by Angelo Plessas for The Art Wall, October-December 2015

Heléne Alexopoulos, Andreas Angelidakis, Jonah Bokaer, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Jenny Holzer, Jennifer Homans, Stavros Gasparatos, Paul Giamatti, Angelo Plessas, Narciso Rodriguez, Lorin Stein and Judith Thurman to be featured in an inaugural Arts and Ideas Festival Exploring Contemporary Interpretations of
the Myth of Narcissus

New York, NY – (August 26, 2015) – The Onassis Cultural Center NY launches its inaugural fall season with the Onassis Festival NY 2015.  Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is the first annual festival of arts and ideas, taking place in the newly renovated space in the Olympic Tower in New York City.  The Festival features a kaleidoscopic view of the myth of Narcissus through music, visual art, film, science, literature, choreography, culinary arts, fashion and digital media for curious minds. Free and open to the public, Narcissus Now at the Onassis Cultural Center NY (645 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10022), October 8-11, will include over 40 events for audiences of all ages—novices and scholars alike.  The Inaugural Season continues with the World Citizens symposium on October 23 and music programs in November and December.

Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is the central theme for the first Festival. The myth of Narcissus has fascinated human imagination through time and cultures. With roots lost in antiquity, it first appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, where narcissus is the flower that virginal Persephone plucks when abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld.   The better known telling of the myth comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: a beautiful Greek youth falls in love with his own reflection and wastes away pining for himself; in his place a flower grows, a narcissus, or daffodil which is our signal for spring.  This version of the myth is the defining allegory of the post-modern age.  From psychoanalysis to selfies, the Narcissus myth serves as an emblematic example of the unparalleled influence of Classical antiquity on our culture.

“Through this new initiative, an annual festival of arts and ideas, we take a fresh look into the classical tradition and the complex ways it forms part of our own vocabulary. We invite the community to join us as we explore how ideas and ancient models, such as Narcissus, are interpreted today and what we can learn from them,” says Amalia Cosmetatou, executive and cultural director of the Onassis Foundation (USA).  “We will offer opportunities for Greek and American artists to work side by side on specially commissioned works and to explore how Hellenic culture inspires the creative arts and informs our lives.”

Through exclusive commissions and by drawing unexpected connections, the Narcissus Now program showcases the impact of the Narcissus myth across a broad and diverse spectrum of artistic disciplines, including new collaborations between Greek and American artists.  The Festival’s online presence will make the program available globally.  Violaine Huisman is guest curator for the first festival and Ellen Dennis its producer.  Narcissus Now is funded exclusively by the Onassis Foundation (USA).

“The story of Narcissus is everywhere, from selfies to the excesses of social media. It’s so timely that it feels prescient. Yet the myth has an enigmatic quality, too, exposing the perils of self-regard, of solitude, of beauty.  The Festival presents all these aspects of Narcissus, reimagined across the arts. Our intention is to explore the intellectual depth of the myth with rigor and whimsy and a sense of fun.” says Violaine Huisman, curator of Narcissus Now.

NARCISSUS NOW– SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS

Triple Echo (October 8): In an original dance and music creation, Jonah Bokaer, “contemporary dance’s renaissance man” (The New York Times) and Stavros Gasparatos, preeminent composer of the new Greek generation, team up with extraordinary collaborators to launch the Festival with a performance which will lead the audience across the expanse of the newly renovated venue. Set to live music, Triple Echo will feature three solo dance performances, lighting design by Aaron Copp and costumes by “master of minimalism” (T Magazine) fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez.

Narcissus & Art: In the Woods (October 9): Narcissus Now will feature this highly original lecture on the myth of Narcissus in the art world today by The Bruce High Quality Foundation.  Created in 2004, The Bruce High Quality Foundation is an arts collective based in Brooklyn, which – in its own words – is “… an experiment in the sense that we are trying out ways to learn from each other, we’re evaluating the results as we go, and we’re refining our approach. We don’t expect to develop the perfect method. But we do intend to continually perfect our method.”  The collective includes five to eight rotating and anonymous members. The New York Times’ T Magazine called their work a “curious mash-up of sober scholarship and juvenile pranksterism that is not only novel, it’s also intriguingly hard to nail down.” Humorous and erudite, their work has been presented at the Whitney Biennale, MoMA, PS1, the New Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as in Europe.

I AMness: This site-specific installation by Angelo Plessas was inspired by a book of the same title, which speaks about existential psychology, narcissism, and addiction. I AMness is comprised of two components: the art website “i-amness.com” and a wall painting for The Art Wall, which will create the illusion of animation.  Angelo Plessas’s work revolves around the issues of internet freedom and online personality and has been exhibited at Cooper Union, Volta art fair, Deitch Projects and White Columns. I AMness is the premiere installation of a new initiative, The Art Wall, which will host specially commissioned works by contemporary artists who have been invited to make their creative process visible to the public. It will be on view until December.

Narcissus & Ballet (October 10): Every dancer develops an intimate and complex relationship with the mirror and self-image. Jennifer Homans, author of national bestseller Apollo’s Angels: A History of Ballet, will talk with internationally renowned ballerina emeritus Heléne Alexopoulos about her understanding of the Narcissus myth as it relates to her experience and her profession at large.  Ms. Alexopoulos, a principal dancer with New York City Ballet for 24 years, has been hailed by the New York Times as “blessed with a natural glamour that fills the stage…at her most subdued, she radiates a compelling sense of mystery. At her most dramatic, she moves boldly, even brazenly, exuding passion with either humor or sensuality.”

AROUND NYC

The Festival will also feature off-site events. “We want to engage audiences with the story of Narcissus in new and active ways” said Amalia Cosmetatou. “So we will take the spirit of our Festival to the streets of New York.”

  • Narcissus & Architecture (October 9): With Matt Postal, Municipal Art Society of New York. Starting at the Olympic Tower, a walking tour explores human self-glorification in the architecture of midtown Manhattan.  1 to 2:30pm.
  • Narcissus & Poetry: POEMobile (October 9; Astoria, Queens): A hand-painted truck that projects poems onto buildings and underscores them with music and live performances. POEMobile is produced by City Lore and Bowery Arts + Science and will be presented at the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York in Astoria.
  • Narcissus & Song (October 10; BAM, Brooklyn): Eleanor Friedberger, the singer-songwriter best known as the frontwoman of Brooklyn indie rock band The Fiery Furnaces, helps celebrate Narcissus in lyrics with selections from her “warm, inviting and groovy” (T Magazine) last album “Personal Record.”

FESTIVAL FAMILY DAY

Sunday, October 11 is Festival Family Day, a day of fun and exploring the myth through various disciplines from the specially commissioned short animated film Moon Mirrors to building their own Reflective City with Materials for the Arts. Families can create their own Narcissus flower, Narcissus comic, and Narcissus soundtrack, and hear the myth in an interactive storytelling session. Featuring experienced arts and science educators and astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman.

ADDITIONAL FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • The Seminar (October 10): Intimate groups of up to 12 people can participate in round-table 45-minute sessions featuring prominent speakers. The schedule is as follows:

11 AM: Fani Papageorgiou on the virtues of Not Writing

12 PM:  Sean Carney, Andrea Arrubla, and Jarrett Earnest of the BHQFU on self-portraiture

1 PM:  Jeff Dolven on Milton’s “Narcissa” in Paradise Lost

2 PM:  Kristin Dombek on how narcissistic are you?

3 PM:  Mina Stone on reflecting yourself in your cooking

4 PM:  Jamieson Webster on Freud’s On Narcissism and Lacan’s Mirror Stage

  • Narcissus & Literature (October 10): Lorin Stein (editor of the Paris Review) will moderate a panel featuring Elif Batuman, John Jeremiah Sullivan, and Jessica Moss.  How do writers interact with the mirror of the page? Award-winning essayists discuss the uses and perils of the first person in modern and classic literature.
  • Narcissus & Acting (October 10): Paul Giamatti and Vanessa Grigoriadis engage in an in-depth discussion on the complex relationship between performer and audience, and the mirrors they hold up to each other.
  • Moon Mirrors: A Short Film (October 11): Award-winning filmmakers Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney will tell the story of an experiment in which Apollo astronauts left mirror arrays on the moon to study its relation to the earth. This animated short science film offers a cosmic look at the myth. Following each screening, filmmakers and astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman answer questions from the audience. An introduction presents the context for the 6-minute film screening, followed by a 30-minute audience discussion and science demonstration of how the retroflectors, the special mirrors placed on the moon, work. Moderated by Matthew Stanley.  Screening times: 10-11 AM; 12-1 PM; 2-3 PM.
  • Narcissus & Fashion (October 9): In choosing what to wear, each of us starts our day with a moment of creative narcissism. An award-winning writer, an illustrator, and a designer discuss the importance of “I” in fashion. Moderated by Judith Thurman with Konstantin Kakanias, Mary Katrantzou, and Sarah Lewis.
  • YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOU STOP AND THE WORLD BEGINS: Jenny Holzer: Jenny Holzer’s statement “YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOU STOP AND THE WORLD BEGINS” is part of her “Truisms” series, which the artist started in the late 1970s. It will be displayed on the new waterfall at the Onassis Cultural Center NY for the duration of the Festival.

DIGITAL PROGRAMS

Narcissus Now Podcast: Created by journalist, documentarian, and sound artist Tania Ketenjian. Specially commissioned podcast features artists’ and scholars’ perspectives on the myth from its origin to its imprint in contemporary culture, scored with music by festival composer Stavros Gasparatos. Interviewees include Simon Blackburn, Jonah Bokaer, Angelos Chaniotis, Stavros Gasparatos, Violaine Huisman, Nina Katchadourian, Laura Kipnis, Daniel Mendelsohn, Adam Phillips and Lorin Stein.

 THE INAUGURAL SEASON CONTINUES

With a nod to the symposia of ancient Greece, the Onassis Cultural Center NY has organized a contemporary conversation entitled World Citizens (October 23). Starting with the concept of cosmopolitanism as proposed by Greek philosopher Diogenes, an internationally distinguished panel of thinkers will discuss cultural understanding between people and nations and the long-lasting values that unite us.  The World Citizens participants include: K. Anthony Appiah, professor of Philosophy, Law, New York University, Elizabeth Diller, founding partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfrew, Pico Iyer, novelist and essayist, Yorgos Loukos, director, Lyon Opera Ballet, and President, Athens & Epidaurus Festival, Susan Meiselas, photographer, Magnum Photos and Orhan Pamuk, Nobel-laureate writer. The conversation will be moderated by Paul Holdengräber, director, LIVE from the NYPL. 

OCCNY will also present two musical highlights this season: an in-depth retrospective on the long tradition of Rebetika: The Blues of Greece (November 10 and November 12) and the world premiere of Petros Klampanis’s new jazz composition Chroma (December 9).

A full schedule of Festival events and a complete list of participants is available at onassisfestivalny.org.

All Festival events are free and open to the public; reservations, required for some events, are available at onassisfestivalny.org on September 8.

About the ONASSIS CULTURAL CENTER NY  

Founded in 2000, the Onassis Cultural Center NY explores Hellenic culture, from antiquity to today, through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions, events and online engagement. Located in midtown Manhattan, in Olympic Tower, the newly renovated creative space offers experiences that inspire and support the interaction between audiences and artists and thinkers in all cultural fields from visual arts, dance, film, literature, music and theater to the humanities.  Programs and exhibitions—from scholarly to those designed for families and novices —are presented free of charge to make the experience accessible to all.

About THE ONASSIS FOUNDATION (USA)

The Onassis Foundation (USA) is committed to the promotion of Hellenic culture.  By cooperating with educational and cultural institutions in Greece and throughout the Americas, the Onassis Foundation (USA) promotes cultural relations.  The mission of the Onassis Foundation (USA) is realized through two major initiatives: the Onassis Cultural Center New York (OCCNY) presents art and archaeological exhibitions and a season of major cultural and artistic events focused primarily on the humanities and science.  The academic program, the University Seminar Program, places eminent scholars from all over the world in universities in North and Latin America for lectures and seminars on topics related to Hellenic civilization.

###

Onassis Cultural Center NY< Olympic Tower, 645 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10022
www.onassisusa.org

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Mason
Bruce.A.Mason@gmail.com
917-541-9014

Maria Galanou
mgalanou@onassisusa.org
917-732-7167 direct
212-486-4448 x113

Narcissus Now Festival Launches With Triple Echo (World Premiere), Collaboration by Choreographer Jonah Bokaer and Composer Stavros Gasparatos

October 8, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Olympic Tower, NYC

New York, NY, (September 9, 2015) — Jonah Bokaer, American/Tunisian “contemporary dance’s renaissance man” (The New York Times), and Stavros Gasparatos, a leading composer of the new Greek generation, team up with extraordinary collaborators for the world premiere of a site-specific dance and music creation, Triple Echo. Commissioned by the Onassis Cultural Center NY, the performance will launch the first annual Onassis Festival NY, titled Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined. Triple Echo consists of three solos, set to live music and danced by three remarkable performers: Bessie-Award recipient Hristoula Harakas; founding member of Shen Wei Dance Arts Sara Procopio; and co-creator of the newly made performing collective “….don’t they?,” Mata Sakka, a member of Sasha Waltz & Guests. Costumes are by “master of minimalism” (T Magazine) Narciso Rodriguez and lighting design is by Aaron Copp (Bessie-Award with Jonah Bokaer, 2008).

Triple Echo draws its inspiration from the female figure of the myth of Narcissus, the nymph Echo. Bokaer explores the way mimesis, dance and self-reflection operate, how women view themselves while alone and what being a citizen of the Mediterranean means today. Gasparatos builds an 11-channel sound installation that illustrates the discourse between the subject and its reflections. The captured voice of Echo interacts with “The Rhythm Method” string quartet, performers and the acoustic space, and evolves into an endless emotional feedback between the music, the performance and the audience.  Percussion is by Matt Evans and voice (recorded) by Savina Yannatou.

The performance will take place in the newly renovated Onassis Cultural Center gallery, gallery foyer and Olympic Tower Atrium, connected with a downward glass staircase and a waterfall leading to a pool. The music is designed to awaken the new space. Each solo will take place in one of the renovated areas with the audience moving at will across the expanse of the space to experience the event.

“The Onassis Cultural Center celebrates its 15-year presence right in the heart of NYC. We are grateful to the public of this great city for embracing our work through all these years,” states the President of the Onassis Foundation Dr. Anthony Papadimitriou. “Now the time has come to move forward, to enhance the presence of the present and the future of Greek culture, to bring together the ancestors and the descendants. With a larger team of people, and fruitful collaborations with significant organizations like BAM and the NYPL, we evaluate, create bridges, and magnify the spectrum of our audience and our content.”

Presented by the Onassis Cultural Center NY and running October 8-11, Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is a festival of arts and ideas which offers a kaleidoscopic view of the myth of Narcissus through music, visual art, film, science, literature, choreography, culinary arts, fashion and digital media. The festival will feature over 40 free events for audiences of all ages in New York City.

The world premiere of choreographer Jonah Bokaer and composer Stavros Gasparatos is free and open to the public.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made at onassisfestivalny.org

The Olympic Tower is located at the Onassis Cultural Center NY, 645 5th Avenue at 51ST Street, New York.

For further information, visit onassisfestivalny.org

* Update as of October 1: Callie Nichole Lyons has replaced Mata Sakka who had to withdraw due to illness. Callie Nichole Lyons is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, writer and aspiring filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY.

About the Artists:

Jonah Bokaer is an international choreographer, and visual artist. He is a pioneer in designing site-specific choreography for museum spaces internationally (2002-Present). Bokaer’s work has been produced in Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, United Kingdom, and 22 of the United States. In May 2015 Bokaer became a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow in Choreography (2015-2016).

Stavros Gasparatos is a renowned composer and digital sound artist. He mainly composes music for dance, theatre and cinema, but he is also frequently working on solo projects. His music has been performed in all major Greek theatres and concert venues, including the Epidaurus Theatre, the Onassis Cultural Centre, the Megaron Concert Hall, and also in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Bulgaria, USA, and China. He is a frequent collaborator of the National Greek Theatre, and he is considered as one of the most important composer of the new Greek generation. In 2009 he composed the music for the opening ceremony of the New Acropolis Museum in Athens, directed by Athina Tsagari.

Narciso Rodriguez is one of the foremost American designers during the last two decades, Narciso Rodriguez plays a singular role in global fashion. As Anna Wintour, editor in chief of American Vogue has said, “No one but Narciso has ever made a simple line look more stunning.” In 1996, Rodriguez received international acclaim when he designed the bias-cut sheath wedding dress that his close friend Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John Kennedy, Jr. On November 4, 2008, Narciso Rodriguez became part of a monumental event in American history. To celebrate her husband Barack Obama’s triumphant victory as the first African American president of The United States, Michelle Obama chose to wear a dress from the designer’s Spring 2009 Collection. “It was both emotional and exhilarating,” Rodriguez said. “To be part of this memorable moment in history was a great honor.” Today, Narciso Rodriguez’s fashion house is based in New York City where he shows his women’s ready-to-wear collections.

Aaron Copp’s most recent projects include designs for Natalie Merchant’s 2014 US tour, Sinead O’Connor’s Gospel Sessions at Lincoln Center, Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Off-Broadway, tour, and DVD release), a new concert DVD by Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble at Tanglewood, Where We Live by SO Percussion at BAM, and The Goat Rodeo Sessions US tour with Yo-Yo Ma and Chris Thile.  Aaron has designed for The Old Globe, The Kennedy Center, Dallas Theater Center, and other major theaters around the country.  He has worked extensively in the dance world, and in 2008 received his second Bessie Award for Jonah Bokaer’s The Invention Of Minus One.  He had a long association with Merce Cunningham, designing such pieces as Ground Level Overlay, Windows, and Biped, for which he also won a Bessie.  Aaron received an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a BA from SUNY-Binghamton.

About the Onassis Cultural Center NY:

Founded in 2000, the Onassis Cultural Center NY explores Hellenic culture, from antiquity to today, through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions, events and online engagement. Located in midtown Manhattan, in Olympic Tower, the newly renovated creative space offers experiences that inspire and support the interaction between audiences and artists and thinkers in all cultural fields from visual arts, dance, film, literature, music and theater to the humanities.  Programs and exhibitions-from scholarly to those designed for families and novices -are presented free of charge to make the experience accessible to all.

For more information, please contact:

 Bruce Mason
Bruce.A.Mason@gmail.com   
917-541-9014

 Jenny Lerner  
Lernernyc@aol.com   
212-486-7229

 Maria Galanou  
mgalanou@onassisusa.org   
917-732-7167 direct 
or 
212-486-4448 x113

logo 300dpi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: MEDIA ALERT

Free fun-filled events and activities for the whole family
Sunday, October 11th is Festival Family Day
at the Onassis Cultural Center NY

New York, NY (September 17, 2015)—Columbus Day means more than a long weekend honoring Christopher Columbus. At the Onassis Cultural Center NY, it is a full day of arts, cultural, hands-on activities and entertaining free events for the whole family.  Festival Family Day on Sunday, October 11 is a highlight of the Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined Festival.  Adults and children can explore the myth through many creative experiences, from the specially commissioned short animated film Moon Mirrors, to building their own Reflective City with Materials for the Arts and discover the Greek origins of common English words in The Greek Wordsmith. Families can create their own Narcissus flower, a Narcissus comic, and Narcissus soundtrack, and hear the myth in an interactive storytelling session. Festival Family Day will also feature experienced arts and science educators as well as astronaut Jeffrey HoffmanFestival Family Day is co-curated by Violaine Huisman and Tamar MacKay.

Presented by the Onassis Cultural Center NY Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is a festival of arts and ideas which offers a kaleidoscopic view of the myth of Narcissus through music, visual art, film, science, literature, choreography, culinary arts, fashion and digital media. The Festival, Oct 8-11, will feature over 40 free events for audiences of all ages in New York City.

Following is the Festival Family Day schedule for your consideration.  Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information.

SUN, OCT 11
FESTIVAL FAMILY DAY—FOR ALL AGES

NARCISSUS & SPACE:
A SHORT FILM: MOON MIRRORS
10—11AM; 12NOON—1PM; 2—3PM

CREATED BY SHARON SHATTUCK AND IAN CHENEY
MODERATED BY MATTHEW STANLEY,
AND ASTRONAUT JEFFREY HOFFMAN
A SHORT ANIMATED FILM FOR AGES 5 AND UP

Featuring an experiment in which Apollo astronauts left mirror arrays on the moon to study its relation to the earth; this animated short science film offers a cosmic look at the myth. Following each screening, filmmakers and astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman answer questions from the audience, and will engage in an interactive demonstration on how the moon mirrors (retroreflectors) work.

About the Participants

Sharon Shattuck’s first feature documentary, From This Day Forward, is in festivals now. She co-created the New York Times series ‘Animated Life,’ and animated the films The City Dark (2011) and The Search for General Tso (2014).

Ian Cheney is an Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. His films and collaborations include King Corn, Truck Farm, The City Dark and most recently The Search for General Tso. He lives in New England.

Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman is a professor in MIT’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. As a NASA astronaut (1978-1997) Dr. Hoffman made five space flights, becoming the first astronaut to log 1000 hours of flight time aboard the Space Shuttle. He was a member of the spacewalking team that repaired the optics of the Hubble Space Telescope.

THE PLAYROOM
Come take a class with our expert educators.

MIRROR DANCE
TWO TIMES: 9:15—10AM; 10:15—11AM
WITH MARIA HANLEY
Dance to your reflection in this creative movement workshop geared to young children and their families.
AGES 3–5

TELL IT AGAIN
TWO TIMES: 11:15AM—12PM; 1:15—2PM
WITH EFI LATIFI
Engage with an interactive and family-friendly retelling of the myth of Narcissus.
AGES 5 AND UP

NARCISSUS AND ECHO
TWO TIMES: 12:15—1PM; 2:15—3PM
WITH BENJAMIN WEINER
Create your own soundscape inspired by the Narcissus myth.
AGES 5 AND UP

IN THE AGORA
The Olympic Tower Atrium will turn into a marketplace of drop-in activities for the whole family.  Take a class, hear a story, and join in a craft-making session. Children who visit all of the activities will receive a special Narcissus gift!  Activities include:
 NARCISSUS FLOWER CRAFT
WITH JEN KELLY
Learn how to make a craft paper daffodil and take it home.

THE TRUE MIRROR
WITH DANELLE MARQUI BROWN
See yourself the way others do, and learn about the science of perception and the history of
Mirrors.

MEET NARCISSUS
CREATED PAPERKINGDOM AND DKD STUDIO
WITH EFI LATIFI
Create your own myth comic inspired by Meet the Greek’s special edition paper cutouts.

THE GREEK WORDSMITH
WITH ANGELIKI AGKA
Do you know there is a plethora of English words that have their origin in the Greek language?
Come play with “idea,” “drama,” “phobia,” “autograph,” “geography,” “dynamite,” and many others.

BIBLIOTHEKE
WITH ATHENA DANALAKIS
Stop, sit, and read in our pop-up library, curated to relate to our theme. Librarian Athena Danalakis will be sharing her favorites in read-alouds for the whole family.

REFLECTOPOLIS
WITH MATERIALS FOR THE ARTS
What would Narcissus’ world look like today? Help us find out by building your own reflective city.  These workshops will use all recycled materials.

 Free admission for all Onassis Festival NY 2015 events.  Registration is required for some events.

 The Olympic Tower is located at the Onassis Cultural Center NY, 645 Fifth Avenue at 51ST Street, New York.

 For further information, visit onassisfestivalny.org

About the Onassis Cultural Center NY

Founded in 2000, the Onassis Cultural Center NY explores Hellenic culture, from antiquity to today, through a rich and diverse program of exhibitions, events and online engagement. Located in midtown Manhattan, in Olympic Tower, the newly renovated creative space offers experiences that inspire and support the interaction between audiences and artists and thinkers in all cultural fields from visual arts, dance, film, literature, music and theater to the humanities.  Programs and exhibitions—from scholarly to those designed for families and novices —are presented free of charge to make the experience accessible to all.

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Mason
Bruce.A.Mason@gmail.com
917-541-9014

Maria Galanou
mgalanou@onassisusa.org
917-732-7167 direct
212-486-4448 x113

OCC NEWS RELEASE LOGO

 Narcissus Now Festival

 Reimagining the Myth through Artists’ Eyes

 New Commissions by Andreas Angelidakis, Angelo Plessas, and Konstantin Kakanias.

 US Premieres by Blind Adam, Georgia Kotretsos and

Eriphyli Veneri

 Works on Loan by Lynda Benglis and Jenny Holzer

 

New York, NY (September 25, 2015):  The Narcissus Now Festival, a multidisciplinary weekend of arts and ideas expressed through art, music, film, choreography, literature and fashion, presents new, emerging and renowned artists, both Greek and American, as they respond to, interpret and celebrate the central Festival theme – Narcissus. Newly commissioned works by Andreas Angelidakis, Angelo Plessas, and Konstantin Kakanias will share the spotlight with works by artists working from Greece and in the USA at the Onassis Cultural Center NY. Online audiences can view the digital version of The Art Wall installation by Plessas and the Konstantin Kakanias illustrations commissioned for the Festival.

Presented free of charge during the Festival and extended for the Columbus Day holiday through Monday, October 12, the artists and works on view include:

 Newly Commissioned Works

THE ART WALL

I AMness   2015   by Angelo Plessas

I AMness is a site-specific installation that comprises a website and a mural exploring the allure of the Internet for modern narcissists. In the virtual universe of the web, the narcissist discards one identity only to reappear in a myriad of aliases. Similarly, the repeating mandalas of I AMness create vivid and hallucinatory visual effects that attract and capture the gaze, dictating the viewer’s perceptual experience. The installation is accompanied online by the website I-amness.com.

Plessas, a Greek-Italian artist based in Athens, investigates the changing role of art and social practice in the time of the Internet through performances, sculptures, installations, books, interactive websites (more than sixty since 2000), and live-stream events. His work focuses on themes of authority and identity, as well as on the nature of abstract emotions experienced through electronic communication. Angelo Plessas recently won the prestigious DESTE Prize 2015 awarded by a distinguished international jury.

The Art Wall remains on view through December 2015 in the Olympic Tower Atrium; daily 8 am to 10 pm.

 

Mirrorsite   2015 – ongoing   by Andreas Angelidakis

Andreas Angelidakis has curated the display of all works of art on view in the gallery of the Onassis Cultural Center to create an immersive atmosphere. Part of this artistic ensemble is his Mirrorsite, an ongoing investigation into the information overload that is experienced on the Internet. The project, an environmental projection, is based on a series of landscapes of mirrors, the ideal retreat for the modern Narcissus, one where he or she seeks refuge from saturation. However, the mirrors and their reflections will eventually trap Narcisuss with an illusion of infinite virtual spaces from which he will never be able to escape.

Angelidakis is an Athens-based artist and architect educated at the Southern California Institute of Architecture and Columbia University. His works lie at the intersection of art and architecture and focus on the concept of space and buildings, the society that inhabits them, and on the ways in which the Internet changes our behavior and perception of architecture. His projects have been on display in solo and group exhibitions in prestigious venues in Europe, Asia, and the U.S.

 

On View Online premiering September 30, 2015

On view, online at onassisfestivalny.org and onassisusa.org

The Inaugural Season Illustrations by Konstantin Kakanias

Konstantin Kakanias was commissioned to provide the illustrations for both the Onassis Festival NY 2015 and the Inaugural Season. Based on the iconographies that traditionally decorated Greek ceramics from antiquity, the images are updated with contemporary relevance through the insight and creative genius of the artist.

Konstantin Kakanias’s drawings, paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and animated films have been exhibited worldwide. His drawings have been published in magazines internationally including The New YorkerInterviewVogue, and the New York Times, where he is currently a contributing editor for magazine. He has also published several books of his work, and designed textiles for both fashion and home decoration.

 

Works on Loan for the Narcissus Now Festival

Ten Columns (Sanctuary)   2013   by Blind Adam   US Premiere

Blind Adam is a former Greek fashion editor whose genetic condition restricts his sight. This physical visual impairment has challenged the artist towards a new vision to explore and communicate art: his yarn constructions and canvases focus on the impossibility of perfect perception, demonstrating the deceptiveness of physical form and the fallibility of vision.

On view is Ten Columns, part of the installation Sanctuary, a ghostly Parthenon that charges the space with spirituality. These classical-inspired columns are testimony to the futile human impulse to create order out of chaos through aesthetic harmony, and to circumscribe and communicate the unknown. The structure of Sanctuary is insubstantial: the elements of this virtual temple collapse upon physical contact, confirming the treachery of human perception.

Blind Adam (Thanos Kyriakides) is based in Athens, Greece. He has presented his work in solo exhibitions at Galerie 104 Kleber, Paris (2014), The Breeder, Athens (2013), Kunsthalle Athena, Athens (2013), and at Suzy Tros Project Space, Athens (2012). Selected group exhibitions include “Hell As Pavillion” curated by Nadia Argyropoulou at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2013), The Art of This Century at the Alex Mylona Museum in Athens (2011), at A Shaded View On Fashion Film festival, Centre Pompidou, Paris, (2011), at Chagallesque, Hydra School Projects in Hydra (2010).

 

NOW   1973 | 11:45 minutes   by Lynda Benglis

The artist plays with two refracted images of herself on screen, directing and commanding her other self. The video was highly edited and re-taped to blend present and past sequences and selves to enhance the feeling of artifice. Using this technique Benglis blurs the line between documentary and performance, making it impossible for the viewer to understand which version of the artist is present, which is past, and which of these is therefore truly performing.

Lynda Benglis, a Greek-American sculptor and visual artist, is known for her wax paintings and poured latex sculptures. She worked and studied in Lake Charles and New Orleans (Louisiana), and New York. She held over 75 solo exhibitions and numerous retrospectives within America and around the world and her work is on display in national and international public collections.

Benglis executed a number of videos in the mid 1970s, continuing her exploration of female sexuality and identity—an overriding theme in her work. The interest in human form and presence in her process-oriented sculptural work finds its way into her self-reflexive, investigative videos.

 

YOU MUST KNOW WHERE YOU STOP AND THE WORLD BEGINS

From Truisms   1977-79   by Jenny Holzer

Projected on the Olympic Tower waterfall

For more than thirty-five years, Jenny Holzer has presented her astringent ideas, arguments, and sorrows in public places and international exhibitions, including 7 World Trade Center, the Venice Biennale, the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her medium, whether formulated as a T-shirt, a plaque, or an LED sign, is writing, and the public dimension is integral to the delivery of her work. Starting in the 1970s with the New York City posters, and continuing through her recent light projections on landscape and architecture, her practice has rivaled ignorance and violence with humor and kindness. Holzer received the Leone d’Oro at the Venice Biennale in 1990, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in 1996, and the Barnard Medal of Distinction in 2011. She holds honorary degrees from Smith College, The New School, the Rhode Island School of Design, Williams College, and Ohio University.

On view in the Olympic Tower Atrium; daily 8 am to 6 pm

 

Being-seen-by-another is the truth of seeing the other   2011

by Georgia Kotretsos   US Premiere

In the myth of Narcissus, a pool served as the surface onto which he gazed at his own reflection. In Kotretsos’ work, that surface is the audience’s gaze: her artwork is the place where the viewer’s gaze finds refuge, and yet, the work is also reflected in the viewer’s gaze, in a complex and mutual narcissistic relationship. The  triptych on view in the Foyer are the result of three consecutive moments, an open invitation for further narcissism that finds an interesting parallel with the ancient Greek myth, where the act of gazing takes central stage in the doomed love of the nymph Echo for Narcissus.

Georgia Kotretsos is a visual artist based in Athens who has lived and studied in South Africa, Natal and the United States. Her practice encourages speculative approaches to how knowledge is produced by resisting its traditional and historical acquisition.

She has exhibited in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad and has had five solo shows, most recently at the Maximilians Forum in Munich, Germany organized and curated by C9. She co-founded with artist, Natasha Papadopoulou, the Athens based collective WOMEN WITH TALENTS (2013) and co-founded Boots Contemporary Art Space, St. Louis (Missouri), USA (2006). She founded and edited the Boot Print journal (2006-10) and in 2009-13, served as a columnist for the PBS Arts feature Art:21 with her column “Inside the Artist’s Studio”. In December she will be an artist-in-residence at the International Artists in Bern program.

 

Moonstruck   2010 | 3:47 minutes   by Eriphyli Veneri   US Premiere

Described by the artist as “a re-contextualization of the self, the return journey to homeland Greece” the video presents obvious visual cues for Narcissus, perverting the myth with refreshing humor and self-derision. In Moonstruck, the artist throws effervescent paracetamol tablets into the sea, reflecting on the melancholia of returning in a place where the familiar has now turned unfamiliar, and the homesickness at home.

Eriphyli Veneri is an artist based in Athens. She has studied Painting at the Fine Arts School of Athens and she holds a Master’s degree from the Bauhaus University Weimar and a second Master’s from the University of the Arts Berlin. She has been displaying her work in solo and group exhibitions since 2006; in 2012 she was awarded the 2nd Spyropoulos Prize for her artistic practice and in 2013 she represented the Greek Participation at the 16. Biennale of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean in the field of visual arts. Since 2014 she is a doctorate student at the Department of Architecture of the University of Thessaly (UTH) in Greece.

Media Contacts:

Bruce Mason
Festival Publicist
914 541 9014

Maria Galanou
Media Relations Officer
917 732 7167

 festival-header

MEDIA ALERT ~ October 6, 2015

The Onassis Foundation presents the ONASSIS FESTIVAL NY 2015 ~ Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined from October 8-11, 2015, an entertaining four-day festival of arts and ideas for curious minds of all ages — scholars and novices alike. Festival events will be held at the Onassis Cultural Center NY in Olympic Tower, at BAM in Brooklyn, on a walking tour of New York City, and in Astoria.

With FREE ADMISSION for all, Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is a festival experience you don’t want to miss. The events feature a fascinating mix of 40 entertaining and informative performances, installations, talks, readings, discussions, hands-on activities and more in the fields of music, visual art, science, literature, choreography, film and animation, culinary arts, fashion and digital media. For families, Sunday, October 11 is dedicated to you. Join us for a weekend of experiences you’ll be talking about for years.

WHAT: Onassis Festival NY 2015 ~ Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined
ENTRY: FREE ADMISSION; Reservations required for some events.
WHEN: Thursday-Monday, October 8-12, 2015
HOURS: Thursday 10/8 7 pm-9 pm
Friday 10/9 11am-7 pm; Off site in Astoria: 8 -10 pm
Saturday 10/10 11am-7:30 pm; Off site at BAM: 9-11 pm
Sunday 10/11 9 am-3 pm
ADDED: Monday 10/12: 10 am- 8 pm for all visual art in the atrium and gallery.
WHO:  Over 70 performers and participants including — but not limited to — Heléne Alexopoulos, Jonah Bokaer, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Jenny Holzer, Jennifer Homans, Stavros Gasparatos, Paul Giamatti, Konstantin Kakanias, Angelo Plessas, Narciso Rodriguez, Lorin Stein, Judith Thurman and more.
WHERE: Onassis Cultural Center NY – Olympic Tower
645 5th Ave, NYC, Entrances on 51st &52nd Streets btw Madison & Fifth Ave

For more detailed list of events, performers, presenters, and more: onassisfestivalny.org.
Information about the Onassis Foundation (USA): www.onassisusa.org

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bruce Mason
Bruce.A.Mason@gmail.com
917 541 9014

Maria Galanou
mgalanou@onassisusa.org
917 732-7167