Helen’s Journey – Ex Convento del Ritiro – Syracuse 24th May / 24th July

The 2019 appointment with “Nostos”and with the Premio Nazionale Custodi della Bellezza(National Prize Guardians of Beauty) will have as a background our Syracuse and will be embellished and accompanied by an important exhibition of two extraordinary artists who are able to “tell”, with surprising effectiveness, the relationship between Myth and modernity through dreamlike and symbolic tools of art.

In fact, observing Andrea Chisesi’s and Stefania Pennacchio’s artworks, collected in this magnificent exhibition idea curated by Marcella Damigella and housed in the decadent and beautiful Chapel of the Convento del Ritiro, there is a clear and distinct feeling of an extraordinary ability to hold the thread of the memory of the classical tradition.

A continuous trace that enhances its root.

A thread – more or less visible, more or less thin and supple, more or less elaborate – but a thread stretched between new landing shore and the origin: in this sense, the displacement and the temporal dislocation become a treasure and a resource.

A “break-in”of the classicin our time.

Therefore, the mythical figures of Helen, Achilles, Hector, of the Trojan horse, represent the life breath of the ancient Gods, the power of their myths and their images. And in the contemporary world all these things do not fade out but they disguise themselves and continue in the impulse to the epiphany and to the representation: trace of a discontinuous line, sometimes karstic, which draws the graph of the themes and figures from classical antiquity in their rhapsodic re-surfacing.

Expertly woven together threads that shape the variegated fabric of Western memory.

The Iliad bears the name of an Asian city (Ilio or Troy) and of an epochal war that marks the first decisive rift between East and West, the triumph of allied Greece over the richest and most famous city of the Troas. However, the poem is often quoted with the word that inaugurates it,menis, a strong, threatening, fatal term.

Cosmic and universal wrath.

Not only the “fury of Achilles”, but a force that upsets the world and includes, in addition to war, all that somehow disturbs the evolution of human affairs.

War and peace.

Achilles is its iconological reflection. The siege and the court of justice, the ambush and the harvest, the massacre and the wheat harvesting, and finally, the dance that symbolizes the human history that turns in circle, changing only in the forms.

The figure of Helen, archetype of femininity and fate.

The Greeks were a curious, insatiable and imaginative people.

The less they care about the authors, the more they fell in love with the characters, and around them they wove a network of anecdotes and true or false news that were carefully collected by historians and mythographers, when these stories were not re-proposed with various manipulations in poetic works, both lyrical or tragic.

The Homeric Achilles seems to have been born, grown up, and died in Troy. He represents the most archaic Greek ideal: young, blond, beautiful, noble and valorous – and at the same time violent, irascible, self-centred, and devoted to arms and to war. Double, but not by calculation but by his impetuous youth without self-control. Schlegel left this description of him: “the strongest, the bravest, the most violent, the noblest and the most irritable, the most divine and the most earthly of all heroes”.

But even more Helen who stands out as a figure able to unleash war but also to evoke sweetness, love, seduction.

To preserve Beauty is also to make cultural events such as “Elena’s Journey”, hosted by a Greek city like our Syracuse that of Beauty must increasingly “paint” its Future.