The Bacchae Project
The Bacchae Project
This project aims to understand, explore and possibly reinterpret through contemporary visual art a thematic of Euripides ‘The Bacchae’. The intention is first to read Euripides, explore notions of the nature and character of Dionysus and his character traits as may be perceived in contemporary society. I aim to examine modernity’s fascination with the myth of Dionysus by focusing on questions of: agency, identity, community, psychological integrity and modern constitution of the self.
Utilising painting (oils on canvas. 120x100cm), preliminary and explorative drawings, 3D masks and writing as mediums in the execution of the body of work. Artistic creation depends on a tension between two opposing forces, which Nietzsche terms the “Apollonian” and the “Dionysian,” although I will be focusing primarily on the creativity of the Dionysian tension.
Having begun the task whilst in Cyprus at the Cornaro Art Institute, the work is all still in-progress. The images supplied include paintings, explorative and preliminary drawings. The first exhibition at Elements Gallery, Larnaka. Cyprus, 2018.
“Through abstraction Demetris Tsouris skilfully depicts the opposite sides of human nature based on Euripides play “The Bacchae”. The rational and the instinctual aspects of human nature are represented with strong contrasting colours, shapes and forms, enticing the viewer to question universal themes such as, individuality vs. collectivism, self-indulgence vs. prudence, sexuality vs. spirituality, and the overall human condition as experienced in the material world”.
Andry Karpasiti – ELEMENTS Gallery.
The Creativity of Dionysus:
For further information on the nature of the character of Dionysus, please read at this link below:
Click on each image to enlarge
The Bacchae Project Titles:
No. 1 - Γέννηση του Διόνυσου – Birth of Dionysos
No. 2 - Άφιξη στη Θήβα – Arrival at Thebes
No. 3 - Οι Μαιανδες – The Maenads
No. 4 - Οι Εννέα Φωνές – Nine Voices
No 5 - Ο βασιλιάς Πένθεος King Pentheus
No. 6 - Η σύλληψη του Διόνυσου – The Capture of Dionysos
No. 7 - Η Tρέλλα Aρχίζει – The Madness Begins
No. 8 - Θάνατος του Πενθέου – Death of Pentheus
No. 9 - Η Αάβα ξυπνά – Agave Awakens
No. 10 - Ο θρίαμβος του Διονύσου – Triumph of Dionysos
Elements to be found in the Bacchae:
Examines modernity’s fascination with the myth
of Dionysus by focusing on questions of:
modern constitution of the self.
Manifestations of the ‘Dionysiac mode” in:
Historicizes the Apollonian-Dionysiac dichotomy as a modern configuration and constitution of the tension between:
cultural manifestations as the antithesis of the
Enlightenment and Romanticism as well as
20th-century variations of the same themes in:
Characters/Symbols: as used in the artwork.
Dionysos – radiation symbol, outrage, fear, contamination
Voices – based on computerised voice recognition rhythms
Agave – shocked - open eye, traumatize, revelation, distress
Pentheus – squares depicting stubbornness, strict, inflexible
Maenads – thyrsus, tambourine