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midsummer_night's_dream

 

photograph by Eva Kourou

 

Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” takes place in Athens, in a period now lost in time and myth. There, stories of disobedience, manipulation and romance take place. But the play is also a story about deception and the loss of the self, that is the inability to identify others and to become identified as a subject. In the Greek language the phrase “midsummer night’s dream” has the status of a common saying referring to another loss, that of realistic perspective. Informed by a sense of irony or even melancholy, it deals with annulled dreams or aspirations.

 

The work “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” appropriates the first scene of Shakespeare’s play in order to reconstruct an internal monologue, dealing with this sense of loss. Following a circular pattern the phrases remain unresolved, oscillating between dissidence and disappointment.

 

The work was presented in the “Summer in the Middle of the Winter” exhibition in Kunsthalle Athena. The show, as its dipole title implies, engaged with a pervasive mood, the feeling of uncertainty. An uncertainty “concurrent with the current socio-political shift, nevertheless not immune to interpretation”.

 

 

midsummer_night's_dream

 

Midsummer night's dream

2011
carbon on paper, wooden frames on a 3.20 x 3.50 m wall
Kunsthalle Athena, Athens, Greece

 

 

before the time
seemed Athens as a paradise to me


turned her obedience to stubborn harshness


I know not by what power I am made bold,
nor how it may concern my modesty


my soul consents not to give sovereignty


if there were a sympathy in choice,
war, death, or sickness did lay siege to it,
making it momentary as a sound,
swift as a shadow, short as any dream


why should not I then prosecute my right?


the jaws of darkness do devour it up:
so quick bright things come to confusion


when the false Troyan under sail was seen,
by all the vows that ever men have broke


as she is mine, I may dispose of her


and thence from Athens turn away our eyes,
to seek new friends and stranger companies


to that place the sharp Athenian law cannot pursue us