In the first episode of Ulysses, the character Buck Mulligan talks of how Ireland should be Hellenised and proposes that he and Stephen Dedalus visit Greece together. And so we begin our project in Greece, in the homeland of Homer, on June 16th, 2022, the exact centenary of the date on which Ulysses is set. Ulysses is an ideal imagining of the city as a place of tolerance, democracy, aspiration. Our journey begins in Athens and then extends across Europe to encompass seventeen other cities. Athens and Greece, the crucible of European civilisation, feel a wonderfully resonant place in which to begin a project focusing on a writer and a novel that we regard as truly European. And Athens itself is named after Athena (Odysseus’ protector in the Odyssey).
It is 8 a.m. Buck Mulligan, a boisterous medical student, calls Stephen Dedalus (a young writer encountered as the principal subject of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man) up to the roof of the Sandycove Martello tower, where they both live. There is tension between Stephen and Mulligan, stemming from a cruel remark Stephen overheard Mulligan make about his recently deceased mother, May Dedalus, and from the fact that Mulligan has invited an English student, Haines, to stay with them. The three men eat breakfast and walk to the shore, where Mulligan demands from Stephen the key to the tower and a loan. Departing, Stephen declares that he will not return to the tower that night, as Mulligan, the “usurper”, has taken it over.
Homer Odyssey Chapter
Book 1 – Telemachus: The narrator of the Odyssey invokes the Muse, asking for inspiration as he prepares to tell the story of Odysseus. Odysseus languishes on the remote island Ogygia with the goddess Calypso, who has fallen in love with him and refuses to let him leave. Meanwhile, a mob of suitors is devouring his estate in Ithaca and courting his wife, Penelope, in hopes of taking over his kingdom. His son, Telemachus, an infant when Odysseus left but now a young man, is helpless to stop them. He has resigned himself to the likelihood that his father is dead. With the consent of Zeus, Athena (the patron god of Athens) speaks with Telemachus and predicts that Odysseus is still alive and that he will soon return to Ithaca. Athena advises Telemachus to call together the suitors and announce their banishment from his father’s estate. She then tells him that he must make a journey to Pylos and Sparta to consult Nestor and Menelaus for any news of his father.
This project strand offers short residency opportunities in partner cities for 30 emerging artists as part of the legacy of this pan-European project.
Each city partner will send two artists on a residency to another partner’s city of a different art form, thereby seeking to enrich their professional practice through inter-disciplinary residencies. Artists are chosen on the basis of having demonstrated an interest in the hosting city’s Arts & Society contemporary European theme. They must also practice a different art form from that of the hosting city’s public event. The project offers the emerging artists the opportunity to travel without the pressure to produce work and ideally to experience UEO’s public events.
Confirmed artists’ personal statements and biographies can be found on the relevant city’s page by clicking on the artist’s photo.
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The Onassis Stegi is an Athens’ cultural space hosting events and actions across the whole spectrum of the arts from theatre, dance, music, cinema and the visual arts to the written word, with an emphasis on contemporary cultural expression, on supporting Greek artists, on cultivating international collaborations and on educating audiences of all ages through life-long learning. In addition, on an annual basis, it plans and coordinates international tours and exchanges for Onassis Stegi’s productions and promotes inter awareness and interaction between science, innovation and the arts.