Σάββατο, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2010

In memoriam


Nelly's collage for the poster of the International Tourism Exhibition, New York 1939


Yannis Sakellarakis (1936-2010)
In memoriam


Είγε ετελεύτα

«Πού απεσύρθηκε, πού εχάθηκε ο Σοφός;
Έπειτ’ από τα θαύματά του τα πολλά,
την φήμη της διδασκαλίας του
που διεδόθηκεν εις τόσα έθνη
εκρύφθηκ' αίφνης και δεν έμαθε κανείς
με θετικότητα τι έγινε
(ουδέ κανείς ποτέ είδε τάφον του).
Έβγαλαν μερικοί πως πέθανε στην  Έφεσο.
Δεν τόγραψεν ο Δάμις όμως· τίποτε
για θάνατο του Aπολλωνίου δεν έγραψεν ο Δάμις.
Άλλοι είπανε πως έγινε άφαντος στην Λίνδο.
Ή μήπως είν’ εκείν’ η ιστορία
αληθινή, που ανελήφθηκε στην Κρήτη,
στο αρχαίο της Δικτύννης ιερόν.—
Aλλ’ όμως έχουμε την θαυμασία,
την υπερφυσικήν εμφάνισί του
εις έναν νέον σπουδαστή στα Τύανα.—
Ίσως δεν ήλθεν ο καιρός για να επιστρέψει,
για να φανερωθεί στον κόσμο πάλι·
ή μεταμορφωμένος, ίσως, μεταξύ μας
γυρίζει αγνώριστος.— Μα θα ξαναφανερωθεί
ως ήτανε, διδάσκοντας τα ορθά· και τότε βέβαια
θα επαναφέρει την λατρεία των θεών μας,
και τες καλαίσθητες ελληνικές μας τελετές.»


Έτσι ερέμβαζε στην πενιχρή του κατοικία—
μετά μια ανάγνωσι του Φιλοστράτου
«Τα ες τον Τυανέα Aπολλώνιον»—
ένας από τους λίγους εθνικούς,
τους πολύ λίγους που είχαν μείνει. Άλλωστε —ασήμαντος
άνθρωπος και δειλός— στο φανερόν
έκανε τον Χριστιανό κι αυτός κι εκκλησιάζονταν.
Ήταν η εποχή καθ’ ην βασίλευεν,
εν άκρα ευλαβεία, ο γέρων Ιουστίνος,
κ’ η Aλεξάνδρεια, πόλις θεοσεβής,
αθλίους ειδωλολάτρας αποστρέφονταν.

Κ.Π. Καβάφης

Τετάρτη, 27 Οκτωβρίου 2010

A Bacchus without grapes?



Aphrodite


Product Description
Almost everyone has heard of Aphrodite. But not everyone knows that she was the goddess of love, beauty and passion in ancient Greece. Pure as the driven snow, our Aphrodite's himation (toga) is sewn to the classic peplos (tunic) at one end – the other can be fastened with a hook and loop fastener. The elegant peplos has an elasticized waist and is closed at the back. Be as creative as the Greek Goddess of Innocence with how you wear the matching headband. Wait a minute: this sexy costume is the aphrodisiac in fabric form for any "toga" party.
Material:100 % polyester
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Bacchus


  • Costume, 3-piece
  • With chiton tunic
  • With himation cape
  • With cord sash
  • Without grapes, jewelry or shoes

Product Description

Bacchus is not only the god of wine, he is also in charge of fertility. That must be why no holds were barred at the Bacchanalia – the Roman festival held in honor of Bacchus. The wine poured like a waterfall and the rites they performed were more like orgies. These days, Bacchus has calmed down: after all, he's a few millennia older. Instead of impressing his followers with his ability to hold his alcohol, he relies on his classic outfit: a chiton with an elegantly casual himation. A truly heavenly look!

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Greek scholar

With tunic
With headband
With cloak
Without scroll
Product Description: Whether proficient Pythagoras or adroit Archimedes, the classic Greek scholars are still known today for their rich spirit of invention, deep thirst for knowledge and modest attire. The chiton (tunic) and headband of this Greek Scholar are in pure white and his chlamys (cloak) is trimmed with the famous Greek key pattern. In this costume, you can explain your treatise for hours at a time or cloak your desire to meet people as wisdom.


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[My personal favourite]




King Agamemnon

(note the pseudo-parchment resolving once and for all its use in Mycenaean times - unless he's reading an Egyptian letter or something)


Product Description: King Agamemnon was the leader of the Greek army during the ten-year siege of Troy. We aren't convinced that he dreamed up the idea of the Trojan horse himself. But it's true that the general led his army to victory thanks to the legendary horse trick. Of course his military uniform can't provide the high level of wearing comfort and elegant look of the dark blue and golden royal robe. Today's King Agamemnon enjoys the comfortable tunic with a sewn-on cloak. A large, blue rhinestone gleams on the belt. Peace can look just as interesting as war!

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Se also Female chiton, Male chiton, Greek tunic, Female slave, Goddess

Δευτέρα, 25 Οκτωβρίου 2010

The Caryatids of St Pancras



The Caryatid Porch of the St Pancras Parish Church London



In 1818 the Trustees [of the St Pancras Parish Church] bought a site on the Euston Road from the Southampton Estate, and invited suggestions for the design of the new church.  Thirty entries were received, and the first premium was awarded to the local architect William Inwood and his son Henry.
The foundation stone of the new church (in the crypt) was laid with much pomp on 1st July 1819 by Frederick, Duke of York and Albany.



The New Church was consecrated for the worship of God on 7th May 1822, by the Bishop of London, William Howley.  The total cost was £89,296, making St Pancras the most expensive church to be built in London since the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.  The inspiration for the design of the church is the Ionic Temple of the Erectheum on the Acropolis.  Its main feature, the caryatid porch, is here used for the two vestries which guard the entrance to the burial vaults. 

The tower is a copy, much enlarged, of the 'Tower of the Winds', the water clock of Andronicus Cyrrhestes.

The church is built of brick, faced with Portland stone, originally white but, in spite of cleaning, now darkened by years of London pollution. 

The rich ornamentation is in terra-cotta, as are the caryatids by Rossi, built up in sections around cast-iron columns.  The St Pancras figures lack the grace of the originals (one of which is in the British Museum).  Due to an error they were made too high and had to be truncated at the waist. 

The caryatids guard the entrance to the crypt.  This was used in two world wars as an air-raid shelter but its designed purpose had been a burial vault. 
When the new St Pancras cemetery was opened in 1854 the crypt was closed, by which time 476 burials had been recorded.  In 1838 the cost of a private vault was £110.

The tower was originally surmounted by a Corinthian finial carrying the cross.  This became dangerous and was replaced with a simpler design in 1953.
The tower contains a ring of eight bells hung for chiming.

All information and photographs are drawn from the church's site HERE.

 
 
 

Κυριακή, 24 Οκτωβρίου 2010

All three of them legendary, all looking their age




Van Morrison and Bob Dylan performing "Crazy Love" with Acropolis in the background, for a BBC documentary.


"BBC2 filmed a career overview entitled One Irish Rover in 1991, which opened with Van Morrison and Bob Dylan singing a duet on the Hill of the Muses above Athens, Greece. Dylan and Morrison performed duets on "Crazy Love" "Foreign Window" and "One Irish Rover". The Independent described "the Irish singer flanked by Bob Dylan and the Acropolis: all three of them legendary, all looking their age, and all a waste of time talking to with a microphone in your hand."
(Information source HERE)

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I warmly thank Aleksandar, an archaeologist from Belgrade, who kindly brought this to my attention.

Σάββατο, 23 Οκτωβρίου 2010

A Doric column for the Chicago sky


In 1922 the American newspaper "The Chicago Tribune" announced an open architectural competition for a 400-foot (app. 145 metres) skyscraper to celebrate its 75 years. 263 architects from 32 countries participated, among them the Austrian architect Adolf Loos. His proposal, which was never realised, was about a skyscraper built of polished black granite in the form of a doric column.
One may read more on this proposal HERE.

Loos' design arrived too late for reviewing by the jury and the competition was eventually won by J.M.Howells and R.Hood with a neogothic design which was considered more appropriate.
See and read all about the Chicago Tribune tower HERE.
More on the competition HERE.

In 1992 an attempt was made to create a three-dimensional reconstruction of what Loos' building would have looked like.
One may see it HERE.

Τρίτη, 19 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Acropolis Adieu

An international hit song.
Composed by Christian Bruhn, performed by Mireille Mathieu


English version



The leaves are falling all around.
The summer's gone, now autumn's here.
And I must leave the love I found
And hope we meet again next year.

Acropolis adieu, goodbye my love.
I won't forget those summer nights, by candlelight,
The golden days together.
Acropolis adieu.




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French version


Ce soir le vent vient de la mer
Septembre est là, l'été s'en va
Et le bonheur est éphémère
Comme les fleurs qui meurent déjà

Acropolis adieu, adieu l'amour
Les roses blanches d'Athénée se sont fanées
On s'est aimés quelques jours
Acropolis adieu






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German version


Es war September in Athen,
der letzte Abend war so leer,
ich fragte ihn, wann kommst du wieder,
da sagte er, vielleicht nie mehr.

Akropolis adieu, ich muß gehen,
die weißen Rosen sind verblüht,
was ist geschehen,
ich wär so gern geblieben

Τρίτη, 12 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Eloy's Ocean



In 1977 the German progressive rock band Eloy released their sixth album called Ocean.

The album included four tracks titled:

Poseidon's Creation
(listen to it HERE and HERE)

[...] Poseidon became lord of earthquake and seas / Master of oceans and all their wealth / God of an island, there lived a family / With a daughter of beauty and health
Atlantis was the island's name / Greatest treasury of all times / Human eyes didn't ever see the same / Silver and gold, fertile hills, woodlands and plains / It was situated in front of the strait / They call "The Columns of Herakles" [...]
Incarnation of the Logos
(listen to it HERE)


Decay of the Logos
(listen to it HERE)


Atlantis' Agony at June 5th 8498 13 p.m. Gregorian Earthtime
(listen to it HERE and HERE)

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For more on the album, see the official website of the group HERE.

Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet






According to Wikipedia

 
"Happiness is a cigar called Hamlet" is one of the most famous British advertising campaigns for a tobacco product.

It was a long-running campaign for Hamlet Cigars, lasting on television until all tobacco advertising on television was banned in the UK in 1991. They returned in cinemas in 1996, continuing there until 1999.

Commercials used an excerpt from a jazzy rendition of Bach's Air on the G String, played by the then young Jacques Loussier, which is still frequently associated with the brand.

The premise is that a man finds himself in an awkward or embarrassing situation and lights a Hamlet cigar. Lighting and smoking this cigar makes him smile and forget his woes.

The term has entered public consciousness and is sometimes used as a "don't worry about it" motto.

Δευτέρα, 11 Οκτωβρίου 2010

El Partenón de Libros




In December 1983 the Argentine Conceptual artist Marta Minujin and a group of helpers spent 17 days building a full-scale model of the Parthenon in a public park in Buenos Aires. Except for a metal scaffolding, it was made almost entirely of books wrapped in plastic. All the books had been banned by one of the most oppressive juntas in the country’s history, which was just being dismantled after Argentina’s first democratic election in a decade. “The Parthenon of Books/Homage to Democracy,” as Ms. Minujin’s work was titled, stood for about three weeks. Then the public was allowed to disassemble the piece and keep the books.
Even in grainy black-and-white photographs, the temple of books looks awesome, if slightly disheveled. (No matter the distance, books can’t be confused with marble.) It juts above the heads of the crowd gathered around it, as if sitting on its own printed-matter Acropolis. You had to be there for the full effect, I’m sure, but just seeing the photograph, reading the caption and thinking of the previously banned books funneling into circulation are both enlightening and moving.


[information VIA]


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The return of democracy in 1983, following seven years of a generally failed dictatorship, prompted Minujín to create a monument to a glaring, inanimate victim of the regime: freedom of expression. Assembling 30,000 banned books (including works as diverse as those by Freud, Marx, Sartre, Gramsci, Foucault, Raúl Scalabrini Ortiz, and Darcy Ribeiro, as well as satires such as Absalom and Achitophel, reference volumes such as Enciclopedia Salvat, and even children's texts, notably The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry), she designed the "Parthenon of Books," and following President Raúl Alfonsín's December 10 inaugural, had it mounted on a boulevard median along the Ninth of July Avenue. Dismantled after three weeks, its mass of newly-unbanned titles was distributed to the public below.

[information VIA]


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More information and photographs of the Parthenon of Books happening may be sought in THIS PAGE in Marta Minujin's OFFICIAL WEBSITE.

A visit to the rest of the site reveals the artist's extensive use of emblematic ancient Greek sculptures (like the Venus di Milo) in several of her works of art.

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Κυριακή, 10 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Prince Miles




"Venus de Milo" by Prince and the Revolution from the album Parade (soundtrack for the Motion Picture "Under the Cherry Moon"), track 7.


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"Venus de Milo" performed by Miles Davis  and his orchestra in Arpil 22, 1949.
Included in the album Birth of the Cool, track 4.

Τετάρτη, 6 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Xenakis' Mycenae




Iannis Xenakis, Mycenae-Alpha (1978)


(for an expert's analysis read this)


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Two listening stations in the exhibit have looping videos, one showing his spectacular 90 minute spectacle, the Polytope de Mycènes, set in the ruins of Mycenae (performed on his first trip back to Greece after being condemned to death) that involves torch-bearing children, herds of goats let loose, readings and performances from Homer, and projections on the wall of the ancient citadel, flames, fireworks, and a children’s chorus finale from his Oresteia.

“Polytope de Mycènes” performed by Iannis Xenakis in Mycenae


To watch the unique performance of the Polytopon of Mycenae click HERE.


Coca-columns




In 1992, the Italian branch of the Coca-Cola multinational company published a full-page advertisement in the Corriere della Sera newspaper showing the Parthenon's columns formed like Coca-cola bottles.
The advertisement raised a huge outcry and was considered an intentional act aiming to influence the choice of the city organizing the 1996 Olympic games. Atlanta (the Coca-cola base) and Athens were both candidates.
The Greek Ministry of Culture complained against the use of the image of the Parthenon in this advertisement, especially on account of the deliberate distortion of the monument's elements, and consequently the company withdrew the ad and issued an official apology.

Δευτέρα, 4 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Alpha-alpha



Cardboard poster by Greek painter Aggelos Spachis for the G.A. Keranis Cigarette Manufacturing Co. 

J-Lo on the Acropolis




Jennifer Lopez photographed on the Acropolis (September 2008)

(more information and photographs HERE)



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On a relevant note, it seems J. Lopez and husband M. Anthony are interested in the ancient past in more ways than one: they own a small collection of antiquities. 


Information found in Dorothy King's PhDiva blog post HERE

Paul Barford has written an extremely interesting post on the subject in his blog HERE.

Σάββατο, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Brigitte Bardot meets Venus di Milo





In 1958, Brigitte Bardot is being introduced to the classic statue Venus of Milo in Paris by an unknown reporter. This short clip is taken from the documentary "Et B.B. crea la femme" (And B.B. created woman), broadcasted by Flamisch station BRT on 1 June 1996 (French spoken, Dutch subtitles).

Translation of the subtitles:
Reporter: I introduce to you: Brigitte Bardot - the Venus of Milo.
Look closely. Do you think she is beautiful?
Brigitte Bardot: Yes, of course.
Reporter: If today a sculptor would portray the goddess of love, you would be the model.
Brigitte Bardot: You are kidding.
Reporter: Not at all. You are the idol of your generation, the beauty of 1958.

The last line Brigitte speaks is not translated, but I thinks she says something like "that's just a word".

(information VIA)

Παρασκευή, 1 Οκτωβρίου 2010

Monsieur Venus



Buster Keaton posing as Venus di Milo (with hat and boots)

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Photograph featured on the cover of Andrew Ross' No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture (Routledge 1989)

Jayne Mansfield appreciating greek antiquities



Jayne Mansfield with Venus de Milo





Jayne Mansfield at the Parthenon (1957)


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Photograph featured on the cover of E. Yalouri, The Acropolis: Global Fame, Local Claim (2001)

One Touch of Venus





One Touch of Venus (1948)

Film's tagline The Gal who Invented Love!

directed by William A. Seiter, starring Ava Gardner, Robert Walker

(more on the film HERE)

Accidents happen




"GE is promoting the power of wind at the Beijing Olympics with a television commercial referring to the ancient games in Athens. A light hearted TV ad features an athlete who, with the aid of the wind, topples the Parthenon with a discus. “Wind hasn’t always played a helpful role at the Olympic Games. But today wind energy from GE is helping to power the Beijing Games no matter which way the wind blows."
More information on the GE Wind commercial  here

******

Contrary to the script as described in the source mentioned, the games obviously can't be taking place in Athens, but neither is Olympia portrayed (with the Zeus temple actually placed safely at some distance from the stadium).

Mio Amor

Aeroplane menu



Boeing 707-320, Super Fan Jet "City of Athens"

Flight menu

Composite Acropolis