The moodboard draws inspiration from Theatrical Melpomene of Classical Athens. Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy, is often represented with a tragic mask and wearing the cothurnus, buskins traditionally worn by tragic actors. Often, she also holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other. Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning ‘to celebrate with dance and song’.
The polis of Classical Athens is where western theatre originated. It was part of a broader culture of theatricality and performance in classical Greece that included festivals, religious rituals, politics, law, athletics and gymnastics, music, poetry, funerals, and symposia. Participation in the city-state’s many festivals – and attendance at the City Dionysia as an audience member or even as a participant in the theatrical productions – was an important part of citizenship. The performance of tragedies at the City Dionysia may have begun as early as 534 BC and dramatise events from Greek mythology.
The Onassis Cultural Centre 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. Its mission is the promotion of modern cultural expression, the support of new Greek artists, the cultivation of international collaborations, the education and lifelong learning, as well as the co-existence and interaction of sciences, innovation and arts. It was inaugurated in December 2010, as a new cultural site accessible to all.
The artwork in the building’s facade represents a crumpled piece of paper with a face emerging from it by renowed street artist Ino.