September 2023

How do we envision the sea of Eleusis? What stories do they have to tell about it? Do they long for it? Have they ever swum in it? Is Eleusis thought of as a seaside city?

The site-specific peripatetic project metamorphoSEA investigates the Eleusinians’ relationship with the sea, as well as their yearning to be reunited with their city’s shoreline. It is a daring Greek-Dutch artistic intervention directed by Sjoerd Wagenaar, focusing on the formerly pristine but now ailing bay of Vlycha in Eleusis.

metamorphoSEA_Eleusis_CHORUS_BNWP_Credit John Kouskoutis_60

All photos from the metamorphoSEA performance in Eleusis, Greece, can be found here.

metamorphoSEA is a site-specific walking performance in the modern city of Eleusis’ seaside scenery, as well as an invitation to a new Odyssey. The focus is on the 14th chapter of James Joyce's "Ulysses", which deals with the myth of the horrific slaughter of sun-god Helios' sacred Oxen on the island of Thrinacia, drawing inspiration from Homer's Odyssey's rhapsody M. metamorphoSEA seeks a modern cleansing of this ancient sacrilege by using the story of hubris perpetrated by Odysseus' company as a vehicle. 

The audience is invited to confront the new Sirens as they roam the industrial complex of TITAN in modern Eleusis. The voices of a city that no longer exists, as well as the ancient Hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries' call KONX OM PAX, will be heard in the "vrachákia" area. After passing through today's Scylla and Charybdis, the audience will arrive at the symbolically charged waterfront of Vlycha Bay.

The half-submerged and decommissioned ships, tankers, barges, and passenger ships stand as witnesses to another kind of infamy that has been committed there, involving the annihilation of the famous - and praised since antiquity - nature of the Eleusinian coastline. At metamorphoSEA, we seek out any beauty that may still be hidden among the ruins. To help us, Odysseus' contemporary travelling companions, undergo the necessary personal transformation necessitated by the modern era, a new language will emerge.

metamorphoSEA is presented within the artistic programme of 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture, and is part of the civic and cultural project Ulysses European Odyssey (UEO), a modern Odyssey in 18 European cities, which is implemented within the Creative Europe programme, that aims to produce artistic responses in public space to contemporary social and cultural issues inspired by the 18 episodes of James Joyce’s iconic novel “Ulysses.”

Dates of performance: September 26 (premiere), 27, 29, 30, 2023
Hours: 19:00-21:30
Starting point: Eleftherias (Freedom) square, Eleusis

metamorphoSEA will conclude with an open meeting/discussion on the theme of the environment, designed to connect, discuss, debate, question, and exchange ideas and thoughts on a set of queries and concerns about local and regional environmental challenges and our future relationship with nature in general.

Director: Sjoerd Wagenaar (NL)

Assistant Director: Seta Astreou Karides (GR)

Writer / Dramaturg: Manolis Tsipos (GR)

Lighting Designer: Valentina Tamiolaki (GR)

Sound Designer: Dennis van Tilburg (NL)

Set & Costume Designer: Dido Gkogkou (GR)

Video Projection Designer: Jurjen Jellema (NL)

Production assistant: Giorgos Palios (GR)

Performers (GR): Spyros Detsikas, Ioanna Karategou, Iro Karra, Isavella Kasimati & Theodore Vrachas

Performers (NL): Jolanda Bazzi & Laila el Bazi

Project organisation & management: CHORUS (GR)

Conceived and produced by: CHORUS (GR) & Brave New World Producties (NL)

Co-funded by: Creative Europe & 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture