Adonis Archontides

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Bath I, 2018, Materials, Dimensions

Bath I is a makeshift pool adorned with a poem found at Adonis’ Baths, a manmade spring in the Paphos countryside, capitalising on the deity having been worshipped in that area in ancient times.

The poem acts as a spell, invigorating the waters, and making promises of everlasting youth and virility to anyone who bathes in them: “And the men whose seed has gone deaf will take after Adonis, because [there’s magic] in the place / They’ll be young again, and strong, and stay young in life forever.”

In contemporary times, Adonis is often interpreted as a god of beauty, with his name being a synonym for handsome male youths. According to Marcel Detienne, a prominent Belgian hellenist and comparative anthropologist, in Ancient Greece he was actually worshipped as a vegetation deity associated with finding the balance in a life filled with temptation, while he himself was eternally locked in a sterile state between life and death.

"Τζαι των ανδρών που κούφανεν
όπως λαλούν ο σπόρος
του Άδωνη θα μιάσουση
γιατ'έσιει το ο τόπος.

Νέοι ξανά τζαι δυνατοί
έτσι θα ξαναγίνουν
τζαι νέοι πάντα στη ζωήν
έτσι θα παραμείνουν."

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Related tags: installation, Adonis