Mystery 87 |”I My Sea Journey, I My Land Claim” by Stefania Strouza

15.12.23 @ 18:00

Old Oil Mill Factory, Elefsina

The opening of the exhibition will take place on Friday, December 15 at the Old Oil Mill Factory during the closing ceremony of 2023 Eleusis, Mystery 1 CLOSING: OPENING, A Ceremony.

The installation touches upon the environmental destruction that the planet is experiencing today,starting from the coastal zone of Elefsina. Continuing her artistic work on the myth of Medea, Stefania Strouza chooses as a reference point Heiner Müller’s three-part play Verkommenes Ufer − Medeamaterial − Landschaft mit Argonauten [Despoiled Shore – Medeamaterial – Landscape with Argonauts] (1982). In this text, Medea is perceived as a “place” where memories and traumas of a violent patriarchal and consumerist world are embedded. The artist makes use of this interpretation and proceeds to identify Medea with Nature and with the land of Elefsina, taking into account the consequences of heavy industry as well as the corrosion of abandoned ships in the area.

The work is a sculptural installation in three distinct yet connected parts following the structure of Müller’s text. These parts are developed in space as islets and parts of a coastal area such as the bay of Elefsina.

Despoiled Shore refers to a “landscape with nature in decay”, as Müller himself describes it, where the traces of human pollution and destruction are visible. A floor-standing work as a conglomerate and an amalgam of natural and industrial materials suggests a landscape almost abandoned, with references to erosion, pollution and the overexploitation of nature.

Medeamaterial focuses on gender identity and inequality, but also on the agency and transformation of matter. A garment-sculpture made of transparent plastic with oxidized parts evokes the wedding dress with which Medea killed Glauce. It refers to the danger of invisible pollution and the socio-political atmosphere that surrounds and threatens entities and communities around the world.

Landscape with Argonauts is a reference to the collective unconscious of a modern society confronted with exploitation, destruction and its own responsibility. Aluminium sculptures refer to the mythological Argo, to the carcasses of decommissioned ships and to technological remnants. The landscape functions as a commentary on the desire for unchecked technological progress and forms of colonisation from the past to this day.

In this visual triptych, Medea as a place traumatised by human activity allows the relationships between nature and culture, resilience and decay, myth and reality to become visible, so that their connection and interdependence can be seen. Balancing between them as a techno-physical force, her character reveals, according to the artist, how myths can speak to the ruined landscapes of the Anthropocene and activate practices of collective knowledge and action through materiality itself.

Concept, Artwork: Stefania Strouza
Curatorial direction: Zoi Moutsokou – Director of Contemporary Art 2023 Eleusis
Exhibition Curator: Daphne Dragona
Detailed design & implementation: Ioannis Panagiotidis, qoop metalworks – Nikos Soulis
3D model design: qoop metalworks – Christos Gyftopoulos
Metal supporting structures: qoop metalworks
Project construction & supervision: Ioannis Panagiotidis
Lighting / electrical installation: Nikos Stamatopoulos
Project Coordination: Zoi Moutsokou, Zoi Drakopoulou
Production Assistants: Tsampika Kotoula, Simone Niarou
Materials sponsorship: Municipality workshops of Elefsina, EVOMAT – Pipilis Lime products


Mystery 87 I My Sea Journey, I My Land Claim
Dates 15.12.2023—11.02.2024
From December 15 to February 11, 2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents Mystery 87 I My Sea Journey, I My Land Claim, the new sculpture installation by the acclaimed visual artist Stefania Strouza honoured with this year’s Art Athina Prize for young artists.

Duration: December 15, 2023 – February 11, 2024
Opening hours:
Wednesday to Friday, 17.00 – 20.00
Saturday & Sunday, 13.00 – 20.00
Location: Old Oil Mill Factory

Friday, December 15 – 18.00 [during the closing ceremony of 2023 Eleusis, Mystery 1 CLOSING: OPENING, A Ceremony]

*Stefania Strouza is SNF ARTWORKS Visual Arts Fellow 2018