This project is a visual journey along the alterations of landscape that mark the passage of the ancient Greek Eleusis into the present-day Greek city of Eleusina; I have examined the interaction of the different historical layers of the area, whilst displaying the opposition between recent urban-industrial developments and the mythology of the landscape.
Although the historical heart of Eleusis is now one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the bay that has been connecting Eleusian inhabitants with other Mediterranean cultures since antiquity got clogged by the seemingly unregulated expansion of factories and related port logistics. Taken by the clutches of the large-scale industries and fast urbanization, the present-day city of Elefsina is dealing with extreme environmental issues.
As Greek myth tells us, Demeter once visited Eleusis when she rested next to the Plutoneon cave during her search for her daughter Persephone. Laid out over a hill, it thus became an important site for the Ancient Greeks to honour Demeter‘s existence in the Eleusian Mysteries – secret initiation ceremonies into the miracles of life, death and the afterlife.
Where fragrances of orange trees and wild thyme mix with the fumes spread by the oil refinery, one can find ancient stones and roman bricks that were re-used and combined with concrete to build the walls of the industrial era – a unique shade of metamorphism. A more critical course of transition turning the old Eleusis into the modern Elefsina takes place via the cement made from rocks belonging to the ancient, sacred hill to continuously develop and rebuild the modern city. Challenging the myth of Demeter and her blessings of land and harvest, the unrestrained power of the factory Titan has significantly affected the western side of the sacred hill within only half a century of local cement production.
Capturing the apparent imprint left by Titan‘s activities on Eleusis’ hill and the voids caused by industrial excavation, WASTING MYTHOLOGY: case study Eleusis aims to research Elefsina’s ‘Genius Loci’ and expose a modern story of metamorphosis. By showing my findings, I want to start a debate on how the Mediterranean landscape and its heritage can be preserved as a primary human value.