On April 25 Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative (PCAI) presents Searching for the Oracle, a participatory venture by Norwegian visual artist and choreographer Helle Siljeholm, in Delphi.

Driven by recent researches on Delphi’s geomythological history, stating that the oracle’s hallucinative fumes were due to seismic raptures Helle Siljeholm invites the public for a one-day expedition in search for the Oracle. While on the one hand, references in geomythology describe a metaphysical connection in which Gaia, Mother Earth, produced from its bowels fumes with hallucinogenic effects, capable of creating powerful images in people’s imagination, on the other hand, urban legends report that these fumes seem to have disappeared from Delphi in the 1930s. Searching for the Oracle is a speculation and a meditation upon Delphi as a site, the fumes that disappeared, and the form they might have transformed into.

Inspired by the ancient journey to meet Pythia (the Oracle) the audience is invited to join the performers on an 8-hour participatory venture from Athens to Delphi. Leaving Athens at 15.30 and returning by midnight, the expedition takes the form of a participatory performance with intermediate stops, including a meditative walk in nature, resting as well as a festive ritual. The last stop of the journey will be the Delphi PCAI venue, the former Pikionis pavilion, now “pi”, where the participants, will be served a vegetarian dinner surrounded by the Delphic stunning scenery. All the while, performative and spiritual elements might appear and disappear throughout.

Helle Siljeholm

Searching for the Oracle is part of Siljeholm’s ongoing and long-term project The Mountain Body based on the development of unique site-specific works in different locations. Together and over time these works and processes form a “mountain range” inspired by the nomadic movements of the continental shelves and the land surface, which are always in motion across borders and in various stages of transformation. The sites, research, and interventions that make up this mountain range can be understood as a community; a whole, that while possessing individual characteristics, is collectively rooted in one another, much like the ecosystems we depend on for survival.

Concept, choreographer and researcher: Helle Siljeholm, Co-creating performer and sound design: Ilios, Co-creating performers: Pernille Holden and Marianne Kjærsund, Curator and research:  Kika Kyriakakou, PCAI Artistic Director, Curator and costume design: Poka Yio, Production: Vasia Magoula, Vicky Tsirou, Pi facilitator: Menelaos Bakratsas, Performance documentation: Maria Toultsa, Visual documentation: Espen Haslene & Fred Arne Wergland, Administration: Guro Vrålstad, The Mountain Body

Organised by: Polygreen Culture & Art Initiative – PCAI

Supported by: Arts Council Norway, OCA – Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Danse-og Teatersentrum, Norwegian Embassy in Athens

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