Where is our Hero?

Where is our Hero?​
My thesis project in Athens School of Fine Arts

This project is based on the 12 labors of Hercules, which correspond to twelve works grounded in psychoanalytical and social criteria. It consists of 6 videos, 4 photos, 1 sound synthesis and 1 installation.
The labors of Hercules are a series of episodes recorded on Greek mythology as twelve accomplishments made by the mythical hero Hercules in penance for the murder of his wife and children, which he carried out while driven mad by goddess Hera. As the son of the most powerful of the gods, Hercules is by definition the greatest of heroes, and both his achievements and his sufferings are, in consequence, greater than those of any other hero. But how can Hercules be thought of as a hero after having killed his own family? Hercules can be understood as a hero of civilization, who rids the earth of natural threats and monsters, but he does so through acts of the sheerest savagery: through violence and slaughter. Hercules can thus be thought of as a “man of pain,” in both the active and passive senses; someone who can inflict pain on others—for good or bad —but also someone who himself, and necessarily, experiences a great deal of pain. Above all, Hercules is called to fulfill his own essential and internal redemption that will lead him to theosis (union with God).
            In essence, my thesis constitutes a research based on the concept and the qualities of the hero and on how modern societies mold this image while they reproduce its converse/opposite. The current cultural models are formed by open technological systems of information, value and communication exchange. The new “modern heroes” and the terms upon which they are structured constitute a given foundation of civilization today.
            While nowadays the face/aspect of West changes under the strikes/attacks of other civilizations, the “heroic form” constitutes an outlook more than ever, the outlook that culture embraces towards the world.
            The twelve works which are presented do not miss out on reminding us that “A hero is one that does what one can” (Romen Rolan, 1866-1944) transferring the field of heroic claims “beyond impossible”, looking into the disappearance of the “archetypal protagonist” from the standardized production of archetypes and the re-evaluation of our outlook towards the world as this is formed by the modern digital morality and the lost value of the Freudian ego. In any event, the works which are proposed hope in a world free of the daily inaction, an aim which is already characterised as “heroic intention”.

Where’s our Hero?

We are writing for the first time
With red flowers
WE NEED HEROES NOW*
In a world
where permanent turbulence
repeatedly develops into
horrendous violence
of huge proportions
It is also a world
that offers incessant opportunities
to our hero
Where’s our hero?
I can smell him
Where’s that beguiling form
who goes to battle with red flowers
Who knows about the violence of aesthetics
and the aesthetics of violence
Beauty spawns heroism

* On September 12, 2001, in front of New York’s Ground Zero, a group of   
people was photographed with a banner saying: “WE NEED HEROES NOW”.

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