Mystery 11 Ma

2023 Eleusis European Capital of Culture presents at the archaeological site of Eleusis the performance: Mystery 11 "Ma" from 1 to 13 September, 2023.

This new creation by Romeo Castellucci is a walking experience/performance specially designed for the city of Elefsina’s prominent archaeological site.
Eleusis. A city of thirty thousand inhabitants, surrounded by cement factories and oil refineries. This is where the most ancient remains of the Eleusinian Mysteries lie buried, majestic manifestations designed to explain and celebrate life, both as it is born and as it dies, and to seek the blessing of Mother Earth: Demeter. This is where the observation of the world and of time found its matrix. And this is where the Greek spirit invented a system of references, tests, and measurements for bringing order into the cosmos and into the world. Here, the sun beats down strongly from on high in the sky and cannot but generate pitch black shadows. Here, a ritual was brought into being, made up of silent visions, far deeper than any of the words that would later serve to codify the myth. Here, Demeter, the mother, demanded that her daughter return from the dead. Here, the impossible was attempted: an experience of death while still alive.

Only two categories of people were forbidden from participating in the Eleusinian Mysteries: matricides and barbarians. Matricides because to raise one’s hand against one’s mother is to invert the order of the cosmos - since a mother gives birth, she can also bring death; a son, who cannot give birth to his mother, cannot murder her either. Barbarians because they speak poorly and thus have no notion of the order of discourse, divided as it is between words and silence; and they have no notion of rhythm which - by distributing sense and expectation, beats and pauses - is the measure that restrains and orders chaos.

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