Friday, 24 August 2012

The Gods' Cemetery, a story 'Made in Athens' #1


[Gods' Cemetery, model and photograph by draftworks*architects]

Excerpts from the story THE GODS’ CEMETERY, part of the project 'Athens: Northwest Passage', by draftworks* Exhibited at the 13th Venice Biennale, Greek pavilion [curators: Panos Dragonas, Anna Skiada] 

       ‘In the little Greece that we have left, the only thing that you can still do is pray to your gods. Which gods? Oh, but they are many. As many as the population of this country. Two meters below ground, or over your scratched sidewall, they stay awake. With broken noses, one arm cut-off, a little green of old times on the cloak or some crimson on the shoulders and a sight that does not stop on you but goes beyond‘
Odysseas Elytis, Idiotiki Odos 

Pandionis, Day 3, devout worshippers

Among the tribes of the Northwest Passage one is the most eccentric of all. Pandionis people are the most devout worshippers. They praise their god all through the day and night and at all occasions; when they talk, when they walk, when they take a shower, when they make love, in front of the TV, in front of the shop window, in the market. They worship their god all through the week, from Monday till the next Sunday. And this is exactly where their eccentricity lies: they worship their god for a week, and a week only, because then, every Monday, they kill their god and immediately invent a new one. 

This habit makes Pandionis a tribe of many gods, however in a strange way they cannot be considered impious or unreligious as they are uninterrupted worshipers; they have never run out of gods, and there was not a single day that they didn’t have a god to worship. They even have spare gods. Although they usually bury their gods themselves, sometimes the unexpected can happen: the god may die by himself before the week has ended. That is why they keep a couple of them as a backup, in case they run out.

Pandionis, Day 5, the burial feast

At the end of each week Pandionis people celebrate their biggest feast. This is when they bury their god. There is a place especially reserved for this kind of god-burial and they call it the ‘Gods’ Cemetery’. It is a place with crossed paths made of wood, placed on different levels. As the paths cross there are bits of ground that can be seen remaining between them like patches.


Depending on the size and the importance of the god they choose the burial site. There are gods so tiny, buried with only a few bottle tops or soda cans, plastic bottles and used pens. There are also gods so big, buried with their inflatable elephants and 12-valve cars, vending machines and commercial signs.  Accordingly there are tombs that are humble, with just a few rocks on them, and others that are grandiose, extravagant and tall, and can be seen from a few blocks away.


Then something beautiful happens: you can see bushes, colourful flowers, and some times trees, to grow over tombs. These gods are the luckiest. Due to the trees that cast their shadow, the bushes that attract the bees or the musky flowers that please the passengers the gods that lie underneath can be forever useful. Although their divinity week has already long expired. Then, they can be even remembered at times, mostly in spring.

[...]  it was the God of LifeLost, who was buried with a loading of guns, the God of TimeLost who was buried with boxes of folders, office desks, old PC’s and stamps, but also less pompous gods, like the god of lilac, who was buried with lilac lipsticks, lilac earrings and lilac flowers, the god of lids who was buried with used coffee cup lids, wok lids and pod lids, or the god of hair, who was buried with all the hair that have fallen from all the Pandionis people heads during the week of his kingdom.

There was also once that they worshipped the God of Danger, they buried him with a bomb. Some people say that this habit of burying their gods may someday be the Pandionis ending. Someone may forget and step on the God of Danger ‘s tomb. 

[draftworks*2012. All rights reserved]

[Gods' Cemetery, drawing by draftworks*architects]

[draftworks*2012. All rights reserved]

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