Hygieia in ancient Greek religion was both goddess and the personification of body and souls’ health. Titane of Sicyon in Peloponnisos, is mentioned as one of the oldest cult centers, where according to the tradition, the sanctuary of Asclepius and Hygieia were sited. Worshipping the goddess is inextricably linked to that of god Asclepius and was introduced in Athens shortly after 420 BC, probably as a consequence of the plague that broke out in 430 BC.
After the famous healer god of antiquity, Asclepius, his daughter Hygieia is the most important deity associated with the management and treatment of diseases.
Costas Paniaras, born in the region of ancient Sikyon, a subversive artist of abstraction, three dimentional canvasses, bold and brightly colored paintings, in a lifelong dialogue with the past, is for 30 years, elaborating on the mold of the famous marble juvenile head of the 4th century head. BC creating intervening projects in reflection of his personal experiences.
The artist bisects, shoots, deconstructs the variations of the 350-325 BC head from Tegea of Arcadia exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, identified with Hygieia, without ever affecting the archetypal nature and the semantics of its value.
Hygieia’s heads, blue, red, gold or silver plated, combine aesthetic differences, link time variances and articulate through contemporary elements the collective memory by detecting the timeless human need to ensure good health. Paniaras restored, through artistic appropriation, Hygeia as a new personal imprint.
In June 2014 the artist proposed to the Benaki Museum the project Fragile which included two floor installations at the Hellenistic section of level A, and two additional wall installations he did not complete.
The exhibition team followed the explicit notes and instruction of the artist.
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