Through five different fragments selected from Giorgos Seferis’ Mythistorema, a sequence of twenty-four lyric and dramatic poems in free verse, Arie Amaya-Akkermans will explore different aspects of Hera Büyüktaşcıyan’s exhibition Neither on the Ground, nor in the Sky, focusing on Seferis’ method of moving ambiguously between history and myth. The literary commentary will be juxtaposed to fragments from scholarship on the Pergamon Altar and the archaeological excavations that gave rise to the Pergamon Museum, where the Parakeet from the Hellenistic era, that inspired the exhibition, is kept. The juxtaposition is meant to highlight the way in which myth and archaeology have shaped each other, but also the undergoing decolonization of European museums.

The Greek poet Giorgos Seferis (1900–1971) is one of the key voices in Modern Greek poetry, introducing the reader to the complex multi-layered history of Asia Minor, born in Skala (now Urla), 30 km from Smyrna (now Izmir) along the coast, and after the events of the war, his family migrated to the safety of Athens. Only a 150 km north of Urla lies the ancient Pergamon (now Bergama), a Greek settlement going back to the 8th century BC. Later one of the wealthiest cities and cultural centers in the Greek world until the 14th century, but its mythical origin and subsequent archaeological excavation by the German archaeologists Humann and Wiegand, has always been shrouded in tell-tale and mystery.

Arie Amaya-Akkermans is a writer, art critic and curator based in Istanbul. His work has appeared in Hyperallergic, Canvas, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia, and it has been translated into Turkish and Russian. He has been a recipient of an expert visit fellowship by IASPIS Sweden (2016), moderator in the talks program of Art Basel (2015-2016), guest editor of ArteEast Quarterly (issue on architecture in Latin America and the Middle East, 2015), and a regular speaker on contemporary art. He has also published numerous artist monographs and is currently working a book of essays about contemporary art in Istanbul and pursuing research on the cultural history of the Greeks of Asia Minor.

The talk will be held in English.
Poetry reading in Greek and English.

Please note our special opening hours during the Gallery Weekend Berlin
Friday 26 April 2019: 12–7 pm
Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 April 2019: 12–7 pm