Penelopeia: The Other Journey. An Exhibition at the
Hellenic Museum of Chicago, 8 March--16 June 2006

Inspired by Homer's Penelope in The Odyssey, five Greek artists sail on a metaphorical journey with partners from across the globe to connect and explore issues of common interest through varied artistic media and breathtaking imagery. Curated by Dr. Zoe Kosmidou, the show includes live and interactive performances, multimedia works, video projections, photography, drawings and installations.

Like Ulysses' Odyssey, PENELOPEIA depicts Penelope’s epic journey through life as recorded, observed, experienced and expressed by the list below of international women artists. The project is documented online at The artists work in partnerships.



DESPO MAGONI (Greece) with 33 partners from around the world



They examine some of the most striking lines of cross-cultural aesthetic research currently conducted in artistic dialogue. These artists explore the diachronic issue of migration within human geographies, one or many cultures; within gender; within the self. Refuge and displacement, the cultural construction of personhood in social stratification, comfort and conformity, confinement and exodus are some of the subject matters that they are working on. Their positions and critical approaches place their practices at the heart of the main issues of contemporary culture.

The PENELOPEIA Project documents women’s life journeys from antiquity to the present through art, theory, critical writing, and technology. The project includes a series of artistic and cultural programs beginning with an online exhibition, which will eventually become a traveling show presented at various international venues. The project was initiated in Greece on the occasion of the 2003 Greek European Union Presidency. From this local initiative, it developed into a regional project with the collaboration of the fifteen European Union member countries, and will ultimately become a program with global reach. The mission of this project is to establish a network of women’s voices in the international arts community. Although initiated by countries and individuals in the Western world, it will expand to embrace women from diverse cultures. By transcending geographical and cultural barriers on a large scale, the PENELOPEIA Project seeks to traverse the gaps between the familiar and the unknown, striving toward a common ground of interaction, not isolation. For more information about this project, see its official website at the URL

e-migration is the new focus/theme of the PENELOPEIA Project and the third of a series of exhibitions that were launched in 2003. e-migration signifies a process that begins with the "exodus" from one place or condition to another, either willingly or unwillingly, physically or spiritually. For this exhibition it provides a conceptual framework within which the work of the participating artists living and working in their countries and the United States, can fit.

e-migration refers to the electronic age, but as a term it activates other kinds of meanings around the wanderings of body and soul within ancient and contemporary cultures. In the Homeric narrative of migration, women are to men what Penelope is to Odysseus - she counterpoints his physical wandering with a spiritual journey of her own, a story that speaks of issues of power, representation and repression.

This exhibition continues a dialogue within a sociopolitical context that addresses to liminal states, to the notion that the migrant and the traveler are in a state of 'in betweens', an idea that also reverberates in the virtual world.

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center’s mission is to be the nation’s foremost center of Hellenic history, culture, and the arts, where the public can explore the legacy of Greek immigrant experience in America and examine the influence of Hellenic culture and people from antiquity to the present.

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural is pleased to be the recipient of grants from The MacArthur Foundation for Arts and Culture /The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Illinois Arts Council, City Arts Program II, Fatouras Family Fund/Vanguard Charitable Trust, Vavasis Family Fund/A & T Philia Foundation.

Underwriters for this exhibit are John P. Regas - In Memory of Becky Bisoulis, George and Angela Paterakis, State Senator Adeline J. Geo-Karis, State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, and Today’s Chicago Woman.

Hours and Admission: Tuesday through Friday 10am – 4pm; Saturday 11am – 4pm. Regular exhibit admission is $5 for non-members, FREE to HMCC Members. Children under 12 are FREE. Call 312.655.1234 for general information. Group Tours are available with advance registration. Special rates are offered for group tours. Special fees may apply to programs. For more information call the Museum at 312.655.1234, ext. 22.

Contact: Toni Callas | 312.655.1234 x27 |
Curator’s contact:

(HCS Posting date 29 April 2006)

The Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center’s mission is to be the nation’s foremost center of Hellenic history, culture, and the arts, where the public can explore the legacy of Greek immigrant experience in America and examine the influence of Hellenic culture and people from antiquity to the present. Since its opening on May 8, 1992, the museum has become such a presence in Chicago that it has been designated by Mayor Richard M. Daley as the anchor of the new Greektown redevelopment project which is transforming the Halsted Street area into a world-class ethnic neighborhood. For more information, contact the museum at 801 West Adams Street, 4th floor, Chicago, IL 60607, tel. 312.655.1234, fax 312.655.1221; Media Relations Mgr., Antonia Callas, at 312.655.1234 x27 or

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