Denis Maksimov, Michael Haldrup

Anticipatory Mythographies for Shared European Futures: Beyond Verticality, Patriarchy and Misogyny

In August 2019 the classical art museum, the New Carlsberg Glyptoteque in Copenhagen, hosted an event in which the authors performed “The Trial of Zeus”, a long overdue trial to hold the current usurper responsible for his misogynic and criminal acts. In front of a live audience participating as “jury” surrounded by antique statues of Zeus, Dionysus, Metis Apollo and others the authors performed as “prosecutor” (DM) and “defendant “(MH) together with dancer Linh Le posing as one of Zeus victims - the (female) wounded amazon (warrior). The aim of the event was to explore new ways of researching classical texts inherited from Antiquity and their potential for contemporary politics and culture. Informed by Deleuzian notions of rhizomatic interdisciplinary inquiry and new materialisms, this presentation aims to address the dry space of ideological disarray in Europe by activating “the futures in the past”. The point of departure is the Ancient Greek text “Theogony”, which was rewritten through centuries before being abstracted and imprinted in history as part of misogynist, imperialist and nationalist European politics and culture in the 19th century. In this presentation, we see the narrative of Ancient Greek cosmogony not as historical, but inherently speculative, an unstable assemblage of political ideographs, prone to be continuously re-imagined, reconstructed and re-enacted in constructing political imaginaries. Building from current ideas in speculative thinking and design we explore how mythological and material heritage can be used for creating new anticipatory mythographies. The presentation will draw on the performance and visual material from it in order to ignite a discussion about potentialities for critical and speculative re-enaction and reactivation of alternative futures embedded in the fabric of the past to chart routes toward shared European futures.

Click here to view the remains of this cancelled presentation on Research Catalogue

Michael Haldrup is professor in visual culture and performance design at Roskilde University, Denmark. He researches speculative worldmaking and experimental museology with a special focus on citizenship, performance and power.

Denis Maksimov is aesthetico-political theorist, independent curator and writer. He researches queer power in narratology and mythography. He is based in London and Athens.