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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 5 September 2015
18 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek mythology goes pop Max Grierson chooses an alternative and modern way to introduce Zeus, Circe, Narcissus, Daphne, Andromeda, Medusa and Ned Kelly to the Australian public PANOS APOSTOLOU Melbourne-based Philhellene Max Grierson realised from a young age that knowledge of mythology helps us comprehend other cultures through art, hopefully so that we can understand them on a deeper level. In his latest collection of drawing works, named ‘Myth and Legend Goes Pop’, Grierson claims that "pop can be interpreted as deflationary and/or as popular". Advertising, and particularly fashion images, are the basis of most of the drawings, which are then adapted for parody or satire. Often the original images have an element of the fantastic in them. There is no intent to harm the right of integrity of the originals, only to promote a sceptical response to them. There is some social criticism as well; the view that people are only valuable as consumers and everything is a commodity. Grierson lives in Albert Park and, as he tells Neos Kosmos, he is surrounded by Greek families. He has travelled to Greece on several occasions, but his first contact with Greek mythology was when he was at high school in Victoria's country town of Bendigo. "In the local gallery, I saw a copy of Bernini's sculpture Apollo and Daphne, and it made a great impression on me." He also believes mythology is a form of history and a way of a people's understanding of their time. "Fables teach moral truths, such as the sin of pride seen in the stories of Andromeda and Cassiopeia," he adds, explaining that myths are also a template for customs, institutions and beliefs. "They tell of the formation of cities (e.g. Athena and Athens). There are stories of irreconcilable conflicts, the Titans as a primitive culture overcome by a superior civilisation." Grierson was head of the art faculty at Caulfield Grammar School for a number of years and used to introduce his students to myths through art. "Artists, especially those of the Italian Renaissance, use mythology as the basis of so many art works, an understanding of it is important," he says. "They began to understand that myths are not just stories but ways of understanding the human mind; they have meaning beyond their narrative." On asked how ancient myths and legends can be related with the modern way of living, Grierson stresses that "if we understand ourselves better then we have a chance to make better decisions, to penetrate deceit or illusion, to avoid following false gods". "My works in this exhibition are about asking people to be critical or perceptive of myth and legend, such as Ned Kelly, or fashion even. "Art can help us distinguish substance from the irrelevant or vacuous." Grierson touches on Sigmund Freud's idea to explain what modern Australians could learn from ancient Greek mythology. "Freud developed an idea called Antaean Compensation, as he saw us disconnect from mother Earth. "In mythology Hercules killed Anteus (the Earth's son), by lifting him so high that he lost contact with the earth, his strength's source. "Freud saw this as something that could affect us, and so his theory was drawn from a mythological story. With climate change and other threats to the environment, are we going to be destroyed? We need to be aware." * Max Grierson has had a number of solo and group exhibitions, working in the art forms of printmaking, painting and drawing. s m he d? Zeus As A Chess Piece: That bishop is a tricky devil; the nymph is heels over head. 'Work by Max' was ork by Max' was included in the Australian Print Survey which toured Australian State Galleries and he has a biographical entry in McCulloch's The Encyclopaedia of Australian Art (1994). F he was he d Circe In A Net Dress: Circe captured seafarers and turned them into beasts and swine. Odysseus outsmarted her; her fashionable net dress was no escape. Daphne Becoming A Tree: Apollo pursued the nymph Daphne. To escape, she called on her father for help and was turned into a laurel tree. Regardless, she pays the price. Zeus Disguised As A Handbag: Zeus, the supreme god of the Greek Pantheon, constantly pursued women, seducing them in various disguises, a swan, a bull. Here he is in another disguise – retail therapy. (1994). For 15 ) For 15 years ad of the artf h faculty at Caulfield Grammar School and was also their in-house set designer and builder. The exhibition will be on until the 22nd of S September at ‘The Memo’ Gallery in the Victorian country town of Healesville (235 Maroondah Highway). For more information visit www.culturetracks.info b ‘Th M ’ New Bourne film based on Greek crisis and Snowden The fifth instalment of the series to hit theatres next year The new Bourne film is back on track,featuring the adventures of the hero "through an austerityriddled Europe and in a post-Edward Snowden world", as its lead actor Matt Damon revealed in an interview last week. The Bourne films are based on a series of espionage thriller novels by Robert Ludlum, adapted for the screen and focusing on the titular character, Jason Bourne, a CIA-trained assassin suffering from memory loss. US actor, screenwriter and producer Matt Damon has played the main character in the first three instalments of the series since 2002, and is now returning to appear in the fifth film, directed by Paul Greengrass. Damon and Greengrass have worked on the script while having in mind two major developments which transformed the global political scene in the recent years: the revelations about NSA policies by whistleblower, former CIA employee Edward Snowden, and Greece's financial crisis that shook the EU. "It seems like enough has changed, you know? There are all these kinds of arguments about spying and civil liberties and the nature of democracy," said the 44-year-old actor. The film - which is set to reach cinemas on 29 July 2016 - kicks off production in September and will take place in various international locations including Greece. "We're starting in Greece, you know, the beginning of democracy," said Damon, giving fans a sneak peek, adding that shooting will be concluded in Las Vegas. Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in a scene from The Bourne Ultimatum, released in 2007. PHOTO: AP/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS/JASIN BOLAND.
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