The Onassis Foundation presents the ONASSIS FESTIVAL NY 2015 ~ Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined from October 8-11, 2015, an entertaining four-day festival of arts and ideas for curious minds of all ages — scholars and novices alike. Festival events will be held at the Onassis Cultural Center NY in Olympic Tower, at BAM in Brooklyn, on a walking tour of New York City, and in Astoria.

Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is the first annual festival of arts and ideas, taking place in the newly renovated space in the Olympic Tower in New York City.  The Festival features a kaleidoscopic view of the myth of Narcissus through music, visual art, film, science, literature, choreography, culinary arts, fashion and digital media for curious minds.

With FREE ADMISSION for all, Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined is a festival experience you don’t want to miss. The events feature a fascinating mix of 40 entertaining and informative performances, installations, talks, readings, discussions, hands-on activities and more in the fields of music, visual art, science, literature, choreography, film and animation, culinary arts, fashion and digital media. For families, Sunday, October 11 is dedicated to you. Join us for a weekend of experiences you’ll be talking about for years.

The myth of Narcissus has fascinated human imagination through time and cultures. With roots lost in antiquity, it first appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, where narcissus is the flower that virginal Persephone plucks when abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld.   The better known telling of the myth comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: a beautiful Greek youth falls in love with his own reflection and wastes away pining for himself; in his place a flower grows, a narcissus, or daffodil which is our signal for spring.  This version of the myth is the defining allegory of the post-modern age.  From psychoanalysis to selfies, the Narcissus myth serves as an emblematic example of the unparalleled influence of Classical antiquity on our culture.

“Through this new initiative, an annual festival of arts and ideas, we take a fresh look into the classical tradition and the complex ways it forms part of our own vocabulary. We invite the community to join us as we explore how ideas and ancient models, such as Narcissus, are interpreted today and what we can learn from them,” says Amalia Cosmetatou, executive and cultural director of the Onassis Foundation (USA).  “We will offer opportunities for Greek and American artists to work side by side on specially commissioned works and to explore how Hellenic culture inspires the creative arts and informs our lives.”

Through exclusive commissions and by drawing unexpected connections, the Narcissus Now program showcases the impact of the Narcissus myth across a broad and diverse spectrum of artistic disciplines, including new collaborations between Greek and American artists.  The Festival’s online presence will make the program available globally.  Violaine Huisman is guest curator for the first festival and Ellen Dennis its producer.  Narcissus Now is funded exclusively by the Onassis Foundation (USA).

“The story of Narcissus is everywhere, from selfies to the excesses of social media. It’s so timely that it feels prescient. Yet the myth has an enigmatic quality, too, exposing the perils of self-regard, of solitude, of beauty.  The Festival presents all these aspects of Narcissus, reimagined across the arts. Our intention is to explore the intellectual depth of the myth with rigor and whimsy and a sense of fun.” says Violaine Huisman, curator of Narcissus Now.



Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined, October 8-11
World Citizens, October 23
Commission by Angelo Plessas for The Art Wall, October-December 2015

Heléne Alexopoulos, Andreas Angelidakis, Jonah Bokaer, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Jenny Holzer, Jennifer Homans, Stavros Gasparatos, Paul Giamatti, Angelo Plessas, Narciso Rodriguez, Lorin Stein and Judith Thurman to be featured in an inaugural Arts and Ideas Festival Exploring Contemporary Interpretations of
the Myth of Narcissus



WHAT: Onassis Festival NY 2015 ~ Narcissus Now: The Myth Reimagined
ENTRY: FREE ADMISSION; Reservations required for some events.
WHEN: Thursday-Monday, October 8-12, 2015
HOURS: Thursday 10/8 7 pm-9 pm
Friday 10/9 11am-7 pm; Off site in Astoria: 8 -10 pm
Saturday 10/10 11am-7:30 pm; Off site at BAM: 9-11 pm
Sunday 10/11 9 am-3 pm
ADDED:  Monday 10/12: 10 am- 8 pm for all visual art in the atrium and gallery.
WHO:  Over 70 performers and participants including — but not limited to — Heléne Alexopoulos, Jonah Bokaer, Bruce High Quality Foundation, Vanessa Grigoriadis, Jenny Holzer, Jennifer Homans, Stavros Gasparatos, Paul Giamatti, Konstantin Kakanias, Angelo Plessas, Narciso Rodriguez, Lorin Stein, Judith Thurman and more.
WHERE: Onassis Cultural Center NY – Olympic Tower
645 5th Ave, NYC, Entrances on 51st &52nd Streets btw Madison & Fifth Ave