The World Turned Upside Down: Amanda Manitach and the Mystery of the Mysteries

Tonight at Gallery 40 (the portable gallery which will be situated in front of Vermillion), Amanda Manitach presents a series of works which apparently deal with the subject of pigs, sacrifices, and a grotesque “diorama of baroque pork”.  (Textual references here.)

Amanda Manitach

Amanda Manitach. die verkehrte Welt; la monde renversé; il mondo alla rovescia: THE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN.

When I read Amanda’s blog post about the project, I had a strange feeling and looked at the date on the calendar.  What I confirmed sent a chill up my spine.  The Greater Mysteries of Eleusis, which were celebrated for over two thousand years in the ancient world and have been credited by sources from Plato to contemporary classicist Carl Ruck to have been arguably the single most important force underlying much of what we value about classical civilization (and were among the key practices to be condemned and eradicated by the Christians when they came to power in the 4th century AD) traditionally began each year on September 23.

The price of admission to the mysteries for a would-be initiate was a pig for sacrifice to the Great Mother Demeter.

Amanda’s vast archive of textual references on the symbolism underlying this show make no reference to the Mysteries, and I have no idea if this is an area she has encountered in her extensive research.  (Certainly a great deal of the power of the Mysteries derives from their secrecy.)  However that this specific symbolic resonance could possibly be a coincidence is blowing my mind eight kinds of sideways right now.

At any rate, I take Amanda Manitach’s work as evidence that despite her wayward children’s best intentions to wipe her memory from history, Mother Demeter is alive and well. The slaughter of innocents in Her [bloodthirsty, but ultimately lifegiving] honor will take place tonight between 6 and 9 p.m. in front of Vermillion (on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine in Seattle.)

~ by emilypothast on September 23, 2010.

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