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*The term “lysis” is a notion that can be interpreted and applied in manifold ways. In its medical sense, it suggests the occurrence of a crisis. In its philosophical version as death, it means “the disintegration of a body”. From a ritualistic perspective, it entails an illusory, internal, spiritual death or descent, the prerequisite for a spiritual resurrection-ascent; Thanatos (death) being a brother to Oneiros (dream) and Hypnos (sleep). As a sobriquet of Dionysus (i.e. “Lysios”), because it is precisely via the arcane worship of this god that catharsis, salvation and transformation are sought. And finally, its dramatic conceptualisation: the finale of the drama, the end of the play.

LYSIS is the moment when change springs. A precursory moment of creative pause heralds introspection and profound insight, resolution and choice, so that LYSIS ensues as a process of crossing and transformation.

The artist, performer and researcher Mary Zygouri continues her long commitment to the visual practices of site-specific performance exhibiting her latest project “LYSIS” at the archaeological site of the Amphiareion of Oropos (a celebrated dream healing and divinatory shrine in classical era) on Sunday, 18 September 2022, under the auspices of NEON Organisation of Culture and Development.

The ruins of the Shrines’ topography, the natural environment and the geomorphology of the Amphiareion are inextricably associated with the nature of the dream per se.

The core on which the healing practice of dream divination was based involved a. a cleansing and purification ritual, b. preparation, and c. healing via dream incubation (“enkoimesis”). At the Amphiareion, induced dreams, i.e. healing dreams, are explored and interpreted. The dream was the vehicle, the remedy, as well as a promise for a rehabilitation and cure process.

“have dreams/write your dreams”.

During the experiential process and the in-situ practice at the Amphiareion of Oropos (May 12th -June 12th), the artist Mary Zygouri sought to apply a different angle and perspective, far beyond anthropocentric dualisms. To encourage a deeper connection with the natural landscape based on the body, senses, feeling, and imagination. To listen to the landscape, to feel its actual skin. To listen to its oneiric power that has flown in its waters forever, to this day. To explore a kinship with the place, so that the meaning originating from the physical traces of the past emerges cohesively as well as organically.

The keystones of this exploration that form the core and compass of the project are based on:

  1. investigating sleep and dream performativity, b. experiencing the archaeological site as the Other’s place, c. the importance of the aquatic element and its association with the dream, d. the Maternity of waters.

LYSIS project is an evocative practice of “ambivalence”. Between the inscriptions of the archaeological site and the natural landscape.Between the dreamscape and the body locus.

LYSIS performance is intended to establish a fragile equilibrium “between” them

“LYSIS” performance will be a site-specific tour among the ruins of the ancient dream healing shrine and its surroundings. In the form of offerings (“typia”, i.e. eye, ear, larynx, vocal cords etc), over-sized human parts of the suffering body that anticipates healing will substantiate six scenes/stations within the Archaeological Site (Temple, Roman Theatre, Stoa, Sacred Fountain, Baths, Clepsydra).

“LYSIS” performance is the projection of an oneiric narration. Three eerie personae, projections of the subject’s multiple self, proceed in an associative flow of actions and performances, moving from the inner dreamscape to the outer surroundings of the Amphiareion. Shadows of the healing dream: a. An inorganic orange entity, Anna Tzakou (performer, director and Performing Arts scholar), b. A small-headed giant, Dimitris Tsiamis (actor and director), c. a white female pillar, Mary Zygouri.

The final “LYSIS” performance will take place on September 18, at 11:00 p.m. at the archaeological site of the Amphiareion in Oropos, and will be a unique performative tour which the spectators are asked to follow and participate therein.

The artist invites the spectator to experience the archaeological site, open and enlivened in the context of a collective performative experience of “crossing over” to a shared “here and now”.


Research/Idea/Director: Mary Zygouri

Performers: Anna Tzakou, Mary Zygouri, Dimitris Tsiamis

Scientific collaborator: Nena Samioti

Video: Panagiotis Isaris

Photography: Zaphiro Vlachou

Costume Designer Assistant: Emily Koukoutsaki

Communication: Chryssa Matsagani

Organised by: Polus Collective


Sunday, 18 September

At 11:00 p.m.

Duration: 60 minutes

Free admission (an admission fee is required for the archaeological site)

The Amphiareion of Oropos: 47km from the centre of Athens & 5km from Kalamos Beach, OroposEastern

A Suttle bus will transport the public to Amfiario Oropos

Starting point: ELTA Courier Syntagma

At 9:45 p.m.

Reservation is necessary. Telephone: 696811609

Temporary concession of the site by the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and Museums / Ephorate of Antiquities of Eastern Attica

With the support of  GrantsNEON Organisation of Culture and Development

Under the auspices of Museo Castromediano, Lecce, Italy

Under the auspices of Italian Institute of Culture, Athens, Greece