Looking for PAI, text by Dores Sacquegna

In 1997, artist and curator Polyxene Kasda wrote a book on PAI which was published in five languages. Katerina Kaltsou, general secretary of the Union of cultural associations of Evros, strongly motivated by this text, started to realize Polyxene’s project, by coordinating the organizational and logistic aspects, thanks to the support of the Periphery of the Region of Evros,  the Municipality of Alexandroupolis and of Samothrace, the Prefecture of Evros...

Pai is an ambitious artistic project and itinerary that has coinvolved primarily three curators Polyxene Kasda, Pierre Chirouze and myself and has sollicited the curiosity of numerous international artists and personalities of culture and media communication.

Most of us ignored the significance of PAI, others had never been to Samothrace and others had never heard of the legend

“Pai” is a Greek word inscribed on sacred and votive utencils in the museum of Palaiopolis in Samothrace and signifies “Child”. In the popular iconography, eternity is represented by an infant with the circle of the zodiac [or a snake] revolving around its body. Heraclites, the Greek philosopher, wrote:” “the aeon is a child playing and tossing {dice}. The kingdom is the child’s".

The legend narrates that the initiates who were exposed to the magnetic field of the Stone of Samothrace, called Heraclia, received its precious magnetism and the power to transmit it, through their iron rings, to the rings of others and so on, creating a long chain of magnetic rings. In this way, we received this transmission of energy. On the level of informatics, we have recreated this chain reaction, through the use of telematic transmission, involving not only the artists, but also potential locations for the evolution of the project: Alexandroupolis, Samothrace, Athens, Patmos and Thebes.. creating a momentum that is about to supercede the European confines.

“The aeon is a child playing” is the light motif of our research and of our presence in Greece where we came to get to know the mythic landscapes from inside, to build an authentic relation with nature, territory, costumes and local rituals, but, also, to confront our ideas and to create new and intriguing synergies

It is a project of interchange, of relations and of confrontation, that has as a mission the reinvocation of the archetype in its spiritual and intellectual dimension; to discover one self.

To search for PAI is not a simple thing. It is like searching for a needle in the straw. It is a retrospect voyage in time, on this subtle thread separating the conscious from the unconscious, entering in an atemporal dimension, in direct contact with our energy, feeling the difference between being and becoming

Pai is our internal time; the authentic dimension of the absolute that makes us gods among gods. From this feedback, we have the possibility to recuperate the antique memory of Pai in a process that leads to our transformation, regeneration and growth.

In its course, globalization has dispersed the memory of the archetype, has elevated temples for consumption and has venerated new myths and symbols of contemporary vanity. In the antique world, astrology has served to read the significance of the stars, the horoscope was used for divination. For us, contemporaries, to search for PAI means to make a leap in the past, to revive antique legends, to question our existence and to understand that the mythography of the future can help us recuperate the memory of our roots and live a better life.

Each of us has left carrying his/her proper luggage of experience, but, the greatest experience was the one of interchange among us all and between us and PAI.

Polyxene has been the means to restore our relation to archetypal memory and from there, to initiate our course; the voyage of this small community of persons, in the mythic landscapes of the Island of the Winds, tasting the food of each location, dancing in the rhythm of Greek music, immersing our body in the Aegean and in the cold, tonifying, waters of the waterfalls, walking and climbing on the rough mountain called Moon while searching for the Gate of the Sun...

All this and so much more, are an integral part of a unique collective experience, which has as a final objective the foundation of a new consciousness and the initiation of another voyage that will lead to the discovery of more deeply mysterious landscapes, in which the stars will show us the way.

a tablecloth with the contour map of Samothrace and a model of the future city by Alessio Scarale

A special thank to all the artists and people that made possible this project.
Dores Sacquegna
Primopianogallery. Lecce

photo Fosca

"Lying on an antique stone, under the full moon, all dressed in white, I was holding my breath while following, a theatrical performance in the House of the Great Gods: The sound of the flute and of an ancient organ with a chord, like an arp, resonated as if stretched in the air, for an interval that seemed to me so short; like all unique emotions"
Fosca {Marcella Fusco}
photo Pierre Chirouze
"In Samothrace, where everything is majestic and solemn, I discovered in nature and in people the mysterious roots legated to my existential experience and the reasons underlying the making of my sculptures".
Giovanni Alfonsetti

photo Fosca
"A fantastic voyage in space and time, rich in perfumes and colours, in which people and nature reminded me of the magic of life.  It was like going back home to see old friends".
Silvia de Gennaro

photo: Hakan Akcura
"My mythical experience: the songs, the sounds, the remnants from the past, the Gate of the Sun transported me among the heroes and the gods: in the island of the goats and Ithaca with Odysseus"
Giorgio Carluccio


AthensArt hosts the PAI collection, 1/9/2010

we met V.Videa and G.Zaharia in front of Zaharia's sculpture
and we spotted several works of the PAI collection among the 260 works of the Athens Art exhibiion
M.Vita and Vim Viva 

The work of Silvia de Gennaro in Technopolis Athens


samothrace PAI 2010, impressions

 "Je me trouve dans un endroit merveilleux!
Un paradis d'eau, ou musique se forme au pied des cataractes qui coulent a travers les veines montagneuses.
 Je me vois, assise sur une roche couleur blanche, tendre comme une peau juvenile.
 A cote de moi, une feuille.
 Le vent qui caresse ma peau et souleve delicatement mes cheveux fins la pousse.
 Elle glisse, comme un enfant qui glisse sur un tobogant.
 Comme l'enfant qui glisse sur son chemin de vie.
 Comme l'adulte, glissant sur ce chemin choisi, qui finalement retrouve l'enfant qui dort en lui.
Une glissade vers les retrouvailles avec soi-meme.
Une glissade vers PAI."    Angeliki Casdas

Once again, the  utmost strength of this very special island enveloped me and showed this how we extract a simple self, how we can pollute it. One side was The Gate of the Sun, the other were the small accounts of human beings. Even among ourselves...   Hakan Akcura 

My mythical experience the songs, the sounds. the remnants of the past...all brought me back to the heroes and the Gods...   Giorgio Carluccio 

to be continued


Samothrace, PAI 2010


to be continued...........