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Selma Köran – Exit Athena

Museum Folkwang, Essen

© Selma Köran 2020

With her seemingly surrealist, multimedia installations, Selma Köran (born 1989) questions traditional power structures and gender relations. For Exit Athena, her first institutional exhibition, the young artist has taken a canonical text from European literature and transformed it into an exuberant filmic spectacle: Hesiod’s Theogony tells the story of the Greek gods. Köran adds a fictitious final chapter to this text, in which she turns the hierarchy of the world of the Gods on Olympus on its head. The heroine in Köran’s new, feminist version is the clever and rebellious Athena, who steps into the ring against her own father, Zeus. Selma Köran creates her own alternative mythology using a visual language of exaggeration. She teases out the sensuousness and aggressivity in Hesiod’s cosmos and stages it in a colourful and anarchic vein. The linear narrative structure of Hesiod’s poem gives way to the fragmentary co-existence of grotesque film scenes and animated sequences using Plasticine figures.

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