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The Butterfly Effect: When the textile factory "Butterfly" is the inspiration for a breathtaking exhibition

At the historic Mouzakis Textile Factory "Butterfly" in Eleonas, the works of 41 artists interact with the installations. The curator of the exhibition, Kostas Prapoglou, talks to Popaganda about the dialogue between industry and art.

               Louisa Solomon-Panta

Alison Woods' site-specific installation "Chrysalis".

The retro-futuristic character of the industrial environment of the historic textile factory "Butterfly" in Eleonas was a source of inspiration for 41 artists participating in the contemporary art exhibition entitled "the Butterfly Effect", curated by Kostas Prapoglou. The exhibition, produced by the urban non-profit organization artefact athens, closes on Sunday, October 22.

Taking up space in various buildings of the factory, "The Butterfly Effect" expects to highlight its history, which is inextricably linked to the industrial history of Greece. At the same time, taking into account the geographical richness of the wider area of the factory's premises, which is identical to the axis of the ancient procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries on the Sacred Way, the exhibition brings the public close to meanings of inner exploration, existential quests and emotional uplift.

To date, more than fifty-five thousand friendly visitors have had the opportunity to tour the numerous spaces of the complex founded by Eleftherios Mouzakis in 1944, and to see the works up close in a context where the real and the imaginary interact and interact. The industrial premises, which operates continuously to this day, host works that respond to the site (site-specific) and the conceptual context (context-responsive), creating with their visual, multimedia vocabulary space installations, videos, sculptures, soundscapes and paintings.


The Mouzakis Textile Factory "Butterfly" in Eleonas

The conceptual axis involves a poetic and allegorical metaphorical metaphor of the butterfly effect, which lends its name to the title of the exhibition. It connotes the fact that an infinitesimal change in the flow of events leads, after the passage of time, to a development of history dramatically different from the one that would have taken place if the change had not occurred.

Coming to the factory premises, the audience will also have the opportunity to consider the prospect of reindustrialization and the strengthening of domestic production and the collective benefit that could result from this development. The human resources, the families who worked in this place are also an important yet symbolic parameter, establishing a further condition for exploring and celebrating the role of industry.


The curator of the exhibition, Kostas Prapoglou

Having reflected in the past his love for the journey towards Elefsina and its Mysteries, through the two previous group exhibitions he curated at the Dafni Psychiatric Hospital ("Reality Check" I and II, 2021 and 2022, respectively), Kostas Prapoglou talks to Popaganda about the importance of his new project as a vehicle for the connection between past and present.


Christina Anid's "Vortex / the end of time"

What is the common starting point of the works of the 41 artists participating in the "Butterfly Effect"? How does this allow them to create an integrated narrative in the "bowels" of the factory?

The common starting point of all the works is the notion of interconnectedness, that is, how events and lives of all of us are interdependent through the course of time.  Each artist decodes this concept through his/her visual vocabulary and expresses it in his/her own special and unique way, developing a dialogue with the other works, the building, its people and visitors. In this way, we orchestrate a unified narrative that we attempt to characterize by a harmony of images and sounds.

The geographical mark of the wider area of the plant's facilities is identified with the axis of the ancient procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries on the Sacred Way. What is the significance of this location for the Exhibition?

From the ancient Sacred Way and the procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries we have reached the perpetual traffic of trucks and other vehicles to and from Eleusis. At a time when the modern urban and road network has made us forget what has come before and exactly what land we are treading on, the site of the exhibition is an occasional reminder of all these changes. What is now an area of industry, warehouses, office buildings and department stores was once riverside fields that people crossed, heading for a cradle of religious worship and inner quest.


The work of Anita Kalimeri " Smoking Pillars"

The leading Greek textile company "Butterfly" meets the butterfly effect, which is the conceptual framework of the exhibition. How does it relate to what takes place on the factory premises?

The exhibition explores the sequence of events in the light of several individual conceptual axes. In the specific case, if Eleftherios Mouzakis had not founded and developed the textile factory "Butterfly" with his entrepreneurial talent, we would not be talking about this exhibition in this factory today. But we might be talking about another exhibition in another factory in the same geographical location, and that is the charm of the philosophical theory of the butterfly phenomenon. By basing their creative imagination on these meanings and ideas, many of the participating artists consciously use materials that are directly related to this industry. They link their work to the factory's product in a visual and symbolic way, it is a tribute to the past and to the Butterfly Factory's inscription in the collective memory and tradition of the country.


Work by Manolis Babousis entitled "Debates I, II"

By coming into contact with the operation of the textile industry in the past and of a large industrial unit in general, the audience is able to consider the prospect of reindustrialisation, the strengthening of domestic production and the collective benefit that could result from such a development. What is this benefit according to you and what is required for the country to turn in this direction?

The public enters an iconic industry to witness and participate in a contemporary art exhibition that has been the impetus for the re-establishment of such a strong name in the Greek industry. The fact is that the majority of visitors were unaware that this particular factory was still in operation. Art has the ability to move people and put people in a thought process even on a theoretical level.

Re-industrialisation may seem to some to be a utopian condition, but it is a reasonable prospect for diversifying the productive base of our economy. We currently rely heavily on tourism, but can we continue to grow economically and socially by over-strengthening only one sector of the economy? I think that the healthy development of industry can boost innovation and make the Greek economy even more outward-looking, giving new opportunities to people of many different professions. The goal is of course difficult, it needs political will, effective public administration and a change of mindset in Greek society, but if we consider that after the Second World War Greek industry was reborn from its ashes, perhaps we can be optimistic.


Eozen Agopian's "In Process Twice"


the Butterfly Effect / the Butterfly Effect
Curator: Kostas Prapoglou / artefact Athens
Duration of Exhibition: 21 September - 22 October 2023.
Days/ Hours of operation: Thursday - Friday - Saturday - Sunday: 15.30 - 20.30
PELEMISTE - "Petalemiko", 41 Kifissou Avenue, 122 42, Athens, Greece.
Metro station Eleonas / Egaleo
Buses: 420 and 856 

Eozen Agopian (Greece), Lydia Andrioti (Greece), Christina Anid (France/Greece/Lebanon), Anna Antarti (Greece), KlitsaAntoniou (Cyprus), Ruth Asawa (America), Orit Ben Shitrit (Israel/USA/Morocco), Robert Cahen (France), Irene Carvajal (Costa Rica/America), Irini Gonou (Greece), Susan Daboll (America), Lydia Dambasina (Greece), Sophia Zarari (Greece), Eleni Zouni (Greece), Michal Heiman (Israel), Kiana Honarmand (Iran/America), Pushpakaran Kadappath (India), Anita Kalimeri (Greece), Marianna Konstantis (Cyprus), Maria Loizidou (Cyprus), Iliodora Margelou (Greece), Despina Meimaroglou (Greece), Stella Meletopoulou (Greece), Manolis Babousis (Greece), Eva Nathena (Greece), Theodoros Noutsos (Greece), Sandra Osborne (America), Ada Petranaki (Greece), Leah Petrou (Greece), Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland), Evi Savvaidi (Greece), Ismeni Samanidi (England/Greece), Dimitra Skandali (Greece), Dimitris Skourogiannis (Greece), Franca Sonnino & Maria Jole Serreli (Italy), Marianna Strapatsaki (Greece), Nikos Tranos (Greece), Claire Tsalouchidou - Chatzimina (Greece), Alison Woods (USA), Maria Andromachi Chatzinikolaou (Greece).

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