This is a collaboration with photographer Eric Nielson. The myth of Ganymede caught my attention rather recently when I was working on Zeus and collecting information. I have always knew it existed but I never tried to find out the symbolism in it.
It’s a bit controversial and not only today. Plato, for instance, dismissed the myth as a Minoan pederastic wet dream. However, he missed to acknowledge that as much as every myth is a spiritual roadmap, it can often show the taboos of the society in which it is created. Which makes me think that it was not the Minoans who needed it, but the Greeks themselves. And I guess we all know why.
On another note, it may have originated without the sexual nuances simply as a story about a child crossing the border between innocence and adulthood. The kidnapping of boys as a ritual existed in all the early human societies and had nothing to do with sex itself, it was a way to educate and prepare the boy for his role after reaching maturity. The same rituals morphed in various later ones, like circumcision, only to end with the most common contemporary one – which is joining the army.
Of course today the border between adulthood and childhood is not that stark. In fact, if you are more careful, you can see another phenomenon – the attempt to reverse the transition. In our youth dominated culture, teenagers are considered the masters of the universe – and this has not only psychological but also economical aspect. Just check some music albums reviews – “relevant” always means “acceptable for young people”.
Long story short, these were the main motives that drew my attention to the myth and working on this piece was definitely a ride. I wanted to have a mixture of maturity and innocence, and to create a setting which is both naïve and threatening.
The teapot is a powerful symbol from my childhood. Of course in the story, Zeus doesn’t turn himself into a teapot but into eagle. Nonetheless, I didn’t want to follow the myth literary and I wanted to reverse the direction. And if the eagle symbolizes maturity, a teapot firing candy is definitely something childish and ridiculous. And in a strange way, it also reminds me on Alice but I don’t want to get carried away with explanations, so I’ll stop.
There’s a lot of humour inside this piece as there was in the original portrait photo that Eric Nielson made and I really tried to keep it fresh and, well, controversial.