Good Morning, Pallas Athena
Anna de Rijk’s typical mythical day as a Greek goddess
“Athena was my favorite character from The Odyssey when I read it as a child,” says Emir Eralp, who cast Anna de Rijk as his version of the Greek goddess of wisdom for Good Morning, Pallas Athena. “I wanted a strong female figure and Athena obviously represents the kind of calm, calculated female mentality that the male-dominated and slightly crazy world clashes against.”
“Athena represents the calm female mentality that the male-dominated world clashes against”
Influenced by the sense of social isolation that Albert and David Maysles captured in Grey Gardens (1975) and the laconic tone of Jørgen Leth’s The Perfect Human(1967), the filmmaker and photographer captures the Dutch model and artist in the ancient Turkish city of Phaselis to create his mythical re-appropriation.
Here, Anna de Rijk talks to NOWNESS about myths and modern day gods and goddesses.
What myth that most intrigues you?
Anna de Rijk: “Lately, I’ve been interested in Sirens. The strangeness of their seduction and the enchantment that comes with that. It seems to be this irrational thing – the illusion and its fatality – that seems to attract people. There’s a promise of something that will never be fulfilled and does not really exist. Perhaps it would be nicer to be an Artemis kind of figure [the goddess of the hunt] and run in the woods and live a wilder life. However, I do want to have some sort of love life, which goddesses don’t have and don’t need.”
What mythological punishment would you inflict if you could?
ADR: “I think I’d do something sorceress-like. If I was very angry, I might unwittingly poison the world like Circe [the goddess of magic], who made snakes come out of the earth, trees die and people turn into pigs.”
Who is the modern parallel of Hercules?
ADR: “Harry Potter is a modern day mythical hero for people to dream about. He does one incredible thing after another: from slaying an enormous snake to winning all of the sports matches. He’s not an ordinary person but has been chosen, marked – he’s a wizard and a fighter.”
The modern Odysseus?
ADR: “My one friend who reminds me of Odysseus is photographer Joachim Johnson. He is always traveling and changing his life around.”
A modern Siren?
ADR: “I think FKA Twigs is a modern-day Siren. She seems very mysterious and has a special, mythical sensuality and sexuality in her videos and songs.”