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Narcissus Now

Festival Overview

A four-day festival of arts and ideas to inaugurate our newly renovated Onassis Cultural Center NY: music, dance, talks, films, and playful activities for curious minds of all ages.

The myth of Narcissus has fascinated human imagination through time and cultures. With roots lost in antiquity, it first appears in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, where narcissus is the flower that virginal Persephone plucks when abducted by Hades, the God of the Underworld. The better known telling of the myth comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses: a beautiful Greek youth falls in love with his own reflection and wastes away pining for himself; in his place a flower grows, a narcissus, or daffodil which is our signal for spring.  This version of the myth is the defining allegory of the post-modern age. From psychoanalysis to selfies, the Narcissus myth serves as an emblematic example of the unparalleled influence of Classical antiquity on our culture.

"Narcissus Now," a four-day festival, inaugurates the renovated Onassis Cultural Center NY with a kaleidoscopic portrait of the Narcissus myth through choreography, music, performance, fashion, culinary arts, film, architecture, visual arts, and literature. It will also examine the contemporary imprint of Narcissus on technology, psychology, philosophy, and science. With adventurous performance, engaging conversation, and light-hearted play from the forefront of intellectual and artistic talent around the world, "Narcissus Now" will celebrate the myth and its enduring imprint on society.     

Festival Schedule

October 8-October 11, 2015

7:00

pm, Thursday, October 8 Thu, October 8

Triple Echo

7-9pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

In an original dance and music creation, Jonah Bokaer and Stavros Gasparatos team up to inaugurate the festival.

  • Music
  • Dance

10:00

am, Friday, October 9 Fri, October 9

Bookstore

10-8pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

Our resident bookstore will select titles relating to our theme and sell books by festival participants.

  • Literature

11:00

am, Friday, October 9 Fri, October 9

Narcissus & Art In The Woods: A Lecture With The Bruce High Quality Foundation

11-12pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

The Bruce High Quality Foundation will offer an original lecture as performance on the myth of Narcissus in art.

  • Performance

1:00

pm, Friday, October 9 Fri, October 9

Narcissus & Architecture

1-2:30pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Starting at the Olympic Tower, a walking tour explores human self-glorification in the architecture of midtown Manhattan.

  • Tour

2:30

pm, Friday, October 9 Fri, October 9

Narcissus & Fashion

2:30-4pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

In choosing what to wear, each of us starts our day with a moment of creative narcissism.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

5:30

pm, Friday, October 9 Fri, October 9

Narcissus & Technology

5:30-7pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

Critics and adepts address the impact of technological advances on social interaction and self-perception.

  • Talk

11:00

am, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

Narcissus & Ballet

11-12pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

Every dancer develops an intimate and complex relationship with the mirror and self-image.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

On The Virtues Of Not Writing

11-12pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Discussion

12:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

The True Mirror

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

See yourself the way others do, and learn about the science of perception, the history of mirrors, and the metaphysics of self-image.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

The Greek Wordsmith

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Do you know there is a plethora of English words that have their origin in the Greek language?

  • Workshop

Bibliotheke

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Stop, sit, and read in our pop-up library, curated to relate to our theme.

  • Literature
  • Workshop

Strangers Project Booth

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Experience a collection of personal stories and journal entries from anonymous handwritten letters.

  • Literature
  • Workshop

Meet Narcissus

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Create your own myth with "Meet the Greeks" special edition paper cutouts.

  • Workshop

On Self-Portraiture

12-12:45pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Discussion

Narcissus Flower Craft

12-6pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Learn how to make a craft paper daffodil and take it home.

  • Crafts
  • Workshop

1:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

On Milton’s “Narcissa” In Paradise Lost

1-2pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Discussion

Narcissus & Acting

1-2pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

An in-depth discussion on the complex relationship between performer and audience and the mirrors they hold up to each other.

  • Discussion

2:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

On How Narcissistic Are You?

2-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Literature

3:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

Narcissus & Literature

3-4pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

Award-winning essayists discuss the uses and perils of the first person in modern and classic literature.

  • Discussion
  • Literature

On Reflecting Yourself In Your Cooking

3-4pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Discussion

4:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

On Freud’s On Narcissism And Lacan’s Mirror Stage

4-5pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Our illustrious speakers will draw connections between the Narcissus myth and cultural topics.

  • Seminar
  • Discussion

6:00

pm, Saturday, October 10 Sat, October 10

Narcissus & Us: A Keynote In Three Parts

6-7:30pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

The keynote discussion will analyze our multifaceted theme, from the origins of the myth to its evolution in psychology and social media.

  • Discussion
  • Literature

9:00

am, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

The True Mirror

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

See yourself the way others do, and learn about the science of perception, the history of mirrors, and the metaphysics of self-image.

  • Talk
  • Discussion

The Greek Wordsmith

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Do you know there is a plethora of English words that have their origin in the Greek language?

  • Workshop

Reflectopolis

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

What would Narcissus’ world look like today? Help us find out by building your own reflective city.

  • Crafts
  • Workshop

Bibliotheke

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Stop, sit, and read in our pop-up library, curated to relate to our theme.

  • Literature
  • Workshop

Meet Narcissus

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Create your own myth with "Meet the Greeks" special edition paper cutouts.

  • Workshop

Narcissus Flower Craft

9-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Learn how to make a craft paper daffodil and take it home.

  • Crafts
  • Workshop

Mirror Dance

9:15-10am , Olympic Tower Atrium

Dance to your reflection in this creative movement workshop geared to young children and their families.

  • Dance
  • Workshop

10:00

am, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

Narcissus & Space: A Short Film "Moon Mirrors"

10-11am , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

A short animated film for ages 5 and up. Created by Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney.

  • Family Program
  • Film

Mirror Dance

10:15-11am , Olympic Tower Atrium

Dance to your reflection in this creative movement workshop geared to young children and their families.

  • Dance
  • Workshop

11:15

am, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

Tell It Again!

11:15-12pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Engage with an interactive and family-friendly retelling of the myth of Narcissus.

  • Family Program
  • Workshop

12:00

pm, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

Narcissus & Space: A Short Film "Moon Mirrors"

12-1pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

A short animated film for ages 5 and up. Created by Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney.

  • Family Program
  • Film

Narcissus & Echo

12:15-1pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Create your own sound installation inspired by the Narcissus myth.

  • Music
  • Workshop

1:15

pm, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

Tell It Again!

1:15-2pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Engage with an interactive and family-friendly retelling of the myth of Narcissus.

  • Family Program
  • Workshop

2:00

pm, Sunday, October 11 Sun, October 11

Narcissus & Space: A Short Film "Moon Mirrors"

2-3pm , Onassis Cultural Center New York Gallery

A short animated film for ages 5 and up. Created by Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney.

  • Family Program
  • Film

Narcissus & Echo

2:15-3pm , Olympic Tower Atrium

Create your own sound installation inspired by the Narcissus myth.

  • Music
  • Workshop

Off Site Events

Wed - Oct

07

Diary Films

BAM

​BAMcinématek will present “Diaries, Notes and Sketches,” a look at the confessional, impressionistic art of the diary film.

  • Film

Sat - Oct

10

Narcissus & Song

BAMcafé

The singer-songwriter best known as the frontwoman of Brooklyn indie rock band the Fiery Furnaces, helps celebrate Narcissus in lyrics.

  • Music

Fri - Oct

09

Narcissus & Poetry

Federation Of Hellenic Societies Of Greater New York

A hand-painted truck delivers poetry, read, spoken, and projected live for our special edition of POEMobile in Astoria.

  • Music
  • Literature