• Elias Adam

Ophelia, Bitch!

The Ophelia Effect: Causes And Prevention: A Blog

About How To Stop The Ophelia Effect.

Ophelia, Effect was commissioned by Common Lab. Goethe-Institut Excellency Initiative by GoetheInstitut Thessaloniki & ArtBOX in collaboration with TIF-HELEXPO, as part of the series Common Lab, during the exhibition ‘Portraits & Portraiture’ that took place between the 5th and 26th of October 2017. At THE ARTS CENTER OF THE GREEK PUBLIC SERVICE TELEVISION (HELEXPO), Thessaloniki. The exhibition was curated by Despina Kokkini and Al

1. Ophelia – A Poem By William Shakespeare

Ophelia was commissioned to make work for Common Lab. Goethe-Institut Thessaloniki & ArtBOX have

teamed up to create the Goethe-Institut Excellency Initiative. Because It is a musical installation that

uses a series of microphones to pick up the sound of the audience. And uses these sounds to create a

musical composition.

2. Why Choose Ophelia To Write About?

Ophelia is a project that started with a conversation. It was a conversation between two women, one

with a background. In art and the other with a background in software development. The result of that

conversation is Ophelia, a visual programming language created by Common Lab. Ophelia is a

programming language that allows people to create interactive visuals by connecting different shapes,

images, and text.

It is similar to other visual programming languages, however, it differs in how it is designed to be used. It

is not meant to be used by programmers or designers, but rather by normal people that are as young as

six years old. Because of this, it is easy to learn, even for non-programmers. And is accessible to people

with a variety of skill levels.

Ophelia is being used to allow young people, especially girls, to engage with technology in a fun and

creative way. It is being used in workshops and schools as a means of teaching programming, coding,

and design. Designers are also using it as a new way to create interactive art.

3. What Message Is Ophelia Trying To Send?

The performance is based on the tragedy of Hamlet, where Ophelia drowns herself after her father’s

death. So the main character sees the death of Ophelia as revenge. It is a continuous performance,

which starts the moment the audience enters the room and ends with the audience leaving it.

The space is a green room, which transforms into a rivered landscape. So the performance takes place

by the river, where the young lady is drowning herself. The audience is situated on the other side of the

lake. They can see the young lady, but she cannot see them. The audience is watching the young lady,

who is trying to send a message to the world. The audience is trying to read that message, but they


As well as the scene is a metaphor for the inability of the audience to get a message across. Which is a

a typical situation in the real world.

4. Why Did They Choose Ophelia?

The idea and the inspiration for the project came from the Goethe Institut. And the seminars they

organize for the selected artists. Who will exhibit in the exhibition? From the very beginning, the

Goethe-Institut had a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve with this project. They wanted an image

that would convey the idea of a storm. But which would be at the same time a poetic and metaphorical


The idea of Ophelia as a metaphor for the “catastrophe of war and the wounds it creates”. Came from a

Greek poem by Constantine Cavafy. In the poem, Ophelia is torn apart by her father and his friends.

Who is celebrating with wine the war her father brought back from a great battle he had participated in.

I learned about this poem from my father, who was a great admirer of Cavafy’s work. The poem is very

famous in Greece and it is one of the most famous poems from the poet’s book “Ithaca”. So I learned

about the poem at a very young age and when I was asked to make an image. That conveys the idea of a

storm I immediately thought of Ophelia. So I used this poem as the starting point for my work.


In the end, Ophelia is a tragic hero. She made the right choice, but she was punished for it. So Ophelia

was punished for being brave; she was punished for expressing her emotions. But she will always be

loved and remembered for it.

10 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All