Laius’ Murderer and the Crows, 2004

1 male -1 female

Marios Pontikas

An anonymous modern man (apparently a stock keeper) gives an interview to the media, where he narrates a series of shattering and bloody events that happened to him and which recombine the myth of Oedipus: while chasing wolves at a crossroads - that the shepherds call Schisti (Cleft) – he saw Laius’ ghost emerging from a chasm in the ground. An “undeniable” proof of his surreal experience is Laius’ sword - which he brought back with him and displays – and also the presence of Oedipus’ two daughters.

Despite Laius’ warnings to him not to repeat the same mistake - his own murder -, the man fatalistically commits the archetypal murder and, once again, kills the king of Thebes; his own father. Despite the obvious similarities with the mythical event to the slightest detail, “Laius’ murderer” is unable to accept this recurrence of events (it is impossible) and persistently denies the identification with Oedipus. What he essentially refuses to acknowledge, without realizing it, is the irreversibility of human destiny; the human race’s self-destruction. Besides, this is the riddle of the Sphinx, in a variation of its traditional version: "Pernicious breed, shall I devour you now that there’s still time, or would you rather find which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?" Laius murderer’s stubborn persistence in the meticulous description of events – that is, his unwavering faith in the value of Reason, both as articulate speech and as innate mental ability – prevents him from even sensing its insufficiency and collapse.

Meanwhile, cries of crows periodically interrupt the interview, presaging the appearance of a Woman-crow; temporarily acquiring a human voice, she enters to announce the impending arrival of a grim future in which human language will give way to the inarticulate cries of the crows that will cover any other sound. The coming dominance of crows (that feed on corpses) portends the imposition of a new order of death and destruction, but also trumpets the ultimate displacement of articulate speech from one that is incoherent and incomprehensible.


Rationale, 1987

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The Wedding, 1980

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Spectators, 1979

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The Persistent Quest of Dramatic Substance


Marios Pontikas’ work constitutes a diverse and multi-dimensional...