Hebra is not an evasive project. We do not want to shy away from the society we have lived through, but rather to rebuild it from the ground up, eradicating all oppression and all inequality. Transforming does not mean forgetting, but recovering everything that humanity has created in a constructive way, that contributes to our growth, our well-being or our pleasure, and rejecting everything that creates inequality, violence and the destruction of our environment. Many civilizations, despite even the cruel systems of oppression in which they lived, made great contributions to us through culture, the sciences, literature, the arts… Society must evolve, the era of capitalism must end in order to build the new world. But to do this, first, we have to get out of the labyrinth.
Daedalus, cousin of Theseus, was an excellent sculptor, architect and engineer from Athens. Theseus was the son of Aegeus, king of Athens, and of Etra, daughter of the king of Trecen, where they lived. Shortly before Theseus’ birth, Aegeus decided to return to Athens, but before that he left for his future son his sword and sandals under a large rock, predicting that as an adult Theseus would move the rock, take the sandals and sword and go with them to Athens, and thus he would recognize him. So it was, indeed. Theseus grew up and travelled a long way to Athens, where he faced several giants and monsters whom he defeated, and was therefore considered a great hero.
Upon arriving in Athens, Medea, his father’s new wife, feared that Theseus would occupy the throne she wanted for her son, so she tried to poison him, but without success. When she was discovered, she was banished from Athens.
Daedalus had many workshops throughout the city, where his apprentices worked. One of them was his nephew Talo, of great ingenuity, capable of inventing objects and tools such as the potter’s wheel or the serpent’s jaw saw. Daedalus was irritated with envy of Talo’s success and it is said that, one day when they were working in the Acropolis, he threw him from a rock. Daedalus was therefore exiled from Athens and marched with his son Icarus to Cnosos, a city on the island of Crete, where Minos was king, who welcomed him with all honors, for his great fame as a sculptor and engineer.
But none of his constructions became as famous and admired as the labyrinth of Cnosos, an inextricable tangle of towering walls that occupied several hectares of land. The design was so complicated that no one could find the way out between those tortuous corridors. It was built for the Minotaur, a frightful creature that had been born from the union of Pasifae with a white bull. The Minotaur was a monster half man and half bull, living in the center of the labyrinth and feeding only on human flesh.
To satisfy his hunger, seven boys and seven girls from the cities dominated by the Cretan king were sacrificed to the Minotaur every year. Athens had to pay its terrible tribute every nine years, and it was Athens turn very soon after Theseus’ arrival. He volunteered to give his own ife, if necessary, even though he was determined to play hard to get.
Terrible and clear is the analogy between the labyrinth of Knosus and the one in which we currently find ourselves, in which we were born and from which we cannot escape. A monster that traps and enslaves us, and that devours people in order to survive. Capitalism has not been built in two days; it is the result of centuries of refinement of an atrocious system that subjects millions to the yoke so that a few live like. It has evolved and adapted as the grotesque creature that it is. It has created infinite networks and relationships of power, which rise up to make it impossible for us to find our way out.
The ship transporting the victims to Crete carried the black candle in mourning, both on the outward journey and on his tragic return, but Theseus, sure to return victorious, announced to his father that he would return with a white sail, so that he would know his success.
As soon as Theseus arrived in Crete, he fell in love with Ariadne, the king’s daughter, and she decided to do what she could to save him. She knew that Daedalus was cousin of Theseus, and she went to him immediately.
Daedalus told her that the fierce Minotaur could be defeated by a brave man willing to fight. Many had been dominated by his monstrous appearance and bad reputation. He could only be killed by piercing his brain with one of his sharp horns, though he did not know how. He did know how to get out of the labyrinth. He gave Ariadne a ball of silk thread. Theseus would only have to tie one end of the thread to the entrance and wind the ball as it advanced through the passageways until it reached the center, where the Minotaur awaited his prey. If he survived the fight, he would only have to rewind the thread and find himself outside.
On the day of the sacrifice, Ariadne accompanied Theseus to the entrance of the labyrinth, and she herself tied one end of the thread to the lintel of the door, leaving the ball on the ground. Theseus reached the center of the labyrinth reeling his thread. There he confronted the Minotaur and managed to defeat him by pulling out a horn and nailing it to his forehead like a spear. Then he went out following Ariadne’s thread and embarked with the rest of the young people, taking the princess with him.
Beyond the mythological story, from the classic Hellenic tale of gods, kings and heroes, Hebra takes the fantastic symbology of this legend, in which, to defeat the most portentous and evil work created by human we use a simple and invaluable silk thread (gold, according to versions). Thus, we are nothing more than a filament, a thread that is the tool to get out of the labyrinth. A thread that, together with many others, will create a network that will rebel to destroy this unworthy prison.
Once the deception was discovered, Minos locked Daedalus and his son in the labyrinth. But Daedalus was no ordinary man. With a stick and a leather strap he made an arch, and with it he killed two eagles. With their feathers he made wings for himself and his son, fixing them to a light armor and gluing them with wax. At dawn they put on their wings and flew over the labyrinth. Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, but he ignored the warning. The Sun, shining stronger and stronger, melted the wax that united the feathers, and Icarus fell hopelessly, sinking into the Aegean Sea.
Theseus and Ariadne spent many days together, but one day Theseus decided that he should leave because he had dreamt that she would marry the god Dionysus, as it happened shortly afterwards. In pain, Theseus forgot the promise to his father to announce his victory with a white sail. Aegean, seeing the black sail on the horizon, unable to survive such a loss, committed suicide. And after him, Theseus became king of Athens.