In Hinduism, the pomegranate (Sanskrit: Beejpur, literally: replete with seeds) symbolizes prosperity and fertility, and is associated with both Bhoomidevi (the earth goddess) and Lord Ganesha (who is also called Bijapuraphalasakta, or the one fond of the many-seeded fruit). According to the Qur’an, pomegranates grow in the gardens of paradise. Within the sanctuary of Hera at Foce del Sele, Magna Graecia, is a chapel devoted to the Madonna del Granato, “Our Lady of the Pomegranate”, who by virtue of the pomegranate is considered the Christian successor of the ancient Greek goddess Hera. In ancient Greece, pomegranates were offered to Demeter and to the other gods for fertile land, for the spirits of the dead and in honor of compassionate Dionysus. In modern times the pomegranate holds strong symbolic meanings for the Greeks. On important days in the Greek Orthodox calendar, such as the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and on Christmas Day, it is traditional to have at the dinner table polysporia, also known by their ancient name panspermia, in some regions of Greece. They are also used as part of housewarming rituals as house guests bring as a first gift a pomegranate, which is placed under/near the ikonostasi (home altar) of the house, as a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck. Pomegranates are also prominent at Greek weddings and funerals. When Greeks commemorate their dead, they make kollyva as offerings, which consist of boiled wheat, mixed with sugar and decorated with pomegranate. It is also traditional in Greece to break a pomegranate on the ground at weddings and on the first day of the new year.
From this amazing fruit exploding with life force and diverse historical and cultural heritages comes the inspiration for Pomegranate . A unique forum for exposing experimental, short films and installations, Pomegranate is a forum for non-traditional visual media. Some of the older pieces were originally produced as video or Internet installations while the majority are independent video pieces. Most are unedited and can vary in length from thirty seconds to twenty minutes and adopt many of the techniques from cinéma-vérité. With the idea of producing pieces that could be characterized as visual ethnographic experiments, Pomegranate focuses upon the uncensored, the unedited and the rough edges of filmmaking brought together with subjects that vary from the abstract to the cultural and political. Ultimately, Pomegranate is guerrilla filmmaking with an ethnographic perspective that attempts to break with the current practices of hyper-edited cinema and talking head documentary. Attempting to break with certain cinematic practices, this space is dedicated to the creation of the the unfinished, the new, the un-edited, and even the very bad. I find that the beauty of art lies not in what it creates as some goal-focused project or purely aesthetic object, but rather art resides in that which often defies beauty or the expected.
Held captive by Hades and left in the Underworld while all things green ceased to grow upon the earth, Persephone was unable to consume any food or drink as per the rule of the Fates which doomed those who did so to spend eternity in the Underworld. Eventually Hades tricked Persephone into eating six pomegranate seeds and because of this she had to spend six months in the Underworld every year. While this myth of the pomegranate gave birth to the seasons of the earth, they also created the metaphor for activity and rest, for production and consumption and for fertility and death within the natural world. With this spirit of rebirth and creation, Pomegranate will continue to destroy, produce and recycle those visions, stories and abstractions that make this life a unique experience.