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American Pantheon (2014)


American Pantheon employs allegorical mythology ot delineate and critique the complex relationships between contemporary American political structures, including the Federal Reserve, bothdominant political parties, the news media, and institutions for national security. The myth was written in collaboration with author Anthony Siwajian. The narrative and the sculptures mutually inform eachother to tell a complex and nuanced story. Below, please find the narrative which informs the sculptures and artwork pictured above. Please click on the images above to view a photo catalog of the work.

For more information, please download Stephens' PDF catalog.

Discord—The Sons of Apollo, sing of strife among the Pantheon.

A division between father and son wrought by a history of treachery;

sing of Cronus’ rage and destruction of his children, the Olympians.

Poseidon and Demeter devoured, but Zeus saved

and sheltered in Rhea’s belly until such a time that she 

could hide her son safely away.



Phoebe, Titan of prophecy, and Mnemosyne, Titan of memory, give counsel.

They warn the great Cronus, who bought freedom for all in these lands,

his son, Zeus, will attempt to overthrow him just as Cronus overthrew his own father.

“Do not remain idle while your son usurps power and buys loyalty from all around him—Olympians and mortals alike.  

The green thunder he produces may seem to shelter

but deep within his actions, his intentions are clear.”



Cronus, accepting their counsel, takes action and after devouring

Poseidon and Demeter, he searches for Zeus and finds Rhea;

a lump in her core like some foreign illness moves about.  Rhea’s eyes 

warn Cronus, and he takes his leave to look upon Mt. Olympus,

the white tower erected by The Olympians.



Apollo, son of Zeus, and Hermes, bastard of Zeus, debate their father’s fate 

on the isle of Crete where Daedalus secretly builds a labyrinth.

The two Olympians know Rhea’s intent to hide Zeus away in Daedalus’ 

clever work.  Disguised as servants of King Minos,

they approach the labyrinth from the north.



“Do you suppose this is to hide away Zeus, Hermes?

Our father is showering these lands with green thunder, 

and Cronus, being the father of us all, appears to protect us from our own father’s

hasty decisions.”



Hermes’ smile, even through his disguise, is warm;

with bright eyes, he shakes his head and claps his hands slowly.

“Zeus creates this thunder to help us all, my brother.  

This hedge of protection

Daedalus builds is the only thing that will keep 

these lands wealthy and prosperous.

Or are you, like all your sons, a proponent

of the thought that Zeus creates an abomination?”



Apollo extends an arm to Hermes and pauses a moment before speaking.

“Brother, it has been seen that Zeus’ power does miraculous work.”  A coin appears,

in Apollo’s hand: “But as you know, every coin has two sides.”


“The systems that Daedalus now creates will protect Zeus’

power from abuse,” Hermes chimes.



“Or will it hide the true state of his mischief behind a 

systemic nuisance that will only divert the mortals attention?” 



Abandoning his disguise, Hermes clicks his winged heels 

and nods to Apollo before taking flight.  “I will have

news to tell the mortals, then.”  He laughs, delighted.

As he flies north, he looks back only for a moment to 

spy upon his brother.



Apollo, revealing himself, remains looking upon the isle

where Daedalus completes his labyrinth.  Rhea vomits

her son into the center of the invention and returns to her husband,

leaving Daedalus and his two sons trapped with Zeus.



Zeus heaves green lightning at the walls, which does not destroy them

but emits piles of flat emerald parchments, each embroidered with an eagle

upon the ground.  Apollo watches for a month as Zeus continues 

in his same daily routine, creating the small shards of parchment, 

and Daedalus pushes the shards out further into the labyrinth

as not to drown themselves in their emerald sea.



It becomes clear that Daedalus will not be able to discover a path

out of the labyrinth.  It was too cleverly made.  So Daedalus takes his two sons,

Icarus and Iapyx, and fashions wings of the emerald shards and wax.

He teaches them to fly, and on a quiet day, he sets to leave the isle

while the sea rages below them.



Sing, Sons of Apollo, of the rage of Cronus who can no longer 

destroy his son, protected by a machination too clever to  surpass.

Sing of the Olympians who converse with Zeus and their plans

to overthrow their father just as Cronus overthrew his father.

Sing of Ares who develops machines of war to use against

the Titans and creates dissension among the mortals.

Sing of the support the Olympians buy and of a world that rages

to see the terrible and murderous Cronus brought to justice.



Written by Anthony Siwajian

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