A unique location/situation in Athens- Vyrsodepseio

Athens is currently a city in the center of the attention in Europe. It finds itself at a focal point in history ­ with a society in upheaval and restructuring. The dire circumstances of the crisis have set forth an enormous creative potential, and the fight for survival triggers innovative ideas in realizing projects, organizing thoughts, and new ways of making art. Artists from all over the world come to Athens to work, in order to be part of this fascinating development and to take advantage of the manifold possibilities that are ready to be explored in new and original ways.

One of these vibrant creative cells full of open and hidden possibilities is the Vyrsodepseio. The largest tannery in the Balkans in the 19th century was claimed as a preserved building from the Ministry of Culture. Elli Papakonstantinou and her ODC Ensemble transformed it into a multi-stage, versatile space for contemporary performing arts. It is a 2 level building with versatile multi­stages, meeting rooms and working spaces situated in the post­industrial undeveloped area of Votanikos, at the center of Athens. It is a grass root project that drastically helps the growth of innovative, hybrid art.

Vyrsodepseio is an experiment on how to produce art in “difficult times”, an evolving project of synergies and co­operations. While planning a rich weekly program, it is also a virtual platform of networking between artists and activists, international organizations and individual artists. Artists in Athens are eager to connect with the international art scene, and we will take the time to introduce you and get you acquainted with artists and locations that might be of particular interest to you and your work.

Activities include site­specific performances/theatre/dance, artists in residency, support new dramaturgy, live music, festivals, seminars and educational programs, visual arts/exhibitions, community and activist projects, media, clubs, etc.

Derma/ Skin performance by Odc Ensemble

Vyrsodepseio/Tannery (artistic director Elli Papakonstantinou) places a large emphasis on Internationals Networking of Greek Artists and is engaged in the development of multiple international cooperations. Among others, Vyrsodepseio hosted the "IETM ATHENS PLENNARY 2013", where more than 500 programmers and artists from all around Europe met and got acquainted with Greek contemporary Art.

The Vyrsodepseio is located in Votanikos, a neighbourhood of Athens that has become an infamous no­mans land, despite the fact it is located less than two miles from the Acropolis. The place has a very rich and curious history. The neighbourhood Votanikos is situated in an area known as Eleonas, the name means "olive grove". It was here that, as myth has it, the goddess Athena planted the first olive tree, winning the polis over and becoming its patron deity. Eleonas was considered a sacred area. It was a source of income as well as identity for the Athenian people. The grove supported Athens during ancient times because olive oil was the city's major industry.

photo by Alexandra Philips

This international art residency is addressed to visual artists, performers, dancers and theatre practitioners. Check out our open calls for applications.

This art residency gives the chance to experience a city in transformation and the resilience of art in economic crisis, to meet Greek artists and the huge network of Vyrsodepseio and to collaborate with them and finally to create original art and to present it in Vyrsodepseio.
Vyrsodepseio provides housing (in Vyrsodepeio itself) working space and the possibility to involve you in our projects or to present your work individually. Within the working space, the resident artist has the ability to choose between multiple stages in accordance to his needs. For the presentation of work or the organization of workshops, we provide our PR network.

Along with the possibility to use accommodation, working space, presentation location, technology, and general support, you will get an insight into the fascinating contemporary art scene of Athens. You will be given an introduction into the art scene and life in Athens and will be introduced to other like­minded artists and institutions.

We can help you with invitation letters in order for you to facilitate funding for your residency.

The periods vary from one week to 2 months according to the project proposed by the artists and the availability.

For more info and fotos of the spaces available please click here