Open Call: The Road to Elefsina or How objects teach immortality. Workshop + curated Athens visit + artist residency + Munich show 2025

Open call  /  17 Apr 2024  -  02 Jun 2024
Published: 15.05.2024


   Extended deadline  
Open Call: The Road to Elefsina or How objects teach immortality. Workshop + curated Athens visit + artist residency + Munich show 2025.
ZLR Betriebsimperium
Loukia Richards, Christoph Ziegler
DEADLINE: 02/06/2024

Please send your application to, including a cover letter with your motivation, CV, and your website and/or social media link(s).
Also, send us your desired residency date(s) and accommodation preference.


© By the author. Read Copyright.

The residency, workshop, and presentation project addresses jewelry makers, visual artists, designers, photographers, crafters, ceramists, performers, filmmakers, and art theorists who wish to dive into the Greek myth of death and resurrection. The myth of Persephone also highlights the mother and daughter bonding and the challenges of growing up.
The Road To Elefsina aims at expanding the artists’ spectrum of cultural experiences, and at offering insight into the beginnings of contemporary rituals and art practices. The learning program enhances artists’ understanding of how art and poetry may have a soothing effect on human agonies.

The open call addresses artists from various disciplines, placing emphasis on objects, performance, jewelry, textiles, and their special connection with mysteries of transcendence.

The residency in Athens includes intensive workshops in storytelling, performance and video, and promotes the artists’ work through presentation, catalogue and participation in video festivals. The physical residency follows an online introduction to the significance of Greek heritage for contemporary artists.

Road To Elefsina video trailer

For 2,000 years, a farming community close to Athens was the spiritual center of the ancient world. Pilgrims from all over came to Eleusis* (modern-day Elefsina) to be initiated to mysteries – secret ceremonies - befriending them with death. Men, women, free people, slaves, Greeks and foreigners watched the myth of Persephone staged and revived in the sacred site of Eleusis, and witnessed the young goddess returning from Hades. Sacred rituals including recitation, performance, and presentation of sacred objects taught initiates the secret of immortal bliss. If it were not one of the most important religious ceremonies of the ancient world, it could have been one of the most glamorous art events of all times.

The Road to Elefsina focuses on the myth of a girl becoming a woman and the art representations connected to it, as well as on the social background, history and concepts of the Eleusinian mysteries. Residents are challenged to explore the myth of Persephone, her sacred marriage and death, and give their own interpretation of eternal flow.

The artists residency also aims at making contact with the past through a ritual walk; a ritual performance inspired by illustrations on vases, murals, statues, objects is also part of retrieving an elusive experience through the body. The program offers insight into the vast history of Greek civilization that manifests itself, often unnoticed, in the most unusual and tacky places of modern Athens topography.

Last but not least, the residency program teaches participants how to make their artwork’s presentation meaningful, surprising, and irresistible through words, plot, performance, objects, and video.

The challenge of Eleusis for contemporary artists, designers, and crafters
The mysteries of Eleusis were also taught by revealing the sacred objects to the initiates during the ceremony of the midnight sun. What kind of objects were shown to illustrate the meaning of life and the antidote to death is a question that remains to be answered. We can only speculate how the sacred objects would look like today to reflect sustainable values.

The Road to Elefsina encourages the participants to imagine answers to this question. It addresses the need of individual artists and artist communities for an ethical restart; it also takes into account that applied art and jewelry - art objects that can be used - can play an important role in reshaping standards and status quo symbols in times of climate change, social and political unrest.

Residency details
The residency program includes accommodation, guided tours in Athens and Eleusis designed for artists, three workshops on storytelling, performance, communication and video, as well as an online introduction on Greek heritage and the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to the artist’s work promotion.

Videos created by the residents will be screened in SMCK ON REEL 2025 at Schmuck Munich.

Services included
  • 9 days/8 nights accommodation in downtown Athens (see options below).
  • Guided tours and open air workshops in Athens and Elefsina.
  • Workshops & e-workshop on the history and mythology of Elefsina + narrative and storytelling + concept and storyboard + video art and photography.
  • Concept, idea and design of objects; performance practice; video script and shooting.
  • Promotion & publication of the participants' work in SMCK Magazine.
  • Download SMCK Magazine #9 - The Road To Elefsina at for free.
  • Participation in SMCK ON REEL at Schmuck Jewelry Week 2025 in Munich / Germany.
  • Jewelry and small objects online sales.
  • The residency project will be documented on the SMCK Magazine and KLIMT02 website.
Please see all the details and the full timetable on the SMCK Homepage!

Residency dates, fees & accommodation: Artists may choose their accommodation in various downtown studios offering the best options for different budgets. Each residency unit can be followed by seven participants simultaneously. If desired, artists can extend their residency by more days.

Accommodation Options:
  1. Kolonos: size 80m2 / individual studio apartment – 650,00 euro
  2. Exarchia: size 102m2 / individual studio apartment – 790,00 euro OR shared by max. 2 residents – 520,00 euro each 
  3. Kypseli: size 52m2 / individual studio apartment – 690,00 euro
  4. Artist has her/his own Athens accommodation: Participation fee – 500,00 euro
Date Options:
  1. Sunday 25 August – Monday 2 September, 2024
  2. Sunday 8 – Monday 16 September, 2024
  3. Sunday 13 – Monday 21 October, 2024
  4. Sunday 17 – Monday 25 November, 2024
*Alternative dates designed especially for artists or student groups (schools or institutions) are also possible.

Residency Fee:
The residency fee is payable in two or three installments. Detailed information about the studio apartments in Athens can be found at
Elefsina, detail. Photo: Chr. Ziegler..
Elefsina, detail. Photo: Chr. Ziegler.

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The residency, on tour. Photo: Chr. Ziegler..
The residency, on tour. Photo: Chr. Ziegler.

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Elefsina, plaque Photo: Chr. Ziegler..
Elefsina, plaque Photo: Chr. Ziegler.

© By the author. Read Copyright.
Elefsina, detail. Photo: Chr. Ziegler..
Elefsina, detail. Photo: Chr. Ziegler.

© By the author. Read Copyright.