ILISSOS / limbo eξótica

A 3d 360-degree virtual experience along the course of the River Ilissos invites us to look anew at this forgotten waterway in the city of Athens that, though now out of sight, never did stop moving.

The River Ilissos, once a sacred river of Athens, takes the form of a wretched and grotesque deity rising to the surface at points around the city through which it once proudly flowed.

This natural feature of the city – one that has quite literally been driven underground, marginalized and repressed – announces its existence by means of a journey-cum-manifesto.

The Ilissos, described in Plato’s “Phaedrus” as winding through an idyllic landscape, today finds itself paved over, a sewer. On the pretext of public health concerns and the dangerous floods it once caused, the river today flows out of sight. Traces of its storied past still lie intertwined with its present-day state of dereliction. Much as its riverbed was “taken care of”, so too are other things considered “dirty” or “dangerous” in the city – societal groups, practices, habits, and desires that are by turns revealed or hidden away. But they continue to exist.

The stretch of riverbed that lies uncovered beside the Church of Aghia Photini Ilissos (also known as Santa Phopho) is the thread that connects its mystical past with the present.

“ILISSOS / limbo eξótica” is presented in the form of a digital installation. By means of a pre-recorded 360-degree video journey on YouTube, visitors have the opportunity to wander around a three-dimensional depiction of the installation and enjoy a directed experience of the space. Visitors are able to view all 360 degrees of their surroundings at all times – every second of the video.

The installation consists of an exhibition of photographs and videos depicting the course of the River Ilissos through modern-day ATHENS and the points where it rises to the surface, as well as a hypothetical depiction of its chthonic, underground existence.


Onassis Youtube Channel full video


Concept & Performance: Natasha Sarantopoulou

Dramaturgy Adviser: Alexandros Mistriotis 

VFX/3D Artist: Aias Kokkalis

Photography: Alina Lefa

Costume Design: Dimitra Liakoura, Periklis Pravitas

Wig Construction: Pierre Magendie

Sound Designer: Pavlos Katsivelis 

Production Management: CULTOPIA


All rights related to the monuments visible courtesy of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports (law 3028/2002).

The Panathenaic Stadium monument is under the jurisdiction of the Directorate of Modern Cultural and Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Creative production in performing arts