Nov 15 2023

Greek National Opera

November 26, 2023 - January 10, 2024
10.00 - 21.00
Greek National Opera & Greek National Library
Free entry

 Για την Ελληνική εκδοχή

The donation of Dimitris Pyromallis’ collection to the Archive of the National Opera served as a starting point for this exhibition. Drawing inspiration from unboxing, as popularized through digital communities, the exhibition Unboxing Callas proposes a visual and interdisciplinary way of approaching, exploring and reading the archive of the National Opera .

The exhibition is designed as an open archive in which archivists, conservators, researchers and visual artists are invited to study, create and discuss the life and work of Maria Callas. The creation of an open archive lies precisely in the ability of the public to access evidence, approaches and narratives. Next to the archival material, the original visual works of eleven contemporary artists, inspired by the collection of Dimitris Pyromallis, will be presented. The contemporary artists were invited to explore, adapt and redefine the archival material, in an effort to offer a freer and more subjective form of knowledge, to discover stories, memories, objects, the famous artist herself, but also the ways in which Maria Callas still serves as an inspiration in the modern field of research, study and creation.

On the 2nd floor of the National Library of Greece, along with the visual works, the entire collection of Dimitris Pyromallis will be exhibited, as well as documents from the Historical Archive of the Greek National Opera, documents from the archives of Leonidas Zora and Achillea Mamaki belonging to Greek National Opera, as well as part of the Gagelman collection in collaboration with the Greek National Library.

At the same time, an original visual work by Alexis Fidetzis and Malvina Panagiotidis will be presented on the ground floor of the Foyer of the National Opera.

In addition, through a parallel program the exhibition attempts to approach in different ways the question of research, curation and narration of an archive.

Specifically, the exhibition brings to the fore archiving, conseration and restoration practices that have been an important part of the design and organization of Unboxing Callas. During the exhibition’s morning hours from Monday to Thursday, caring practices related to the archive will occur in real time, namely:

A. In the Textile conservation lab, two of Maria Callas’ historic costumes are undergoing invasive conservation work, which includes: cleaning, shaping, fixing and filling in losses while respect to their authenticity.

B. In the Paper Conservation Laboratory, conservators carry out the first rescue operations on historical printed programs from operas of the Greek National Opera, in which Maria Callas participated.

C. At the Archiving station, associates of the Archive of the Greek National Opera continue the process of documenting, archiving and organizing the photographic collection that Dimitris Pyromallis recently donated to the Greek National Opera.

At the same time, a public program of guided tours, speeches and presentations, as well as educational activities for younger ages, is being formed. In the public program, both the contributors of the exhibition and the visual artists come into dialogue with the public, on the occasion of archival material, contemporary creation, but also Maria Callas herself, while at the same time offering an embodied narrative by sharing stories from their personal research on the archive.

With the artists: Angeliki Bozou, Petros Efstathiadis, Panayotis Evangelidis, Alexis Fidetzis – Malvina Panagiotidi, Eleftheria Kotzaki, Chrysanthi Koumianaki, Lykourgos Porfyris, Panos Profitis, Marios Stamatis, and Maria Varela

Curator: Vassilis Zidianakis
Curatorial associate: Steffi Stouri
Consultant: Dimitris Pyromallis
Scientific research: Sophia Kompotiati

November 26 2023 – January 10 2024, 2nd Floor of the Greek National Library & the Foyer of the Greek National Opera – SNFCC Everyday 10.00-21.00

Free entry to the exhibition and all the activities of the public program. Pre-booking is required at

Pre-booking opens on Thursday November 16 2023.