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Costas Tsoklis converts the entire "island of tears" Spinalonga to a monumental work of art

Posted by Vivi Charitou on September 3, 2012 at 12:45 AM

12 years ago I visited the island of Spinalonga in Crete, an island which has a rich Greek, Venetian and Ottoman history and was subsequently used as a leper colony, to isolate people suffering from Hansen's disease from the healthy population. Unfortunately the island remained unknown for a long time. In 2005 Victoria’s Hislop first novel “The Island” reminded and learned to a lot of people the drama that charging emotionally this place and Spinalonga became known in all over the word.

Recently a renowned Greek artist, Costas Tsoklis has turned the whole island into a work of art. The archaeological sites of Spinalonga will be provided for the realization of cultural events for the first time.

The exhibition entitled “Tsoclis, you, the last leper" locate in an area of 0.085 square kilometers on the island of Spinalonga. The works are in continuous dialogue with the monument-island, and the history from the period 1904-1957 provides the occasion for this creativity.

The artist is trying to tense the visitor emotionally, but on the other hand it claims the need for all those lives. Three-dimensional tables with the appropriate lighting takes audiences in the past where the suffering and poverty were in conflict with the everyday.

Sources of inspiration for the artist is the island itself and the ruins of the buildings, the hopeless desire to escape ("Incoming drop there any hope," was written on the entrance), the desperate need to communicate with the outside world, many suicides, wear, lack of mirrors, the intense eroticism, death and births, the dirt and the tidiness and petty trade exercised over the island.

Senses are upraised by the placement of dozens of mirrors in several places, both in the wider area of the island and inside the houses. All those years, the island was inhabited by lepers, not using mirrors so that they cannot see the distorted image the illness made to their faces.

Costas Tsoklis

One of the most famous Greek artists of the first postwar generation, Costas Tsoklis was borned in Athens, but lived 28 years abroad in Rome, Paris and Berlin. He became internationally well known in the late '60s with the perspective of "objects - situations" and later on with three-dimensional paintings. Since 1985 he is leading, thanks to his "live painting" (video projections, on large paintings) and the monumental interventions in abandoned public or historical sites.

“Tsoclis, you, the last leper”

Spinalonga island, Crete, Greece

Until October 31


Categories: Art Exhibitions

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