Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Redemption of Vandalism by Costas Tsoclis



 
The Redemption of Vandalism, by Costas Tsoclis at Astrolavos Gallery, Dexameni. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
According to the artist this exhibition was born out of anger. Anger because some of his work was stolen and some vandalised. In 2012 Tsoclis made a major art intervention on the island of Spinalonga, the island where all the people suffering from leprosy were interned, the island that the novel 'The Island' by Victoria Hislop is based on. Tsoclis' intervention, titled 'You, the Last Leper' was staged on the whole island and his work included painting, performance, installations and land art, with music by Nikos Xydakis.  When the exhibition finished Tsoclis bequeathed 14 of the artworks to the Greek State. Thirteen of those were stolen and the huge cross that dominated the harbour was vandalised: you can see an image here and some more here.  Following the vandalism, rather than repairing the cross, the Greek State decided to remove the cross citing health and safety as the reason for doing so.
 
 
 
 
 
The exhibition in Astrolavos is a response to the vandalism and theft. On four levels, the gallery space is very pleasing too.
 

 
 
 


On the first level, these three paintings, two of a tree, one of the tree turning into a cross. 'I see the cross as the symbol for pain and suffering. I am not religious, but I like the shape and its perfect geometry', says Tsoclis.





 
 
The second and third levels of the exhibition are the blue paintings - trees and then crosses. 'I made this work to calm down, to release and purge the anger I felt after the vandalism and theft that happened in Spinalonga'.
 
 
 
 
















 
 









 
 
 
 
 






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
looking up 
 
 
 

 
The fourth level with the red paintings - violent, expressionist brushstrokes. 
 
 











 
 
 







 

 
 
 

 



Finally, a video on the process of the creation of the intervention on Spinalonga. It's far too long, and it's in Greek, but the last three minutes show some of the work.


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