Tsoclis, you the last leper



On 2 June 2012, the artistic and social event

Tsoclis: 'you, the last leper' will open in Crete.

This event will run throughout the summer season until 31 October 2012.

Though it is a small island, only 85 000 square metres, Spinalonga is burdened with a long history – ancient Greek, Venetian, Ottoman, and finally, from 1903 to 1957, a leper colony. The artist intends to transform for a few months this little island into a work of contemporary art.


This artistic intervention refers only indirectly to the period from 1903 to 1957. The artist's sources of inspiration are the island itself and its ruined buildings, the futile desire to escape ('Abandon all hope O ye who enter here' was written over the entrance), the desperate need to communicate with the outside world, the many suicides, the corruption, the deliberate absence of mirrors, the intense eroticism, the deaths and the births, the filth, but also the urge to cleanliness and order, as well as the petty commercial exchanges of the island.


Costas Tsoclis explains:


Asintheancienttragedies, wherethefateofthesufferingheroisalwaysbleak, andtherecomesthebeautyoftheWord, andthentheunexpectedresolutionofcomplexrelationsandcircumstancestoredeemtheheroaswellastheaudience, Iaspire, inthesameway, firsttoleadthevisitortoidentifywiththosewho, isolatedherefromsociety, watchedtheirbodiesandsoulserodeandwasteaway; thenIwouldofferthevisitorapersonalredemptionthroughtheinducementsofArtandNature, ultimatelyshowinghim (orher) awaytotherealisationofher (orhis) ownhappiness, thatistosay, health, wholenessofbody, andenjoymentofthegiftsofLife, LibertyandArt.


The event is produced with the support of the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism, The Region of Crete, and The Municipality of Agios Nikolaos.

Organization and communication for the event are provided by The Costas Tsoclis Museum, Municipality of Tinos.

Realised under the aegis of the Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO.

Curators for this event are Katerina Koskina, art historian, and Bruno Corá, director of museums.





As in the ancient tragedies, where the fate of the suffering hero is always bleak, and there comes the beauty of the world,  and then the unexpected resolution  of complex relations and circumstances to redeem the hero as well as the audience,  I aspire, in the same way, first to lead the visitor to identify with those who, isolated here from society, watched their bodies and souls erode and waste away; then I would offer the visitor a personal redemption through the inducements of Art and Nature, ultimately showing him or her a way to the realization of her or his own happiness, that is to say, health, wholeness of body, and enjoyment of the gifts of Life, Liberty and Art.