“If someone doesn’t have enough money to buy one of my pieces of art, I advise him not to do so. I would not sacrifice my other needs for a work of art. White walls are nice too. Write the name “Tsoclis” somewhere on the corner, and each time you look at it all my artwork that comes to mind will be yours.”
Artist Costas Tsoclis’ statement might be considered heretical for art dealers, but it is definitive of an art lover’s point of view. I discovered it amidst a stack of press clippings from an article written by Natasha Bastea in Tachydromos Magazine back in August 23, 2003. Then again, if you are not content with white walls, make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Ethniki Amyna metro station, where there is a rather peculiar work of art by Mr. Tsoclis “on display” for every visitor to see, representing an interesting artistic intervention that transforms the level between the ticket counter and the subway platform into an subterranean gallery. This work is a mysterious underground park that is made up of 13 metal trees that are balanced on horizontal bars, and which appear to multiply infinitely thanks to the help of mirrors! The artist himself explains that the work in itself is simplistic without complex points of reference or philosophical messages, but I must admit that although I am no art expert, the confusion and conflicting emotions that I felt during my visit there show this work to be quite the opposite of simplistic. As I went down from the Mesogeion Avenue entrance, I found myself on the level housing this artwork. The obvious conflict between the words “park” and “underground” was heightened by the clash between the wild image of the trees, which were pruned to the point of practically being maimed, and their leaves, which blossom and give rise to hope.
This entertaining, yet savage game continued. The eerie associations that come to mind from the descending stairwell that leads to the subway platform – where you can see the trees from down beneath the surface – and the uplifting feeling that the “ascent” on the escalator creates is downright pleasurable. Afterwards, I let myself drift into the endless depths of the specular reflection, where I observed the vast image of the trees, however, once I regained my composure and began to relax, I was shocked to discover for myself precisely what I had read in a review published in the newspaper Eleftherotypia: “In the depths, the few leaves disappear and all that is left standing are the barren trunks. Dead trunks…” . And what does this artwork seek to define? A park! The urban origin of this word is undermined by the scent of the outdoors given off by the whitewashed trunks and the rocks. Whitewash represents the most widespread and environmentally sound method of killing weeds and pests, and this makes me wonder whether Mr. Tsoclis purposely or accidently tries as usual to be… bothersome! If the artist’s viewpoint holds true that “a finished work of art must carefully cover up the attempt that you made to create it” and that “the magic is lost when the observer can see the effort that you put into creating your art,” then the underground park is without a doubt a remarkable work of art indeed! [Source: ON AIR, Issue 16, By George Rizopoulos, Apostolos Delalis (photo)]
Where: Ethniki Amyna Metro Station
When: Everyday since December 2000