Nikos Kokkalis

I’m cold, 2003,
installation,
dimensions variable










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The occasion for the installation "I'm cold" was given by a real event.
In the night of 23rd to 24th of December the ship "Megalohari", transporting 161 Kurd illegal immigrants to Italy, grounded in shallow waters of Halikounas beach, in Kerkyra. During the striking an infant fell overboard. His father tried to save him. As a result they both met a tragic death.

For a long time I watched the news that referred to the illegal immigrants. They always came last in the news programmes and they often spanned really little television time. What touched me in the specific event was, first of all, its timing - Christmas Eve - (later I found out that smugglers do not choose the time of their trips accidentally). Also the fact that it happened in the place I live and, moreover, in a beach that I especially love. But the father's sacrifice and the unexpected end touched mostly me.

The installation "I'm cold" consists of three elements and sound:
"The train": On a small table there are pieces of clay and rails from a toy train.
"The boat": A half-inflated boat is hung on the wall with belts. On the boat there is an army blanket fastened with straps.
  "The bed": There is a red sweater sunk in a bathtub full of water. A bigger one is on its edge. The two sweaters fit together.
Every element has a luminous source. They are the only ones in the room of the installation. Every element is covered with a sheet of plastic.
A child's voice is heard to repeat: "…I am cold…"

The installation started under the title "Pieta" in January 2003. The work does not have the form of a denunciation but of a chronicle. I tried to create a space of memory. An immobile space where every object seems incomplete. I used mostly objects of my own (sweaters, toy train). The use of common, everyday objects, even the restricted space-room has to do with my wish to make the specific event function as a familiar and sacred one at the same time. The child's voice unifies the three elements and creates the feeling of loss, of absence.

The water is a place. Not only the land but also the sea is home.
I wanted to give a place to those two people. A place, that they never managed to acquire. I don't even know their names.
  Nikos Kokkalis

locus, 1992,
installation,
wood 175 x 267 x 200 cm









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  Nikos Kokkalis

the witches’ sabbath, 2002,
installation,
dimensions variable









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