Images. (Fragments From A Conversation With Elena Papadopoulos In New York, 1997).

I am not a fan of painting. You need a studio to make them and that gives you a weird, professional attitude. When I left Greece 10 years ago, I was happy to discover that you can make a career by using just photos and objects. I loved artists such as Jeff Wall etc. But what I soon realized was that photos only have an impact the very first time you see them. Looking at them repeatedly is like witnessing a real situation for a second and third time: it can be exciting, but it doesn’t hold a secret. That’s all I think about photos, they are too real to be good.

-What about the Objects?
-It’s out of question! They are just 3-D ghosts.

- And the movies?
- The movies are always in motion. Only oil painting–not even wall painting or paperwork, but oil on canvas is powerful. Its because it’s the Perfect Dead Thing. There is that distance from the wall that makes them float before your eyes! You see an orange or the wife of Cézanne, but they are not an orange or a wife!

- Really?!
- You make fun of me right? I sound too much Art delirium.. Well, you are right, because “artistically” speaking, there are already far more amazing things than painting. Cartoons for example.
But again, I believe that images have to battle the screen. And if TV is too much of an enemy and cinema too dark, then maybe the computer screen is OK. Happily, in the Web, connections are not yet fast enough to permit Real Video. The Web is not yet an interactive television, but a charming Plato’s Cave. Because it’s still slow, banality can still turn to sense. You click on a button to get some information and because the button stays there until the page will load, you forget what you was searching as you are captured by the beauty (or the stupidity) of the button itself.
I think that Slownet safari and Sony PlayStation games, software interface and System Folder’s adventures are more exiting than the Art of Projection by Bill Viola, Gary Hill, and Tony Oursler. They are far more enigmatic than Matthew Barney’s dance with grapes and models. And there will be a better way than bulky painting to represent those buttons.

- Soon we will find out.

Miltos Manetas, NY, 1997