CULTURE

New book of interviews with artists and curators

For the past seven years, «Age of Images,» a weekly visual arts program designed and presented by artist Katerina Zacharopoulou and broadcast on Greek state television, has provided broad public access to the work of important Greek and international artists and exposure to the views of art specialists. A selection of the interviews presented in the program is now available in «For the Things That Are Missing,» a book that has just been published by Agra. The first in what has been planned as a series of annual publications, the book includes interviews with 18 artists and curators: Joseph Kosuth, Kimsooja, Marina Abramovic, Juan Munoz, Jean Clair, Glenn D. Lowry, Gilbert & George, Jan Fabre, Giannis Kounellis, Bill Viola, Peter Greenaway, George Hadjimichalis, Nikos Navridis, Rosa Martinez, Denys Zacharopoulos, Katerina Koskina, Costas Tsoclis and Richard Long. Except for some minor adjustments, the conversations are reproduced as they were broadcast and the guests’ responses were unrehearsed. This may account for their directness and unpretentious style. Zacharopoulou chose to include interviews that are not just addressed to a specific audience and express a larger, more «philosophical» perspective on life. The book’s title is taken from a phrase by Giannis Kounellis: «An artist becomes an artist for the things that are missing, not for the things that he has.» In the book’s introduction, Zacharopoulou writes that we are going through an «anti-aesthetic» period in which the overproduction of images has undermined the status of art and has placed it on the same level as consumer products. One of the book’s purposes is to sensitize the public to the contemplative and intellectual character of art. Asked about the intellectual side of Greek television, Zacharopoulou told Kathimerini English Edition that television can have an educational role but that broadly speaking it fails to do so and has been going through a period of crisis. «Age of Images» is an ongoing program and the only one in Greece with a specific focus on the visual arts. The edition by Agra documents some of its best moments and provides a concise version of the program’s content for those who prefer to read rather than watch television.