Kostas Beveratos’ interview given to Angeliki Krenaia on April 16, 2008 in view of his forthcoming exhibition at Booze Cooperativa. The exhibition opens on April 30, 2008 and ends on May 10, 2008.
Q/ The views on society you demonstrate through your work can easily be characterized as paradoxical. Definitely eccentric to say the least...
Α/ I agree they are eccentric. They’re a far cry from the epicenter of massive acceptance. In this sense, they are also paradoxical. On the other hand, I have no reasons to accept the mainstream beliefs as universal laws. Especially when it has been proved that mainstream concepts were always a deception if not a hoax.
Q/ You seem certain of your views...
Α/ Of course! In an environment where we experience black becoming white and vice versa, whatever statement I may make will be in any case more up to the point.
Q/ Please don’t be offended but this aphorism may be considered as arrogant.
Α/ I don’t care. Earth is not flat, the Sun is not carried by a chariot, the nymphs and the elves are imaginary beings. Do you know how many thousand years it took for these views to be considered self-evident and not blasphemous?
Listen to this now: we will all die and no one will ever resurrect, humanity is not a creation of any god -on the contrary the gods are the creation of human imagination- war is murder in a massive scale, the genre of man is not the ultimate goal of nature and it may have at any given moment the same luck as the 99.9% of the species that appeared on Earth: be extinct. Do you know how many thousands of years will be needed for these views to be considered as self evident?
Q/ Do you place yourself hundreds of years ahead of your time?
A/ You flatter me, but since you place it in such a context, I shall agree that this is exactly what’s going on. But I’m neither the first or the last. It’s just that statements like these are far from the epicenter of mainstream thought, they are not institutionalized in education or to be more precise, they are concealed, muted, and reappear only when individuals pick up the string of thought from its starting point.
Today, I read in the Sunday issue of Kathimerini newspaper that although the theory of evolution of the species was enounced 150 years ago by Darwin, it isn’t taught at all in the Greek educational system (to be exact, it is systematically kept outside the curriculum). It is found only in University -I suppose exclusively in the field of Biology.
We are what we learn and the end-result is a sack full of stupidity, lies and hatred.
All the technological achievements we are proud of have never, even for an instance, changed the analogy between prosperity and bestiality. The strive for supremacy is constantly the only timeless value of humanity and this takes place either with the use of a truncheon, a sword, or transcontinental missiles. From the day humanity ruled over nature, it still remains stagnant in its essence.
Q/ This is truly unthinkable! However, let’s catch our breath and return to your work. Why did you name it Typo?
A/ I can become even more tiring... (laughter). The title brings forth all the current issues the work is occupied with, in the context of a practical joke. Everything you read or hear seems to be the product of a series of typos that have infiltrated the world of the media occupying actual journalistic space. As the “publisher” apologetically confesses, instead of the “demon of the press” there was an intervention of the “demon of collective consciousness”.
Q/ You speak of demons?
Α/ In fairy tales, I can talk about various kinds of demons. But let’s not confuse fairy tales with reality.
Q/ We talk very much about your views, but finally which are the aesthetic values of your work?
Α/ You must understand that my work is my views. The fact itself of an exhibition at Booze Cooperativa on April 30 and also everything before or after that is an advertisement of my views.
So, first off, I suggest you should concentrate on the moon and not on the finger that’s pointing at it. If, nevertheless, I’m becoming very demanding with what I ask and you don’t want to know nothing more than the finger, I promise it will be quite exciting on its own right.
TV reporters as you haven’t seen them before, show-biz stars in the role of garbage men and along them armament industries, politicians, public servants, priests, revolutionaries, communists, journalists, publishers and the Academy of Athens.
All of them together compose a paradoxical media mystification that will overwhelm your senses.
Q/ So you are saying that you are presenting an advertisement as art?
A/ But ads are art. Art is and always was a collective asset of society. The fact that only the few consume art in galleries and museums does not subvert the actuality that mainstream aesthetics are defined and transfigured in the streets. Contemporary Aphrodite di Milo is looking at you with a lustful glance from a billboard as you are driving. Modern Hermes of Praxitelis enchants you suppressed in a plexiglass frame in the subway. Modern Praxitelis works in a large advertising agency. Advertisement uses and owns the means to pay the most skillful artists for this.
Q/ Advertisement’s driving power is the sale of products. How can you name sales art?
Α/ Advertisement as mainstream modern art does nothing different than art has always done. It expresses and tries to shape the ideals of its time. Often enough it also imposes ideals. The art of propaganda. Ads are first and foremost such an art. But let’s stop playing with words, each form of art is propaganda. It conveys, teaches -either it likes it or not- individual or collective statements both on a aesthetic and ethical level.
Q/ Supposedly we agree upon that, which are the ideals that advertisement conveys?
A/ Profit, power, supremacy, imposition, wealth, stereotyped sexuality together with fear, insecurity, guilt. That’s how we conceive our existence and this is the direction we choose for our society. It’s sad, but this is our reality. These are the limits of our animal cerebrum.
Q/ And the ideals advertised in your work?
A/ They are evident through the statements made in the work. Some existing notions are dignity, coexistence, mutuality, respect, understanding, love.
Q/ At the end of the day you are an utopian?
A/ Everything around us is a utopia. Life in general and each one of us is a utopia. Concurrencies far from any predictions and plans, seeds that grew wild under the most diverse conditions. Matter, the Sun, life, myself, you, all of us are a utopia. No one can predict the utopia that will follow, least to say to direct it. As myself, every thought I make is also a utopia, seed and fertilizer for the utopias of the future.
Q/ Thank you very much. I wish you a great success.
Α/ Thank you too.