milan

Miltos Manetas

Studio Marconi

Miltos Manetas’ installation Soft Driller, 1995, reconstructs an episode that occurred some ten years ago in Athens. Using video and photography, the artist recounts a story in which all action has apparently been suspended. This immobility results from an explicit conflict, which is mirrored by the contradictory title of the piece.

In the video two men appear, seated alone at a small table in a bar, smoking and taking sips of coffee. Without ever really looking each other in the face, they gaze pensively around the room. Their faces betray no emotion, although one can hear a murmured threat: “I’ll fuck you up.” One imagines that neither man is willing to make the first move, and that both have settled on a passive stance as the only defense. The viewer is able to register the existence of a dispute, but the reasons for it remain unfathomable, since the inoffensive gestures that are visible

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 1996 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.