Nikos Zappas

Interview: Vassilis Bonios | Photo: Maria Yayannou

Society can only learn by its destruction

In recent years we watch your personal progress with great interest and often with surprise, Mr. Zappa, while your interests appear to touch at least three of the five senses. A man of image (director – photographer – video artist), music (director of Athens Jazz Radio), taste (creator of incredible cocktails in Brazil Bar at Paros). With your choices addressed to vision, hearing and taste I wonder, who is advising your way?

From my childhood, I instinctively, follow the call of creative inspiration even if the sacrifices required are enormous. It is the only thing in which an artist must be loyal.

We see often the difficult conditions in the production of a play, and yet we have the pleasure of seeing hundreds of theatrical performances in Greek scenes every year. How do you explain this contradiction?

There are many interpretations of this phenomenon, equally good and bad. The truth is that the enormous theatrical action in this country is the seed of a new cultural awareness which will bear fruit in future generations and not in the present time. Now, we are just experiencing the fact that art and theatre stray from the yard of the outgoing corrupted elite and inoculated with the mainstream society. This is the important result of this phenomenon.

Does theatre need new technologies? Do new technologies need theatre?

Theatre has no need for new technologies. The new technologies without the theatrical plays of Euripides or Shakespeare for example, are useless.

Can society learn from art? Is ‘pedagogy’ a true artistic value, or, something superfluous compared to the aesthetic value?

Society can learn only by destruction. Cultural – aesthetic improvement can be achieved but only after society counts its losses. Otherwise it is immersed in sloth prosperity.

Aside from art, you are surrounded by the sea. In your photography work, sea is given a leading role, and furthermore you enjoy it every day from the beautiful bar «Brazil» at Piso Livadi Paros, for which you are partly responsible! Tell us about the effects of the sea spirit on your life.

The only constant clause, explicitly clarified in my life, is the summer contact with the sea. When I go fishing I sharpen my hunting instinct, when photographing seascapes, I tame my patience and when I contemplate the sea from “Brazil”, I feel I get paid for the respect I truthfully show to its wisdom.

Summer 2014