Papadopoulou, Gioula

Gioula Papadopoulou
Greek video artist

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biography
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Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.
I was born in Athens and brought up in Kozani and Kalamata, Greece. I was lucky to study painting and art history since I was a teenager in Kalamata, at the Municipal Art School, with significant Greek artists like Christos Bokoros and theoreticians like Marilena Georgiadou. I studied in Athens, first at School of Graphic Arts & Art Studies, TEI of Athens and then at the Athens School of Fine Arts (painting with Chronis Botsoglou and Tasos Christakis, engraving and photography). I completed my MA studies at ASFA, Digital Arts. At present I teach art, I curate and co-ordinate video-art events for Festival Miden, I write frequently in cultural Free Press “Stin Briza” and I continue my studies on Theatre Theory at Athens School of Philosophy, believing that learning should be holistic and multi-disciplinary and should never stop!

2. When, how and why you started filming?
I started my experimentations with video during my studies in Athens School of Fine Arts. Although I attended primarily painting, my entire degree project was based on video, including screenings and video-installations. I loved the medium and my artistic practice focuses mainly on video-art ever since.

3. What kind of subject have your films?
They mostly deal with human figure, identity and personal space.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
I don’t think I follow a certain style, but I care a lot about the conceptual basis of my work and I prepare and organize my work procedure in every detail. Almost obsessed! I do not complete or release any video until I am sure it expresses perfectly every aspect of my primary concept and vision. In general, my main concerns are visual composition and inner rhythm. I like the rhythm of a calm breath, you can say this is common to all my videos.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
Although I have experimented a lot with many media tools, especially during my MA studies in Digital Arts, plain video and video installations still remain my favorite forms. I use classic, typical digital video equipment for recording, editing and presenting.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general and you personally?
All time-based art and new media are practically extensions of film and video, only the form of presentation differs. Film and video (interactive or not) will remain the basic element of new media for many years to go…

7. How do you finance your films?
They are usually low budget productions, self-financed.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I have worked both ways. I enjoy both individual and team work for different reasons… Working in group projects instantly creates a dialogue platform for exchange of thoughts and ideas and usually is more fun! But working individually is actually more creative and has no boundaries on experimentation, re-thinking and re-processing as long as you like, it is like working timeless, with unlimited credit of energy and time. In team work (especially when too many are involved) you have to synchronize your rhythms according to everyone else’s personal life rhythms or each one’s external deadlines and this, by itself, sets a limit to creative “play”.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
Mixed influences from many different artists, areas and disciplines. From video art, I would choose Bill Viola and Gary Hill as the most influential to my thought. Theatre is also a favorite field of exploration and many writers and plays have been an inspiration.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
Never-ending inspiration and experimentation.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
List some links and resources

http://www.eete.gr/en/memb.php?id=4967
(Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece, GR/ENG)
www.festivalmiden.gr (curator & coordinator, GR/ENG)
www.stinbriza.gr (texts, reviews, interviews as cultural editor, GR)