Floating Studio – Miltos Manetas

a la une, Arts

Diane Pernet visited twice the Floating Studio exhibition of Miltos Manetas


Miltos Manetas is a Greek-born painter, conceptual artist and theorist whose work explores the representation and the aesthetics of the information society. He is a pioneer of art-after-videogames and initiated the INTERNET PAVILION for the 2014 Venice Biennial in collaboration with Rome’s Swiss Institute. The Floating Studio exhibition at Galerie Hussenot is directed by Jérôme Sans.

During my visit Miltos was explaining the transformation of his art work when his mentor Nicolas Bourriaud arrived. Bourriaud is a celebrated curator and art critic and in 2000-2006 was the co-founder and co-director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Prior to that Nicolas Bourriaud curated Traffic, at CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux (1996), and defined what later became known as Relational aesthetics. Artists in Traffic were Miltos Manetas, his then girlfriend, Vanessa Beecroft, Maurizio Cattelan, Philippe Parreno, Kenji Yanobe, Liam Gillick, Henry Bond, 29 artists in total. The idea was to showcase artists that Bourriaud identified as defining Relational Aesthetics.

Manetas’ work reflects the fluidity between virtual and physical spaces. As his exhibition went on he erased the original artwork which is made from a combination of pigment and soap. The walls will probably be birthing bubbles for the next few years..Manetas  envisions the art on the walls  turning into mist which, in the virtual world, symbolises digital dust. He likes to think that his art can be erased as easily as online searches. By the time the exhibition closes it will appear as ethereal as steam or…digital dust.

Unlike the exhibition, Manetas’ NFT based metaverse will never disappear because its construction elements are NFT’s. The starting point of the Floating Studio NFT is that first step is he will build one square meter of floor for himself. When collectors start buying parts of the art the studio grows with the collectors or institutions.  Collectors will have the right to reproduce the art, they can make it big or they can make it small and when they reproduce it they can go with their phone or computer, hold it up to the art and enter a portal that will take them into his studio. It makes me think of Being John Malkovich, the 1999 film  directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman where for a fee you could become John Malkovich. Perhaps you will meet Manetas in his studio and he will be alone or with a friend when you enter. His idea is to invade all spaces so the floating studio could be anywhere.  Manetas’ NFT starts from real life and goes virtual.

by Diane Pernet

photography by Aurelien Mole

Galerie Hussenot 5 bis Rue des Haudriettes, 75003 Paris