Artist's Statement

Christos J. Palios

In “Conversations”, I contemplate our portable electronic devices’ rapid assimilation and nestling onto familiar surfaces of daily life. A routine of consulting screens, by disengaging in order to further engage, has become accepted and commonplace. This notable phenomenon has intrigued me.

Not solely as an expression of curiosity about this ‘new normal’—i.e. our recession into self-imposed isolation bubbles of curation and alternative involvement while in the presence of others—but also the undeniable role technology offers at moment’s notice. For example, in the case of displaced individuals in European migrations, our thin devices may be the only means of communication between families separated in conflict.

In tandem to celebrating food, diversity, family and friendship, I photograph the aesthetic aftermath of these colloquial meals as much to set the eternal against the ephemeral as in provoking a poignant layer of discourse on consumerist culture and its inevitable waste.

I feel this perspective provides symbolic demarcation between spectator and attendee, reflecting the pervasive distractions on an intimate, time-honored setting on which we break bread: the dinner table. What can this communal, quotidian task reveal about culture? How does a shared meal offer windows into tradition and speak to identity? When does this paradigm of interaction affect human communication in/out of social settings?

Evoking the Dutch Golden Age genre paintings and still-life—sumptuous depictions of light and shadow, insights into the everyday, symbolic allegories of mortality, abundance, and urbanization—these photographs are intended as contemporary anecdotal counterparts representing this frenetic, hyper-convenient and always-connected epoch of instant gratification.