For this volume Menelaos has selected and photographed objects that are not agrarian in origin or aesthetic. His objects are products of industry frequently coupled with cuttings from the period’s press and other print materials – usually publicizing forms of popular entertainment and can be viewed as samples of an urban vernacular aesthetic; an aesthetic that would normally be avoided by those assuming responsibility for ‘Branding’ Cyprus as a cultural realm. Rustic nostalgia and the picturesque are pretty much, the parameters that determine the aesthetic of the image of Cyprus whether this is constructed by official culture agencies or is to be formed within tourist industry material. By now this style is to deeply rooted and widely adopted that often a photograph of Cyprus is rarely a photograph of a photograph of Cyprus.
Yet in spite of this interest in the past Menelaos avoids stumbling into the trap of sterile idealization. His photographs are often humorous and subtly subversive and “borrow” from the visual language of studio advertising photography in a way that produces a parody of the genre.
A bottle of Star Cola a Turkish Cypriot soft drink is photographed against a black and white photograph of an oriental dancer published an a Turkish language newspaper. In a similar vein the shape of a bottle of Kean’s very popular fizzy orange drink is presented to rhyme visually with a spirally carved classical column from the ancient city of Amathunta pictured in the background.