Antonis Pittas


ENOUGH, Refresh Amsterdam, Amsterdam Museum, Amsterdam, 11 December, 2020 – 28 March, 2021
The sculptural installation ENOUGH consists of different historical building fragments from Amsterdam's 17th, 18th and 19th century monuments. The Municipality of Amsterdam has granted him possession of these architectural remains, which Pittas sees as a part of our collective memory, carrying knowledge and cultural-historical value.

ENOUGH is based on the idea that hidden stories can be found in our material objects. The union of historical objects and contemporary discourse can create a sense of continuity of time and history, while at the same time revealing how people and places are connected and represented through the material aspects of our culture.

Through researching their origins, Pittas reflects on contested monuments and statues today and plays with the ambiguous narratives of heritage, political protest and social movements.
The process reactivates history and takes it into the present. To echo, voice and recycle the transhistorical realities, the fragments are 'vandalised' with graphite and marble dust quotations, taken from alternative archives as well as the contemporary public domain.

Within the exhibition the objects are paired with QR codes (you can access the content of QR code 1 here, QR code 2 here, and QR code 3 here), which leads to an online platform. Here the viewer has access to the archives and activates the research.


New Reproductions, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, 14 March – 2 May, 2020
Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents the group show New Reproductions, featuring work by Maria Barnas, Ed van der Elsken, Roger Hiorns, Erik van Lieshout, David Maljkovic, Awoiska van der Molen, Robby Müller, Antonis Pittas, Wilfredo Prieto and Johannes Schwartz.

New Reproductions explores the correlation between publication, research, artwork, graphic designer, artist and institution. The show investigates the varied ways this correlation is formed, from insight into an artist's practice, to exploration of either artwork or exhibition, an in-depth reference work, or indeed to an independent work in and of itself. Mirroring the often overlooked yet rich material provided by artists' books, New Reproductions presents a visually eclectic selection of works to highlight a wide-ranging selection of publications; at the entrance to the show the various books are featured in the show as part of David Maljkovic' reconfigured modernist bookcase.

The definition of what makes an artists' book is a fluid reality that stretches the boundaries of the format. Through the different works and corresponding publications presented in the show, the frontiers of this fluidity are exposed. Johannes Schwartz' serialisation and typographical exploration of Olympic Torches function in direct conversation with and expand on his Athens Recorder publication from 2016, designed by his long-term collaborators Experimental Jetset, creating a new way to view the individual photographs. In the same vein, David Maljkovic' similarly titled artworks and catalogue - New Reproductions designed by Abåke- deconstruct the process of archiving, cataloguing and reproducing works of art through the printed format. Maria Barnas' The Writing Room, designed by Studio Felix Salut, also explores the relation between archive, print, book, and photographic reproduction.

Next to the archival and cataloguing nature of the artists' publication, the relation to the traditional exhibition is highlighted as well. Antonis Pittas' Road to Victory, designed by Project Projects, a mix of conceptual publication and catalogue, presents his artistic research into the rituals that revolve around exhibiting and archiving works of art. The work presented in New Reproductions show him both unravelling and playing into these practices.
In the same vein, Wilfredo Prieto challenges our notions of reading and interpreting what is on view through his transparent Hero and corresponding publication 'The Emperor's New Clothes' , also designed by Studio Felix Salut. The publication can be seen as a catalogue to the exhibition of the same title hosted by Annet Gelink Gallery in 2011, or alternatively, as a separate work in the form of an artists' book. Prieto's publication Loophole from 2015, furthermore designed by Studio Felix Salut, also functions in the same grey area: Both catalogue and artist's book. Other examples on display are Erik van Lieshout's Sündenbock, designed by Studio Remco van Bladel for his exhibition at Kunstverein Hannover and Roger Hiorns designed by Studio Felix Salut for Hiorns' exhibition at Frans Hals Museum Haarlem.

The world of the photo-book is represented by publications by Ed van der Elsken, Awoiska van der Molen and Robby Müller. Van der Elsken's Amsterdam!, designed by Anthon Beeke, gives a narrative to his interactions with his home-town, whilst Müller's Interior Exterior designed by Mevis & Van Deursen, re-imagines the famed cinematographer as a latter-day Dutch Master through the painterly compositions of his personal snapshots. Awoiska van der Molen's Sequester and Blanco, designed by Hans Gremmen,on the other hand show an ongoing examination into the nature of likeness, reproduction and photography.

In presenting book and artwork side by side, New Reproductions creates a dialogue between the rational, ordered and intellectual and the sensual, conceptual and emotive. The varied mix of the works on view each in their own way deal with the archival and self-propagating nature of the drive to put to paper what we encounter and experience.


MONOCHROME, Jaune, Geel, Gelb, Yellow,Van Doesburg studio-house, Paris, 26 – 28 April, 2019
The Van Doesburg House Foundation, Amsterdam, proudly presents Antonis Pittas – MONOCHROME, Jaune, Geel, Gelb, Yellow, an exhibition and intervention at Van Doesburghuis in Meudon-Val-Fleury, Paris.

For the occasion of the exhibition, Antonis Pittas turns the Van Doesburg artist house into a quasi-murder scene. With his intervention, he emphasizes its spatial properties and traces of usage. Against the backdrop of the recent events in Paris – from the burning of Notre-Dame to the yellow vests protests – he investigates the meaning and appropriation of (modernist) architectural heritage. Modernism came with a promise – not only of the new but of the better, more just and democratic. Yet, the utopian aspirations of the historical avant-garde came at a price, as its iconoclastic fantasy of total renewal paved the way for darker, totalitarian and fascist forces to enter the scene. As the artist puts modernist heritage under the magnifying glass, he is drawing parallels with current political developments that show a similar type of internal contradiction. Every gain comes with a loss: newfound solidarity can imply the exclusion of others, well-meant safety measures can cause an erosion of democratic freedoms, and so on. Antonis Pittas makes us aware of this complexity, and makes us wonder whether this will eventually lead to the definite 'murder' of modernity and of its cultural, social and political legacy.
Antonis Pittas developed MONOCHROME, Jaune, Geel, Gelb, Yellow during his residency at Van Doesburghuis between January and April 2019. Van Doesburghuis (1930) is the artist house designed by the Dutch founder of De Stijl, Theo van Doesburg, which kept its original function until today. The Van Doesburg House Foundation was established in 1980 to keep Theo van Doesburg's work and thinking alive and to make the house accessible to the public. In addition, the Foundation has made the artist house available to those who work professionally in the arts, in the fields in which Theo van Doesburg and his wife Nelly were active: fine art, design, architecture, literature, performing arts and film.


all done go home, Significant Other, Vienna, 26 January – 4 May, 2019
In autumn of 1968 The Convention on Road Traffic was signed by 78 countries during the United Nations Economic and Social Council in Vienna. The agreement also included the Convention on Road Signs and Signals. All of Europe, most of Asia and parts of Central and South America (we are basically talking about European powers and most of their former colonial lands), are until now, and only with slight adaptations, following the regulations agreed upon during that conference, including a unified system of signs and signals.

The history of road signs dates back to the times of the Roman Empire, famous for building roads spreading through their conquered territories. The first modern signs were - perhaps surprisingly - designed in relation to bicycle traffic in the late 19th century. When you think about it, it makes sense, since bicycles are relatively silent and therefore easily overlooked, yet fast enough to cause a potentially fateful crash. For this reason in 1926 European powers and the United States began to work on a system of internationally recognisable signs. But it would take another forty years and a Second World War to reach a commonly accepted regulation.

Enough of mere Wikipedia knowledge though! For Antonis Pittas road signs represent a physical and prominent visual form of state control, following aesthetic shifts in the universal perception of basic geometry, defined by the period of high modernism. Let's break this statement down. Pittas has always focused on ways how the visual styles of a given period are utilised to translate political or ideological messages to the public and how such an approach changes and develops a common understanding, acceptance and even appreciation of a shared visual language. Historical roadsigns were designed according to a much slower pace of traffic, when it was still feasible to use decorative styles, longer texts and demand more focused attention, than modern car traffic would ever allow for. Their simplification to basic geometrical forms of square, triangle and circle paired with stylised and radically abstracted symbols came not only in reference to modernism, but simply as a mere necessity.

Their layouts are nevertheless closely connected to the abstract language of Bauhaus, De Stijl and other related stylistic movements. Despite the prevalent role of historical styles of the past during the first half of the 20th century, dominantly used by oppressive totalitarian systems, certain practical aspects of modern life just couldn't do with ornamental structures and forms anymore. The most significant upgrade of road signs since they evolved from stone pillars and wooden boards to metal plates was the application of reflective surfaces, in order to render them visible without direct daylight and even these materials remained faithful to the basic colours used by previously mentioned modernist schools of thought and style; red, blue, yellow and green still being the most commonly featured chromatic choices.
Let's leave the topic of roadsigns for a moment. The most obvious form of visual representation of a state is, with the exception of architecture, the public monument. A genre which in spite of the lessons of modernism, land art, postmodernism and the anti-monument movement, remained predominantly realistic, or merely slightly abstracted. Most capitals, no matter which nation, are filled with sculptures of figures bearing witness to the official national dominant narrative. Thus it comes as no surprise that current populistic systems focus so much on reinstating a culture of realistic sculptures in public space, be it for example in present day Hungary or in the retrospectively discussed fate of the representation of war criminals, slave owners, proven racists or antisemites still proudly manifested on your city's main square, the metro station stop where your kid gets out for school or the airport of your holiday destination.

Another focal point of Pittas practice is directed at attacks targeting such moments as a gesture of public discontent, unrest or simply the need for expression of ones personal creativity. The slogan "all done go home" for instance was written by an anonymous member of the public on a newly erected, US sponsored, sculpture in the centre of Baghdad which replaced the previously decapitated monument of Saddam Hussein. In this respect, Pittas, despite living in the Netherlands for almost two decades, is not one to neglect his Greek legacy: the streets of Athens are, especially since the financial crisis, covered in self-confident expressions of malcontent towards the ruling elites. And this is where the wind blows in all done go home - which functions as a fragmentary extract from the endless archives of hijacked, vandalised, damaged, replaced or re-contextualized public monuments translated into warning signs themselves and accompanied by interpretative textual and visual material.

In this sense all done go home merges the allusion to the history of roadsigns and public monuments under the blinding reflective facade, which may or may not confuse the unsuspecting passing drivers. A subtle red thread of public imaginary formulated through re-verbalised collective memory, manifested in those depicted monuments and their literal or proverbial falls, opens up a fresh perspective over issues regarding the construction of memory and its unconscious power. all done go home tells a tale of the opposite, proving that actually nothing is done and we are still far from a point where we'll be able to sensibly approach constructs of historical narratives of nation states and disclose their manipulative falsehoods.


Abstand, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, 8 September – 13 October, 2018
Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents Abstand, the second solo-show by Antonis Pittas (1973, Athens, lives and works in Amsterdam) with the gallery.

Inside as opposite of outside. You as opposite of me. There is always a distance in contrapositions and it's where Antonis Pittas' practice sharply operates.

The German word abstand suggests both distance as spacing and distance as withdrawal. In Pittas' work words are experienced performatively, abstand therefore becomes a territory in which to investigate the underlying tensions in contemporary society.

In the immersive and surreal light emanating from the reflective wall that runs the length of the gallery, the viewers find themselves echoed in the aluminium and bronze sculptures cast from oversized truck wing mirrors. The atmosphere of hyper-modernism indicated in the main space is overturned in the Bakery, where enigmatic photographs create a choreography between abstract and figurative, industrial and human.
As an observer of his time, Pittas' research converges in a keen sensibility towards news media, an interest in civic architecture and public space, alongside an informed use of art historical references. Elements from diverse media and languages are filtered and translated into minimal hand-crafted objects with concrete presence and tactile magnetism.

In Abstand, aspects from the language of traffic management are extrapolated and displaced, from the outside to the inside. As transitional spaces, roads are overlooked in our daily lives, while through a series of symbols our behaviours are silently decoded and directed, boundaries are created.

Pittas imagines a setting behind the glossy façade which addresses our contemporary societal issues of being both the controlling and the controlled subjects, growing ever more distant from each other. Although strongly consistent with his line of work, Abstand marks a new chapter in Antonis Pittas' poetics and aesthetics.


Vice Versa: Our Earth is Their Moon, Our Moon is Their Earth, Festival m3/ Art in Space, Prague, 9 June – 30 September, 2018
Curated by Significant Other: Laura Amann & Jen Kratochvil
Organized by Studio Bubec

Civilization's most essential element
The quota of absolute necessities
Having been reduced to almost nothing
The quota of extra things
Has been extended to include almost everything...

VICE VERSA: Our Earth is Their Moon, Our Moon is Their Earth, is the title of this year's m3 festival: Art in Space and a phrase borrowed from Ursula Le Guin's 1974 utopian Sci-Fi novel The Dispossessed; it underlines the dual coexistence of two opposite, yet mutually dependent and intertwined civilisations.

In the context of a festival of art in public spaces it relates to issues of wide discrepancy between the general public and the professional art audience, questions regarding the various levels of social hierarchy in the population inhabiting the city, same as the peculiar relationship between local residents and short-term visitors.acclaimed authors. Each component is integral to the entire project, and intentionally sustains the suggested relationships between economic, historical, political and aesthetic trajectories.
VICE VERSA focuses on the heart of the city of Prague and specifically give attention to those things that usually go unnoticed in the spotlight. Dealing with issues of inclusion and exclusion, gentrification, visual pollution, the economy of tourism and therefore also the living conditions of the local inhabitants of Prague, a selected group of internationally active artists has been invited to develop and present new context-specific works, deploying practices which transcend traditional sculptural positions and encompass among others performance, moving image, photography and installation in an attempt to align Moon and Earth.

The mental space left by the reduction of our needs
Is taken up by those talents – artistic, poetic and scientific
Which multiply and take deep root
They spring from a necessity to produce and not from a necessity to consume...


Nothing to lose but your chains, Manifesta 12, 5x5x5 program, Palermo, 16 June – 4 November, 2018
Nothing to lose but your chains

Jennifer Steetskamp

If anything, the Greek artist Antonis Pittas is an observer and analyst of his time. Drawing from historical sources, he subjects the present to trans-historical readings, and exposes its conflictual and paradoxical indebtedness to the past. For his current work, he looked for material in his close surroundings. Attending CrossFit classes on a regular basis, he developed the idea for a contemporary group portrait involving his fitness peers. This resulted in a large black-and-white photograph that shows them together in varying poses (including Pittas as a cameo).

Nothing to lose but your chains is dense in its possible meanings and connotations. As Pittas lives and works in the Netherlands, it is almost impossible not to see parallels with the painterly genre of Dutch 17th-century group portraits. Back then, collective portraiture was typically reserved for regents, nobility and other important figures with a high social rank. The Dutch Golden Age, however, already contained the seeds for social change. Not unlike the Italian Risorgimento in the 19th century, it marked a time when the power of the bourgeois and parvenu was rising. The Dutch Golden Age paved the way for the class-struggle that marked the Industrial Revolution and, with colonialism at its foundation, acted as a predecessor of the globalized world economy as we currently know it. It is not entirely accidental, then, that the title of the current piece is borrowed from a famous quote by Karl Marx.

Interestingly, however, Pittas does not quote the 17th-century group portrait as a source for inspiration, but politically-charged group photography from the Russian revolution and after. One of the pictures the artist found during his research depicts a group of Bolsheviks posing with the portrait of Marx in the center. Other sources include pyramids of Russian athletes chanting propagandist slogans, and schematic representations of class struggle, for which the pyramid form was often used as a way of showing societal hierarchies. Now, in Pittas' contemporary rendering, it is no longer Marx who dominates the center of the image, but a sun-like reflective circle, which, through the lighting it creates, makes the image appear even more painterly.
In both the political arena and the avant-garde art of the time, the idea of 'the people' as a 'collective body' increasingly took hold. With the nationalist movements of the 19th century and the radical utopian ideas that determined the beginning of the 20th, various notions of 'public health' and 'social engineering' came into fashion. As Modernist concepts, they eventually fell prey to what Adorno and Horkheimer called the Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944/1947), laying the very groundwork for the Holocaust, which, in the eyes of the National Socialists, was an attempt of 'cleansing' the national body.

Looking from a more contemporary viewpoint at this dialectic of purity and violence, Pittas is especially interested in the dynamics of consumerism and service-oriented, post-industrial capitalism today. Pittas commonly refers to the current stage of history as 'hypermodernism' – Modernism to the extreme. His stance towards the concept of a 'public body' is mostly indebted to Michel Foucault, as he is interested in the mechanisms that we use today to control and discipline this very 'body'. They reach from various health-improvement apps to orthorexic eating behaviors, from personal and collective obsessions with the 'pure' and 'healthy' to extreme fitness and detox regimes. All these strategies fuel the false meritocratic fantasy that, through effort, anything can be achieved.

With apparent ease, Pittas draws a line from historical group portraiture to contemporary fitness hypes, fit girls and Instagram crazes, which are co-constitutive of the collective idea of a body that must be perfected and eventually overcome, in an anorexic attempt of improvement through self-annihilation. With this, Pittas also exposes the striking tension between the emphasis on individualism in neoliberalist societies, and the visual uniformity that capitalism eventually brings about through consumerist fashions. As much as the title has to be taken as a humoristic reference to contemporary hypes of self-improvement, the hovering slogan 'Every fantasy is collective' – a quote borrowed from Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus (1972) – must be read as an ironic remark on Western lifestyle and the paradoxes it produces.


2 Unlimited, De Appel, Schipluidenlaan 12, Amsterdam, 30 May – 18 August, 2018
Curated by Rachael Rakes and Niels Van Tomme

Let me hear you say "Yeah"!

2 UNLIMITED is an exhibition in and about Amsterdam
It features people, objects, and ideas currently residing in the city
It considers homegrown artistic practices as critical and analytical tools
And the poetics and imaginaries of this space and time

2 UNLIMITED is set in the current age of ultra–development and mass tourism
But instead of decrying:

No no, no no no no, no no no no, no no there's no limit!
It foregrounds the work of new artistic communities that are grounded in Amsterdam's everyday reality
And its potential transformation

2 UNLIMITED gathers artists and critical thinkers

To present new possibilities for communication, language, communality, design
To break down exclusionary narratives and falsified myth–making
To not look back, only look forward
To dare imagine different futures
To rip it up and start again
To not give up the fight

Let me hear you say "Yeah"!


“lo sono qui!”, MACRO Museum Testaccio, Rome, 14 December 2017 – 28 January 2018‎


The Kids Want Communism: Final Installment, MoBY, Museums of Bat Yam, Bat Yam, 22 June – 11 November, 2017
The Kids Want Communism is a year long exhibitions project at MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam that is held in conjunction with a number of different artists and institutions around the world, including exhibitions, lectures, exhibits, screenings, and publications throughout the year of 2016-2017. Partner institutions include the Tranzit Prague, VCRC Kiev, Free / Slow University of Warsaw, State of Concept in Athens, Škuc Gallery in Ljubljana, Westspace in Melbourne, and MoBY.
Artists: Toy Boy, Tal Gafny, Jonathan Gold, Mati Lahat, Hila Laviv and Dana Yoeli, Ohad Meromi, Tamar Nissim; “Notes on Division” (curated by iLiana Fokianaki): Konstantinos Kotsis, Yota Ioannidou, Antonis Pittas, Yorgos Sapountzis, and Vangelis Vlahos

Curator: Joshua Simon


Neither Innocent Nor Guilty, Daily Lazy Projects, Athens, 26 September – 4 November, 2017
Curated by Giorgos Kontis

The new is new in its relation to the old, to tradition. [1]

The aesthetic regime of the arts is first of all a new regime for relating to the past. It actually sets up as the very principle of artisticity the expressive relationship inherent in a time and a state of civilization. [2]

The making of art comes along with a sense of repetition; instead of a Tabula Rasa there is a confrontation and an endeavour in dealing and being in a dialogue with the past and the spectres that come along with it. The past as both heritage and burden, and a repetition that is inevitable yet impossible as well; the work of art rooted in tradition, yet an ever changing one with a sense of an aura being constantly redefined. Formalism after semiotics, medium specificity and a sense of materiality that becomes questioned and explored; expanded forms of painting and sculpture in an endeavour to trace their relationship and its continuity with the past, as well as with the exhibition space that hosts and witnesses that and becomes flexible -intangible and conceptual itself.
The making of art as well as the exhibition space as a figure are in an ever present challenge and demand to be in sync with their time. What emerges is a duality in the space the artwork inhabits; a space in language, in its medium and cultural context, and the exhibition space in which it is physically present.

A coexistence of the work with the past and within the cultural context, as well as within and with the exhibition space. And, a question about how seemingly traditional forms of art, such as sculpture and painting, function in relation to their present; being, simultaneously, in an open dialogue with the past and history of their medium and the heritage that follows it. The matter here is not a case of medium specificity, it is rather a state of flux of the aesthetic function of the work and how this is intertwined with the conditions that surround its making; a relationship between the work and its ground, whatever this may be.

[1] Boris Groys, On the New, Verso 2014, p.6
[2] Jacques Ranciere, The politics of Aesthetics, Bloomsbury Academic 2013, p.20


Propositions for Non-fascist Living, Propositions #1: What We Mean, Inaugural Performative Conference, BAK, Utrecht, 7 October, 2017
Over the next four years, BAK unfolds its long-term research itinerary Propositions for Non-Fascist Living. Prompted by the dramatic resurfacing and normalization of fascisms, historical and contemporary, and inspired by philosopher Michel Foucault, BAK develops and gathers propositions for an “art of living counter to all forms of fascism, whether already present or impending,”1 including “the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.”2 Through its exhibitionary, discursive, and performative facets, Propositions for Non-Fascist Living attempts to articulate and inhabit methods of de-individualized living; methods in which multiplicity and difference enact relations other than those enamored with power and hierarchy, endeavoring to both articulate and inhabit options of being together otherwise.
Propositions #1: What We Mean begins from an urgency for—and uncertainty about—what living in non-fascist ways could and does mean. The gathering takes place in a makeshift environment amid the renovation of BAK’s new venue. Through impromptu artworks, lectures, readings, discussions, screenings, performances, and explorations of the assembly—of being together—as an art form, Propositions #1: What We Mean practices art as thought and action intervening in the contemporary. Artistic interventions and the screening program remain on view Sunday 8 October 2017.


Extra-Citizen – a prologue, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp, 9 September – 10 December, 2017
Curated by Antonia Alampi and iLiana Fokianaki

How can we describe what a citizen is today? When can we say we belong to a place? How much have the informal meaning and legal definition of the notion of citizenship transformed over the last decades? This exhibition draws on the imagination of contemporary artists to inspire a reflection on the scope of citizenship today, particularly in cities that are faced with an urgency to adapt to the diversity of their inhabitants.

The composition of people that inhabit the cities of the old continent has changed substantially in the last century. Global migration and the World Wide Web, new and complex forms of mass interaction (social media or otherwise) and knowledge exchange, along with the free movement of goods, capital and services, define the world in which we live. Things such as nationality, birthplace, language, and religion are not the sole defining factors with respect to our sense of belonging to a place or community. Nevertheless, we are witnessing, once again, a re-emergence of ‘us’ and ‘them’, a development that denies the complex diversity and hybridity of cultures and world-views that define contemporary European metropolises. On the other hand, grassroots movements have increasingly emerged and the reality of our cities has bred new and younger, multi-lingual and multi-national citizens who are defined by their greater cultural, social and economic diversity.
This exhibition reflects once again on the purpose and power of citizenship, not solely in relation to the nation state, but also vis-à-vis other organised communities, from the city to the neighbourhood, and even to supranational bodies. The intention behind ‘Extra Citizen’ is to inspire reflection on what we might inscribe in a new and much-needed polyphonic definition of citizenship.

Participating artists Meriç Algün, Younes Baba- Ali, Zbynēk Baladrán, James Bridle, Bram Demunter, Cao Fei, Iman Issa, Ahmet Ögüt, Dan Perjovschi, Antonis Pittas, Martha Rosler, Marinella Senatore, Philippe Van Snick, Grant Watson


Image Drain, Tallinn Photomonth biennial (Tallinn Art Hall and the Museum of Photography), 1 September – 8 October, 2017
“Image Drain” will open on 1 September and run until 8 October, 2017 at Tallinn Art Hall and will additionally extend to Museum of Photography.

“Image Drain” is an exhibition of artworks whose reasons for being brought together are buried in a fictional story of fixation, speculation, and obsessive looking. It starts with the premise that the photographic is an approach to the visual, rather than a medium limited by certain technical specifications, and ends up somewhere as yet unknown. It emerges alongside a collection of stories and descriptive records that replaces a critical or explicative curatorial position, inviting the viewer (and the reader) not to trust the artworks, the curator or the institution too much. It is distinctly virtual, although it takes up physical space. “Image Drain” knows that digital image production and dissemination are the backbone of the expanded notion of photography, but it resists either lamenting or celebrating this. Rather the exhibition bears witness to the digital as a necessary condition of our contemporary relationship to images of all kinds, and indeed to vision itself.
In vastly different ways the practices of the following artists address the thresholds of imageness, visibility and invisibility. They will present a combination of new and existing works, resulting in an exhibition environment that incorporates confluence and dissonances.

Artist list (in alphabetical order): Andrew Amorim (BR/NO), Victoria Durnak (NO), Mathijs van Geest (NO/NL), Carl Johan Högberg (SE/NL), Henri Hütt (EE), Toril Johannessen (NO), Paul Kuimet (EE), Laura Kuusk (EE), Antonis Pittas (GR/NL), Mårten Spångberg (SE), André Tehrani (NO), James Webb (ZA), Kristina Õllek (EE).


Road to Victory, , Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen, 27 January – 9 April, 2017
From January 27 to April 9, 2017 Hordaland Art Centre (Hordaland Kunstsenter) hosts a solo exhibition by Antonis Pittas titled Road to Victory. The exhibition emerged out of the art centre’s collaboration with Pittas and Mousse Publishing on the forthcoming book by the same name, which is a conceptual publication that extends Pittas’s artistic practice as well as an anthology of essays reflecting on his work and its various contexts. Together the book and exhibition present an artist-initiated re-reading of the seminal work of exhibition designer, Herbert Bayer, whose 1942 exhibition Road to Victory at the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented a highly aestheticised and celebratory representation of the American involvement in the Second World War.

In revisiting this moment in the history of exhibitions, Pittas draws our attention to the embedding of propagandistic elements in artistic display conventions, ranging from the Russian avant-garde to the contemporary moment. Bringing into constellation a history of affect and abstraction in the exhibition space, the Road to Victory project brings together archival fragments, spatial transformations, new sculptural works, and textual contributions by a host of acclaimed authors. Each component is integral to the entire project, and intentionally sustains the suggested relationships between economic, historical, political and aesthetic trajectories.
In Road to Victory Pittas transforms Hordaland Art Centre’s gallery space into a field of black surfaces, objects, sculptures and text works that draw the exhibition visitor into a tactile system in which value, performativity and material history are contested. Pittas reminds us that our sensory vocabularies are infused with ideology. Politics lives in the matter of art, in its ability to mean, even as aesthetic and artistic tastes are inevitably influenced by political feelings.


‘hands on’ installation, Nieuw Amsterdam Peil, Amsterdam, 14 January – 25 February, 2017
Where do we go from here? is an exhibition in the Jordaan area of Amsterdam, organised as a collaboration between six galleries - Annet Gelink Gallery, Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Galerie Fons Welters, Stigter Van Doesburg, tegenboschvanvreden and Martin van Zomeren. Alessandro Vincentelli, curator of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art was asked to develop the concept for this show.

The six galleries have formed a group called Nieuw Amsterdams Peil. For this occasion they will function as one exhibition space in which works by 25 of their artists will be presented. They are located in walking distance of each other in the Jordaan, a former working-class area that became more and more cosmopolitan over the years; socially layered and economically diverse.
Each street is packed with history, and the area is reflecting the social political issues around the world today. By including the public space between the galleries, the neighbourhood has become dynamically involved with Where do we go from here? Thus, the exhibition is not only attractive to art lovers, but also to local residents, other Amsterdammers, national and international visitors.


Shadows for Construction, Narrative Projects, London, 18 November 2016 – 07 January, 2017
narrative projects is pleased to present Shadows for Construction, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by Amsterdam based Greek artist Antonis Pittas.

Pittas’ practice is based around context-sensitive spatial installations and objects, which are informed by architecture, politics, art-historical references, the performative aspects of installation art and its social dynamics. The majority of his projects come into existence over a long period of time, and always in relation to a particular site or context. In the course of his career, Pittas has become increasingly intrigued by the question of how past and present relate to and reinforce each other, and how public memories can be captured in the making.

Over the last few years, the artist’s work has gravitated toward reflections on the historical avant-garde, playfully re-activating the heritage of Russian formalism and Bauhaus to address contemporary social dynamics. Pittas adopts elements – shapes and forms – from modernist artworks, and relocates them in the context of contemporary protest movements and the aesthetic strategies they employ; and, in this way, he has turned the expressions of revolt into monuments.
For this exhibition Pittas has transformed the gallery space into a sculptural installation, inviting a viewer to fully immerse in the formal experience of the early avant-garde. The loud contrast of red and white references the primary colours of Malevich’s Suprematism, whilst the series of photographs present a direct intervention into the drawings by Lyubov Popova that the artist encountered during his research at the Costakis collection and the archives. At the same time, the sculptural pieces are easily traced back to the austere visual language of Minimalism.

Evocative aesthetic and contextual shifts reflect the current global climate of upheaval but also promote fragments from the public domain, from the quotidian to the iconic. Relating to (art) history and its utopian promises adds an additional layer of reflection that allows us to rethink the relation between present and past. Does history repeat itself? And if it does, how and in what form does it reappear?


Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon - Part 2, International Foundation Manifesta Office, Amsterdam, May 27 – September 30, 2016
Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon - Part 2

Manifesta is proud to present the group exhibition Theatre Dreams of a Beautiful Afternoon – Part 2 by Annet Gelink Gallery. The exhibition is the second part of the gallery’s last group show and displays a large number of premiering gems by the nine artists. The works displayed at our Herengracht office in Amsterdam inhabit and relate to this space in its own way; the works spread throughout the building and garden engage with the environment in their form and meaning. Some refer to contemporary political and social issues, such as the turbulent time in Europe, the disunity and uncertainty of the future of this continent. Others pose questions on belonging, identity and privacy.  

Since 2013, Manifesta Foundation is housed in a historical Herengracht canal house. In order to make our unique office space accessible to the public and to engage with the Amsterdam artistic and gallery world we started an ongoing series of exhibitions. Every six months a different Amsterdam based contemporary art gallery is invited to curate a site-specific show, specially made to reflect the history of the building and the place.
For this occasion Antonis Pittas has crated a special installation that consists of a tire-like marble sculpture based on the materials used in violence associated with the protest movement that has swept through (mostly Southern) Europe; and graphite texts on the marble floor and doorframe in the hallway of Manifesta. His use of marble emphasizes the tension between the mutable and passing element. Pittas makes this violence physical, hardening it in the durable material of marble. In doing so, he also monumentalizes the small occurrences that form public history, by using texts derived from the news reports on the current situation in Syria.


The Economy is Spinning, Onomatopee, Eindhoven, June 9 – 17 July, 2016
The Economy is Spinning
Curated by Kris Dittel

How does the economy speak to us? Does it speak through us? Sometimes its voice trembles with fear, and at other times it whispers with hope and sings in excitement about better days to come.

Economic jargon settles in to make things sound correct by making them sound familiar; it comes to our aid when troubles arise and comforts us with its reasonable-sounding justifications. Like religion, it gives hope and solace, soothes worry and anguish. The doctrine is everywhere, oozing out of academic studies and financial newspapers; ’efficiency’ has become the measure of the everyday, as ’cost-benefit analyses’ guide us to make decisions in the interests of the greatest possible returns.
This logic promises freedom in exchange for leaving things to take their own course: laissez faire, laissez passer. The ’invisible hand’ of the market should ensure that needs and wants are met without any outside intervention or regulation. Yet needs and wants are not governed by rational rules: the desire to have it all, to have it now and without limits, is a notion without end, with irrationality as its command.

The Economy is Spinning looks into various manifestations of the language of economics and finance, a language that permeates our vocabularies and builds the boundaries of our imaginations. The exhibition considers the economy as a ‘performing body’ that reveals its state of mind in its language. With contributions by nine artists, the exhibition accentuates and exaggerates the absurdity of this language and of its underlying mechanisms.


AJNHAJTCLUB, Q21/MuseumsQuartier, Vienna, 5 July – 4 September, 2016
Antonis Pittas, Dispatchers, series of 10 photographs, 2016

During a train ride from the Hungarian boarder to Vienna, which has frequently been used also by immigrants, Antonis Pittas crossed paths with many dispatchers at diverse train stations. These people, or rather their absence- as the majority of the dispatchers refused to be photographed or often the presence of dispatchers is not required anymore due to modernization and automatization of a station, were captured in a series of photographs shown as part of the exhibition AJNHAJTCLUB.

In these images Pittas investigates how tradition and symbols disappear or transform over time. They document the way in which old traditions, such as a simple symbolic gesture of welcoming a train at a station are being transformed today, within the new political landscape of Europe.


Massage the History, Iset, Athens, 21 January –19 March, 2016
Massage the History
Historical testimonies & artistic practice

Here's wishing we could massage
History, history
Sonic Youth

By decontextualising verses, words, images and sounds we create new contents. We generate conceptual contexts which appear —arbitrarily— as authentic and representative of the original con¬text. Meaning is constructed through the fragment and its transposition, citation or juxtaposition. In what way do the syntheses and clashes produce this meaning? How does the fragmentary give meaning to the constructed whole?

Here the “entirety” of History is critically approached. Using the exhibition facilities of the Greek Art Institute, the exhibition “Massage the History” plays with the element of memory, of personal record, in relation to the major narratives. It explores the ways in which the historical narrative constructs the mainstream perception of reality while seeking ways to undermine it.
The artists explore new methods of perceiving and narrating History. They are called upon to revisit the context in which we perceive the fait accompli, the historical event and its record. They demonstrate the contingency, the multiplicity, the voids, the space between events, the experience of the historical moment, the subjectivity of perception and the process of recording as a process within History. The space of the Institute’s archive is turned into a space for the presentation of alternative archives, personal records as well as of abstracted information as part of a quest for new models of existence.

The major historical moment and the specific details of a historical source or experience are not treated as a fixed dipole; on the contrary, the emphasis is on the porous boundaries between them. What is examined here is the process of narrative construction and the relationship between event and experience, memory and imagination, information and physical participation, emotion and recollection.


hold on, SMBA, Amsterdam, 27 November 2015 –10 January, 2016
What do the solemn hands of Angela Merkel have in common with the protest fists of Greek cleaners wearing red rubber gloves? Why is every state visit validated with a firm hand shake in front of international press? What is the relationship between a poster design by Alexander Rodchenko depicting Lilya Brik's hand as a megaphone and the slogan of a Dutch political party “all hands on deck instead of handouts” [Handen uit de mouwen in plaats van hand ophouden]?

The solo exhibition by Antonis Pittas fires these questions at us by juxtaposing images of hands with one another. In this way, Pittas reactivates fragments from our collective public consciousness and creates unexpected relationships between objects. While lounging on a pouffe shaped like Pittas's hand, you can flip through tactile representations of hands. Pittas's installation combines these freely in order to associate the situation in the exhibition space with a variety of art-historical sources and images from the European political landscape. This game of association is not completely arbitrary, as the hands seen here are all examples of representations of hands that have played a role in the public sphere.

These hands illustrate that the public sphere has enlarged and become more chaotic in the past century. Photos of politicians rarely appeared in the paper in 1920, but by the late 1960s, politicians could be seen on TV debating in the House of Representatives, and today, they tweet voting-booth selfies. Politicians' increased visibility in the public domain has not necessarily made their thoughts or actions transparent.
To the contrary, it seems to distract attention from public and social interests, especially when the subject of discussion is a politician's pants suit or motorcycle.

By having chosen a selection from an enormous number of fragments, making them his own and then again making them public, Pittas creates new meaning, the value of which is not always clear. This strategy appears to fit seamlessly with contemporary reality, where the significance of what it means to be public also remains unclear. Of all the possible meanings of public, only one seems to be becoming ever more powerful today: that of publicizing or making something known to the world. Other senses of public – such as something being out in the open, or belonging to or being associated with government, society, or a specific social group (i.e. the public sector) – appear to be overshadowed by the dominant sense of public. There is a great deal of ambiguity wrapped up in the contemporary meaning of public. The hand – the body part so often encountered in the public domain – appears to be a most apt symbol for laying bare this equivocality.

Thematically circling around the hand, the exhibition in SMBA plays on the various meanings of the phrase “hold on:” a request to wait a moment, encouraging words to get through a difficult situation, or the physical act of using both hands to hold on to something. The many different uses of “hold on” provide playful ways of connecting with the performative installation.


landart/ clips, The Shock of Victory, Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, September 18 – November 1, 2015


throw hands, Between the Pessimism of the Intellect and the Optimism of the Will, Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, June 23 – September 30, 2015
For his new work 'throw hands' (2015) for the Thessaloniki Biennial, Antonis Pittas' intent is to create a performative space in which the past can be reactivated and the present addressed. The exhibition space hosts four large hands made from a faux-leather soft material in four different colours: red, blue, yellow and white. The objects are a cross between furniture and sculpture, and are intended for use: people can sit or lie on them. The hands, in turn, serve as a stage for the presentation of other works Pittas presents: a number of old-fashioned clipboards, reproduced in very expensive materials such as marble, bronze and other metals, materials usually used for government buildings or public sculpture, with bureaucratic or 'official' connotations. Attached to these are various collages of images showing hands of politicians and other political actors as represented in online and offline news media – gestures that are supposed to underline the importance of what is said, expressing anger, power or, sometimes, fear. While the work evokes the art historical past, including both pre- and post-war avant-gardes, the present it represents is associated with violence and the rationalization of violence. Photomontages of the German and Russian avant-garde often employed the hand of the artist as a sign of a new time to come: a time, in which the artist-engineer would have a crucial role in building society and realizing utopian ideas. Obviously, this hope was already frustrated back then and very violently so, but the force of the hand and the gesture keeps being interesting as a sign of political influence or defeat, or ideological instrumentalisation. Pittas view of the exhibition space – a former convention centre – as a very 'toxic', contaminated political environment, which might recall civilian protest and upheaval as well as the (violent) reaction of military and police forces to the state of apparent chaos. The colours of the hands indirectly refer to the abstract emblem that can be found on tear gas cans, which indicates the toxicity of the gas thrown by military and police.
For Pittas this ideogram strikingly resembles certain modern art forms, and can be seen as a kind of détournement of Bauhaus and De Stijl aesthetics into something quite different, more politically charged and confrontational. And of course, there are the obvious references to Barnett Newman's work series Who's Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue (1966-1970) and Gustav Klutsis' photomontage of Lenin flanked by four hands depicting the pillars of Soviet society. During the last years, Pittas has been working on examining the paradoxical relationship between past and present and has found similarly contradictory relations in, for instance, the work of Bauhaus-designer Herbert Bayer. This historical interest also extends to the Costakis collection of Russian avant-garde and related archives at the State Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki, from which Pittas will be curating a presentation during the biennial. The strong political implications of art from this period resonates with our present quite strongly, especially considering the situation in Greece and the Southern Mediterranean. Though Pittas does not see himself as the 'artist-engineer' that the early twentieth century avant garde had envisioned, he strives at least to create conditions for critical thoughts to be triggered, while eschewing any overt propagandistic messages. He sees himself as an observer, confronted with a reality of new collective movements, of tensions arising within societies and between regions, of complicated references and unresolvable contradictions. In this context, he is especially interested in capturing public or collective memory in the making as well as the dynamics of monumentalization that accompany this process, whereby his work becomes a kind of protester's memorial.


montage/ we will do as we have decided, Raccontare in luogo (Tales of a Place), Galleria Enrico Astuni, Bologna, June 6 – November 7, 2015


Untitled (I want us to stop talking tactics and stop putting each other down and stop getting personal), Back to the Future, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, March 27 – May 16, 2015


Untitled (mirror object), Pillar Huggers, Or Gallery, Berlin, January 23 – April 18, 2015


montage, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, June 6 – August 16, 2014
Antonis Pittas is from Greece.
Greece has come to symbolize crisis.
'Crisis' is a Greek word.

Antonis Pittas is not an artist who delivers solutions, nor does he draw on programmatic intentions. His work is about tracing patterns and exhibiting tensions by pointing out parallels between different historical periods and conceptual frameworks. European and American modernisms from the first half of the twentieth century – including the so-called historical avant-garde – have his special interest. He investigates how forms and ideas from the past travel through various contexts and arrive at the present by having acquired various, often conflictive meanings. He does so by identifying shapes, signs and symbols that are reminiscent of our avant-garde heritage in contemporary situations, which are usually far removed from the initial context of occurrence, and translates them into new artistic gestures.

Naiveté and literalism are embraced by Antonis as unavoidable methods of transhistorical comparison – Montage is no exception to this.

The installation at Annet Gelink Gallery almost bears a symbolic overload in terms of references to the artistic and cinematic past, starting with its very title.

It features a reconstruction of a cinema conceived in 1924 by Austrian artist and designer Herbert Bayer (1900-1985), whose Bauhaus-related oeuvre plays an important role for Antonis' art practice in general, in particular Bayer's ground-breaking exhibition designs, in which space is considered a cinematic and narrative entity.

In the design Pittas refers to, Bayer imagined the cinema space to be a place that could be both functional and aesthetically potent, as he turns the 'black box' of the cinema into something that is aesthetically meaningful beyond what happens on the screen. In Pittas' version, the cinema space becomes a stage for various photographs and sculptural objects that reconsider and re-evaluate Bayer's work in relation to both the Bauhaus movement and the current political context.

Jennifer Steetskamp, 2014


we will do as we have decided, Performing Silence, De Nederlandsche Bank, Amsterdam, October 24 – December 4, 2013
For a dual exhibition at De Nederlandsche Bank, Pittas took a closer look at the recent use of tear gas by police squads in cities such as Istanbul and Cairo. Following confrontations between protesters and police, large amounts of empty tear gas canisters of different shapes and sizes in addition to stones, wood and empty water bottles are left on the street, creating a very distinct atmosphere, showing the "calm after the storm".

In De Nederlandsche Bank exhibition space, Pittas translated the shapes of the gas cans and other leftovers into sculptural objects, combining them with text fragments from news coverage.
The objects can be taken up and rearranged by the viewers, which are turned into active participants of both the exhibition and the historical process. For the artst, this was of special interest, proposing a moment between destruction and monumentalization, violence and control, performance and documentation.


Caa3, No Country for Young Men, BOZAR, Brussels, March 27– August 3, 2014
Caa3 (Country Ceiling), is the first part of the series Country Ceilings, an ongoing investigation into the history and aesthetics of parliamentary architecture. It also examines relationships between economics and politics, and political and aesthetic representation. The title Caa3 refers to the latest country ceiling rating given to Greece by the credit rating agency Moody's. In the event that the rating changes, the title of the work will change with it. By depicting ceilings of European parliaments, the series takes the financial term 'country ceiling' (referring to certain debt risks) literally. Caa3 is a sculpture including a large photograph of the ceiling of the Greek parliament placed horizontally on a pillar made of marble. The Greek ceiling dates from 1935 and incorporates the ancient decorative motif of the meander (meandros).
This decorative symbol has frequently been used to represent divergent political ideals (for example, the extreme right-wing party Golden Dawn have adopted it as their logo). The Greek parliament building has a fascinating history – it was originally the Royal Palace where Greece's Bavarian monarchs lived in the nineteenth century. Today, under its roof, some of the most dramatic decisions are taken concerning the future of the country. By bringing this ceiling to the European capital of Brussels, the work achieves a particular urgency, reflecting on the various aspects of and contradictory tendencies brought about by the European debt crisis.


landart, Once upon a time… The Collection until Now, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2013 – onwards
Pittas' Landart is both an object and a performative act: In each space it is presented, the artist writes on the marble sculpture with graphite, words that are erased when the exhibition is finished. He reiterates phrases from the public domain, in this case from online sites of newspapers.

The artist is especially interested in de-contextualizing and re-contextualizing public statements made in the context of revolutionary events, and connects them in the framework of the exhibition space with art historical icons, such as minimalist sculpture and the abstract shapes of Russian avant-garde painting.
In Amsterdam (at Annet Gelink Gallery) version for example, he appropriated a 2012 statement by IMF director Christine Lagarde reacting on the economic situation in Greece, in which she reminds the country of its obligations towards the international community by uttering the word "implementation" repeatedly.

The stone structure refers to Syndagma Square in Athens, as it is a replica of one of its marble steps, vandalized during the upheavals.


bullet, Op Karakter / Op Talent, de SERVICEGARAGE, Amsterdam, February 22 – March 23, 2014


Reel Times, Scenographies, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, September 14 – November 16, 2013
Antonis Pittas adopts the role of exhibition designer, presenting his work as part art, part architecture, and part framing device; his structures offer certain conditions for both the artists who present their work in the space as well as viewers who can choose to follow his new choreographies.

Seemingly devoid of content and flexible for change, the forms used are full of significance, derived from Pittas's investigation into the Bauhaus ideology of the 'total design solution' and avant-garde belief in 'the power of display'.

Reel Times in particular references the work of Herbert Beyer in the propagandistic MoMA exhibition Road to Victory staged in 1942. Initially intended to manufacture a patriotic image of the American public, Pittas transposes that historical show's elegant and somewhat melodramatic infrastructure into a contemporary context, thus correlating its thematics of progress and destruction with current ideological failure (the 'failure of the new').
This cyclical idea of history in the re-making becomes material in Pittas's use of the SMBA's wooden floor. His archaeological peeling back of the layers of the this public space's own history (evidenced by the grit and oils collected around the edges of each wooden panel) literally grounds the project in real, or reel, time.


given, Agora, 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, September 29 – December 1, 2013
Playing with the idea of vandalism and reflecting on processes of image creation, Pittas looked at the main entrance of the former stock market in Athens as a 'vandalized' site that at serves as a monument for recent processes in the public domain, including public protests.

Letters in graphite take up the typography of the existing inscription at the back wall of the entrance (including the 'stock exchange' inscription), covering the walls, the floor and even some parts of the columns.
The text is an adapted version of the Athens Biennial's official statement, combined with my text fragments. The textual order was partly determined by the given architectural conditions. Since the opening day, thousands of people have entered the building, stepping on the text, making the graphite letters slowly disappear.


landart, Benaki Museum, Athens, February 12, 2011 – April 1, 2011
The installation Landart draws from a multi-dimensional series of cues offered by the architecture, institutional memory, and discursive space of the Benaki Museum, Athens, for whom the work was commissioned. It presents a platform for considering collective memory in the public sphere, creating a stage-like space and new sensory experience.

Landart emphasizes the geometry of the building's structure by adding 90 fluorescent TL lamps, forming a grid which contrasts with the diagonal movement of the viewer ascending the ramp and makes the building's facade appear transparent. In this environment, otherwise abstract shapes and minimalism are reactivated in reference to Suprematism (specifically to the 0.10 exhibition of Malevich in 1915), but also to recent protests in Athens and the Occupy Movement.
This light installation is accompanied by a marble replica of a step in the staircase of Syndagma Public Square in Athens, on which a quotation from a The Guardian news article regarding the gravity of the 2011 social upheaval is reproduced by graphite pencil.


RETROACTIVE, Hessel Museum of Art & CCS Bard Galleries, New York, December 7, 2011 – February 26, 2012
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College is proud to present RETROACTIVE, an exhibition of site-specific works by Greek artist Antonis Pittas. This installation adds to the ongoing dialogue explored in his 2010 and 2011 exhibits Untitled (this is a historic opportunity for us) at the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, and shame on you, at the Annet Gelink Gallery in Amsterdam, where Pittas lives and works.

The work in RETROACTIVE draws from a multi-dimensional series of cues offered by the architecture, institutional memory, and discursive space of CCS Bard and presents a platform for considering collective memory in the public sphere.

Pittas acts as a conduit in the development of his large-scale graphite drawings and sculptural objects, porously responding to and appropriating the shifting conditions of his physical site and its surrounding socio-political energies. Traces of the exhibit Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977, which previously inhabited the CCS Bard Galleries, are reactivated by Pittas to illuminate the artists' shared engagement with the nonobjective work of the Russian avant-garde. Otherwise abstract shapes: triangle, circle, and square, are contaminated by allusions to picket signs and graffiti drawn from the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, and protests in the artist's hometown of Athens. Such evocative aesthetic and contextual shifts mirror the memes of the current global climate of protest and upheaval. Likewise, texts collected from the public domain and fragments of news stories are promoted from the quotidian to the iconic.
Drawn text "Let him go, let him go," chanted at a recent Oakland demonstration, snakes around the architecture like a paused ticker, toying with the viewer's perception of time. The result is a sweeping and spare Suprematist composition that posits the physical and ephemeral scars of the city in the memorializing site of the museum.

The mercurial surface of graphite in Pittas' precisely rendered graphic and text interventions activates the concrete floor and white gallery walls, achieving an optical effect that confuses the mundane and the sublime. The viewer is invited to tread on the floor drawings, dismantling the work by displacing the residue of the graphite, either as a passive or political gesture. This registers a shifting set of conditions for the experience of the exhibit. The malleability of the work dually evokes the fragility of any fixed, subjective relationship to place, and lends authorship to the public, asking what can deconstruction produce? What informs public memory? Can we look to marks left by acts of impulse, hostility, necessity, or incident to provide a more honest reading of the skin of the city? And lastly when does the ephemeral become monumental?


Shame On You, The Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam, February 19, 2011 – March 27, 2011
The installation shame on you was realized in Annet Gelink Gallery Amsterdam. Consisting of a graphite drawing on a wooden panel and two display cases, it offers a direct viewer address which raises questions of exhibitionism and voyeurism.

The wooden panel, an opaque surface, both invokes and counters the common association of a doorway. The only light in the room emanates from the display case against the wall. At first sight the display cases seem empty. Yet the contains one a small, figurative drawing; the glass vitrine simultaneously functions as an architectonic object and a display to this drawing.
The second, standing display case also seems empty. Viewers will have difficulty locating the written message 'shame on you': it appears to be on the outside of the first glass panel, vulnerable to touch, but is in fact 'floating' sealed and protected within the vitrine.

These written traces refer back to the creation of the opaque graphite panel. The phrase 'shame on you' invokes a sense of guilt, damage, voyeurism, but was in fact borrowed from an Athens protestor critiquing the Greek government during the first series of public protest in early 2011.


Untitled (this is a historic opportunity for us), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, March 2, 2010 – June 25, 2010
The work Untitled (this is a historic opportunity for us) was realized at the Van Abbemuseum as part of the artist residency in 'Het Oog' from February until June (2010).

For each week of the residency, a sentence was applied to the interior wall of the space with a graphite stick, constituting a performance. The words were taken from current news items. For five months, this procedure was repeated on fixed days at pre-announced times. In this way, a visitor to the Van Abbemuseum encountered the continuing development of the writing on the wall as a weekly ritual. More and more sentences could be seen week after week, resulting in a total of 18 news quotes.
The quotes applied on the wall were also printed on badges. That is, sometimes the actual sentence from the wall was reproduced on the badge and sometimes an image that was part of the news item was chosen to be displayed on the badge to accompany the quotes. As a result, every week a limited amount of buttons, with a new phrase/image, was released and distributed to the visitors. In addition, one of each button was collected in a vitrine standing in front of the wall, forming part of the installation.