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Blank Slate, 2009

Video, HD, 43min, color, sound

What is an image? Can a photograph also have an substance, just like the person shown in the photograph? These are just a few of the profound questions asked in the film, that eight, nine and ten-year old children managed to answer with great wit.

Three children discuss with the journalist Corine Moutout about the role a moving image or photography can play in the development of the human memory, a theme which constantly recurs in Makkas work. The questions are posed very simply, but they conceal complex philosophical matters about time and space, art and life. In "Blank Slate" Makkas continues the television documentary "France/tour/detour/deux/enfants" (1977) by the filmmaker Jean - Luc Godard who critically questioned two children about related subjects. In the meantime, the way in which children acquire information and ideas has changed enormously. While children in the 1970s were dependent on school, parents, television and their imagination, in 2011 they are also using the internet. Does this mean that they deal with information in a different way? Do they no longer dare to rely on their own imagination, or does it actually mean that they are wiser than their peers in 1977?

With: Corine Moutout, Augustin Arnal, Rachel Boa, Ulysse Arnal

Written and directed by Pantelis Makkas

“One of the most interesting works in the exhibition “Genius Without Talent”, in De Appel is the video work “Blank Slate” by Pantelis Makkas. It poses questions in young children like: What is an image? What is time? Is someone real on a photo? and so on. The children gives very sensible answers and made me realise that most Dutch adults would find very difficult to answer these questions and many would not be able to have an answer at all. The absence of philosophy in our education system keeps us stupid.”

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Photos and Video by PMStudio

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