Visual & Video Art
Pantelis Makkas is a visual artist with primary focus on video art, artistic research, performance, electronics, theater and moving image.
Constructing Memory Through the Moving Image, Exhibition, 2011
“Pantelis Makkas is a peculiar case of an artist, both in Greece and abroad. With great admiration I discovered his current work, which he has conceived and actualized in Holland and Paris for some years now. It is this work that we present for the first time in its entirety at the Museum Alex Mylona – Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, bestowing great expectations on this exhibition, regarding the importance and the size of the proposal that he is completing both artistically and scientifically.
Besides his unarguable talent and the aesthetical and artistic completeness that he achieves with his personal style, Makkas also, in these works, establishes and delves into a rare intellectual personality and social size. It is with great pleasure when one comes across a young artist who has so clearly undertaken together with his work, also the concern for people in our time. The research dimension and systematic manner bring Pantelis Makkas close to worldwide acclaimed scientific labs and researchers, without negating from the subject he is working on and his approach to it, the emotion with which he treats human life and being. Through the study of memory and its dysfunctions, Makkas lays on the table, almost from the start, the ontology of modern human beings. With the questions he poses, especially to people with actual problems, he contemplates without bombast, the frame of our existence, the consciousness and dementia, our selves and the world. Mental and physical memory construct, deconstruct and reconstruct what we are and are not, what we could and could not be. Through constant care and observation of the other, Makkas reminds us in a direct way, that though we might think that every artist who completes a substantial work is preoccupied with himself, he is mainly involved intensely and systematically with the transfer of the so called self to something else...He is not necessarily dealing with our poor and selfish “ego”, but he is examining and exploring inaccessible areas of otherness and replaces the “common ego” with a “peculiar ego” that gives reason to his work and to the meaning of human being, which he proposes to us and he converses intellectually and personally with it.
With no desire to jump into conclusions, the reason why Makkas’s work and career is so important now, is because in his attitude there is first and foremost, a research power and dynamic that runs through the vast field of knowledge and the questions that follow him, focuses the anxiety of the other and embraces a kind of person, whom though we all exorcise, seems like he is the one closest and most familiar with what we tend to be in the contemporary world. Therefore here, not without a tender tragicness, Makkas presents together with the difficult position of the “Other”, the prospect which organically threatens the position of ourselves today: the man without memory”.
Blank Slate: an investigation through experience and perception, Video, 2010
"A little boy of about 8 at a table. On the other hand, a woman asks the child questions: What is existence? Do you have an existence? And does this table have an existence? The boy gives amazingly clear answers - answers that a philosopher would lick his fingers off. The interrogation can be seen in the film "Blank Slate: an investigation through experience and perception", made by Pantelis Makkas. The video work is part of the exhibition "The Artist as Researcher". The film shows what research can entail in and through art. Not only is literal research being conducted into the question of how abstract concepts are present in a child's brain, the film can also be seen as a metaphor for artistic research itself: a poetic approach to big questions, starting with a clean slate. There is much to be said about that concept, artistic research, and even more about the related promotions by artists."
Daywatch/ Nightwatch, Exhibition, 2007
"In his work Makkas deals with a theme that to a large extent dominates modern life. Our ever-faster changing environments, the high rate of replacement among the buildings and in the urban setting around us, erodes memory, and thus also our existence. This theme recurs not only in a personal interpretation in Makkas’s visual language, but also in the very manner in which he structures these images and installs his work."
Counter-Uniform (Antistoli), Exhibition, 2018
"Pantelis Makkas awakens us socially with the work "Counter Uniform"
Chrysa Pasialoudi, Athinorama
Genius without Talent, Exhibition, De Appel, 2011
"One of the most exciting works in the Appel expo is the video Blank Slate by Pantelis Makkas. "
Tom van Teijlingen
Daywatch/ Nightwatch, Exhibition, 2007
"People on the move, with or without destiny and purpose, they take the lead in Makkas' work. Masses of people pass each other in countless places every day, thousands at a time and yet in isolation, without noticing each other.
It is the loneliness of modern man in the big city. The locations, the unsteady camera, but also the fragmented presentation of the videos; they all symbolize our individualistic existence in a rapidly changing urban environment, where nothing stays as it was. People go with their heads bent at the furious pace or lose themselves in a makeable world that seems to be heading for nothing."
Manon Braat, NRC