Antonis Pittas’ (Athens) lives and works in Amsterdam, has studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts, the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam and the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In 2021 he was appointed as honorary fellow of the Faculty of Humanity Studies, University of Amsterdam. He has been an artist-in-residence at Bard College, Annandale, New York. In 2024 Pittas will be also an artist-in-residence at the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) New York. The work of Antonis Pittas focuses on contemporary social and political issues and is characterised by a strong sense of history. He primarily creates context-sensitive installations, influenced by architecture and design, art-historical references, the performative aspects of installation art and its social dynamics. Central to Pittas’ practice is the question of how the past relates to the present, and vice versa. Moments of destruction, decay and resistance from history play an important role in this.
The concept of ‘recycling history’, both as contemporising history and historicising the contemporary, is used as a methodology to create awareness of our own contemporary assumptions and positions. The imagery of modernism and of the historical avant-garde is an important frame of reference within his work, including Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Constructivism. Pittas traces the (visual) characteristics and properties that emerged from this period and examines how it has acquired new forms and meanings throughout history and still takes place today. As a result, a transhistorical perspective is mapped out. His research-based approach leans on the idea that utopian ideology (including modernism) can easily turn into their opposite, leading to destruction, oppression and an affirmation of power and authority. By exposing these dynamics, the work offers space for thinking and reflection, both on history and the present.
At SIFF Antonis Pittas will be discussing about his artistic practice during the event “Archipelagic Passage”.