Antonis Pittas, born in Greece, lives and works in Amsterdam. His work focuses on contemporary social and political issues and is characterized by a strong sense of history. He mainly creates context-sensitive spatial installations that are influenced by architecture, art-historical references, the performative aspects of installation art and its social dynamics. More an observer than an activist, Pittas mainly researches how historical events and social movements repeat themselves throughout history, and explores topics such as safety and control, economic crises and acts of resistance, as well as violence and vandalism. Pittas develops mixed-media installations that include graphite typography, bronze and marble sculptures and artificial leather objects, with sculptural elements to provide a context for a contemporary interpretation
Pittas’ work NO is an architectural fragment, coming from a 17th / 18th century storage building in the city of Amsterdam. It used to be part of the latin word ‘anno’ which translates as ‘year’. Usually, ‘anno’ followed by the year of construction of a building was set up to showcase and celebrate the historical significance of the building.
Looking back at the time from which this fragment originated, the buildings still have historical significance, but we are more and more critical of what we celebrated with them. We now say ‘NO’.
The saying ‘throw hands’ is a slang term that means ‘fight’, and is used to refer to physical or verbal confrontations. The term comes from lifting or throwing your hands up like a boxer at the start of a match to get ready to attack another person or defend yourself.
In Pittas’ work, it is used as a metaphor to throw hands in order to defend human rights. Throughout history the hand has been the symbol for revolutions, resistance of inequality, autonomy and freedom. Good citizenship is the active citizen; ready to defend, protect and respect the dignity of every individual.