Screens on 11: Pantelis Makkas

Man about Crowd

12 October 2006

The première of ‘Man about Crowd’ in Club 11 is on October 12 at 10 p.m. The following month the work can be seen daily after sunset.

The Postivism Foundation commissions the artists from the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam (amongst others) to make work especially for the panorama video screens of Club_restaurant_11 on the Oosterdokskade. On view in October is ‘Man about Crowd’ by Pantelis Makkas. The device of this piece is a quotation of Walter Benjamin: “No matter what trail the flâneur may follow, every one of them will lead him to a crime”.

‘Man about Crowd’ consists of six different, simultaneous shown projections that show images of a camera which is hidden in an urban stroller’s hat. He spies reality and manipulates this reality by his sheer presence. However, if one follows the 31 minutes street scenes with some attention, will discover that the images are not so coincidental as they look at first sight. Every projection has its own story to tell. The one screen shows voyeuristic images of people in the subway; on a second a candid camera spies upon the urban crowd; a third connects the outer space with the inner space as it also studies the interior of a hotel room meticulously; a fourth shows a quest for the sea coast, in which passers-by are asked for the way and thus become part of the filmed reality; on a fifth screen a person is followed and a sixth screen is dedicated to a repeated visit to a cemetery.

Reality has been manipulated further by cuts in the flow of images and speed, and sometimes color and light as well, are adjusted, whereas some of the sites and scenes are rather specific. “The solitary urban stroller, as a detective, tracking down the transgressions committed in the metropolis and imposing a form of social control over that lawless formation known as the crowd”, says Makkas.