On at Artcite: “IT RESONATES – Christos Pantieras (Ottawa, ON)”

ON AT ARTCITE (located in the Capitol Theatre Complex – East of Main Theatre)


“IT RESONATES – Christos Pantieras (Ottawa, ON)”
July 6 – August 10, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 7 pm at Artcite Inc. with artist in attendance
Artcite Gallery Hours: Tues – Sat, 12:00 – 5:00 pm

Words today are infinitely produced. Words are detritus. Words are additive as they pile up. Words are recycled, repurposed, and reclaimed. Words are both physical and material that can be inserted into the environment and engaged. Words are temporary, reshaped, shoveled, hoarded, molded, and discarded quickly. Words are treated by their material qualities as what they weigh has gained value over what they mean. (Goldsmith, Kenneth. Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. New York: Columbia University Press, 2011.)

Christos Pantieras explores how we communicate and what lingers in our bid to initiate, achieve, and/or maintain an intimate connection online. The works in It Resonates uses words as a material and transforms the digital into the physical through analog processes. Text messages and emails are reimaged into works on paper, sculptures, and an installation that address themes of melancholy, loss, and missed connections. When communication breaks, what is the ongoing story that resonates? Is it ever truly over?

I Keep Coming Back To You is a group of twenty-one sheets of carbon paper that have been fed through a typewriter and impressed with email correspondences expressing regret. Individual letters are typed repeatedly across the page tearing into the paper and shifting the legibility of one’s remorse downwards. The remaining works are composed of thousands of letters that have been individually cast in concrete to then be sorted, stacked, arranged, and piled. Say What You Mean is a heap of letters that have been embedded with an old industrial grade broom and accompanied by a bucket filled with water. The work references whether one is true to their word. Tucked in the corner is Tread Lightly, composed of 44 rows of letters that have been individually placed to reveal the statement: “I’m not supposed to be going where I’m treading with you”. This response is sourced from a text message that indicates an individual’s intent that is clearly out of the boundaries of his current relationship.

The other half of the gallery the artist asks: “Am I Worth It?”. Presented as a large scale installation that covers the floor of the gallery, visitors are invited to walk upon and directly interact with the work. Thousands of letters tile the floor and sand is used to fill the crevices between the letters and to pile up against the walls. Seven words push up from the surface to form the declaration: “I’m not willing to make the effort”. Here, Pantieras puts emphasis on the finality of a relationship which was communicated through text message. We get the opportunity to not only bear witness to the end but to experience how a few words can leave a lasting impression. An essay written by Marie-Hélène Leblanc accompanies this installation.


Christos Pantieras is an Ottawa-based artist who explores the frailty of personal connections through installation, sculpture, and mixed media. He holds a BFA from the University of Ottawa and an MFA from York University, where his research was supported by the Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Susan Crocker and John Hunkin Award in Fine Arts. Pantieras’ work has been recognized with grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa. Select past exhibitions include The Ottawa Art Gallery (Ottawa), Modern Fuel ARC (Kingston), Circa-Art Actuel (Montreal), and AXENEO7 (Gatineau).