'To step into the world of Takis (born Panagiotis Vassilakis, Athens, 1925) is to step into a realm in which the inanimate, ubiquitous and in some ways, infinite medium of metal is given a voice by way of elaborate mechanisms, experimental arrangements and bizarre compositions. It is a world in which metalcraft and metallurgy are given permission to transcend the confines of mere function, ergonomics and social practicality, into something grander and greater, able to impress in as many equal measures as unsettle, all in the name of art. Takis’ world, is one in which metal, magnets and motion dictate an ongoing battle between anthropological optimism and the biological pessimism; creative energy bound to an obsession with attempting to tell both honorific tales of man’s distant past, simultaneously prophesying his doomed future, all the while harnessing the power of communication, within our understanding and beyond.
‘You can hear metal think in the electromagnetic fields of Takis sculpture… you can hear weather maps arranging the American dawn of Terminal Blue… you can hear metal caught in the turn for position’,
visual artist and writer William Burroughs wrote on the work of the Greek artist. Remarkable still, is the fact that this excerpt, despite being the result of randomisation and abstraction, holds profound, accurate gems of truth on the subject of the Takis’ works and legacy. In the general sense of the world, Takis was a revolutionary: of that there is little doubt. Yet in many ways his work did and still does more than revolt exactly— it rebuilds, redefines and re-examines the known world with one that is on the fringes of a dystopian imagination. It links the worlds of engineering; of scientific intrigue, with that of art in ways that bend the mind and reshape mediums. With its transcendent minimalism and incessant reimagining, it could easily be mistaken for props on a science-fiction film set, part post-apocalyptic (or post-human even) instruments of bizarre, perverse and advanced purposes...'.