CM: The art of Thanasis Pallas was indelibly influenced by the theories of Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), whose contribution includes the all-important visualization of voice. In particular the artist was impressed by the philosopher's following phrase in his famous book The Global Village of 1986: "The optical structure of space is an conception of Western civilization, taking off from Greek Phonetic schematization". Investigating the architectural rendering of the alphabet, Pallas was particularly interested in the vowels, which schematize spaces as much acoustic as structural, by contrast to consonants, which represent actions and events. Let it be reminded here that the Greek alphabet is the first one to acquire vowels, and to serve communication - with the variations of texture and duration which was necessitated between them - the Greek vowels are the following seven: Α (alpha), Ε (epsilon), Η (etta), Ι (iota), Ο (omicron), Υ (ypsilon) and Ω (omega). Pallas created the installation entitled Seven Vowels in order to explore the spatial possibilities of sound phenomena that are embodied in vowels. Studying semeiotics and analyzing the schematization of Linear A and B, Pallas concluded there are formalistic relationships between some symbols of the Linear Scripts and the vowels of the archaic Greek alphabet. These relations are directly linked to spatial properties of structured space. He used as a basic component of their structure the 'graphism' of every vowel's schematization on a flat surface. Taking off from Pausanias' claim - that the complicated structure of the Minoan labyrinth became a building based on the traces by Thesseus' dancers - Pallas used the movement of the hands and the eyes while inscribing the vowels in order to fix their boundaries. On the traced boundaries he erected vertical sculptural forms. In fact he chose the white color to avoid describing the material, aiming to achieve a non-referential quality with a pure visual autonomy. Consequently he created a sculptural composition on the basis of the vowels successively along a single row, comprising of lines and curves. The resulting composition is evidently conceptual and - at the same time - a three-dimensional rendering of a digital image in physical space. If the ground plan of Seven Vowels references anthropomorphism (the 'Α' at the foot, the 'Ο' at the sternum and the 'Ω' at the head) or the gardens of the Renaissance and Baroque (for its qualities of symmetry, balance and harmony) let this honor be theirs.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2007]
ROGAKOS, MEGAKLES In - Situations: Artworks in Time and Space by Contemporary Greek Artists 2007 Municipal Gallery of Kalamata - A. Tassos, Messinia, p.28-29