Through a serendipitous chain of events, Antaki accepted a proposed adventure: allowing a friend to buy him a ticket to anywhere he desired. He found himself in Central Asia where Pilgrimage met its maker, slowly migrating to Southeast Asia.
Once again, the artist engages strangers to tell the story of the moment, captured within minutes. He invites us to consider this vast world in which we live as just a world of friendly neighbors. Venture forth and ask, he insists, for what can happen without the audacity to act. This is why Antaki can enlist people as he does. His example of walking through life with the wonder of a child calls us all out to play. We are the ones that make the world turn round and it is our importance that is being highlighted.
Antaki’s arrangement of the people in Pilgrimage strikes a chord, capturing each face and stance within a synchronized instance, as their individuality spontaneously arises to counter the plan. Back dropped buildings and structures diametrically enveloped by the land set an intriguing contrast. Breathtaking and expansive, the vivid colors intertwine with the geographic shapes and textures of nature, illuminating layer after layer of personality and expression embedded in the subtext of community.
In a world where society is racing towards technology, we have forgotten our roots; the past that has formed us as caring individuals. Antaki brings into focus women and children, the strength of the future, still surrounded by their intricate heritage and valuable culture, juxtaposes more masculine counterparts placed in their unique indoor shops from his last series, The Guardians. In contrast, Pilgrimage takes advantage of nature’s spacious impact to tell this story.
Antaki captures each moment-of-now singularly, and strings them all together through his series which have just begun to take flight. The importance of his message is accentuated in these perilous times: the social distancing that he presents to us here in an almost prophetic way is not at all worrying, on the contrary, it is intended to be reassuring; we stand here with him at the precipice of a worldwide pilgrimage to come.