Thu 15 September – Sat 12 November, 2016. Madrid
NoguerasBlanchard is pleased to announce Algunos árboles (Some trees), an exhibition of new work by Perejaume (San Pol de Mar, Barcelona, 1957) and his first in the gallery. The artist’s long standing investigation into the way we experience the world and of the possibilities of language as world, interweave in the works.
Perejaume’s artistic production is inseparably intertwined with his literary work, and has gradually given rise to a poetics of infinite metaphorical resonances in which painting coexists with photography, sculpture, words, action, video and sound. The idea of the painting and of nature itself as spectacle, and of the viewer as participant in a complex dialogue between illusion and representation, have become central to his work. Perejaume’s extensive work expands horizontally and its vastness renders it practically inapprehensible. As observed by Neus Miró “his work is Baroque inasmuch as it tends towards totality from polyphony. In the Baroque, disciplines systematically overstep their boundaries and their frames. As such (…) painting escapes its frame, and is rendered in polychrome marble sculpture, while sculpture supersedes itself and is rendered in architecture. In turn, architecture takes the façade as a frame, but one that separates itself from the interior, establishing a relationship with its surrounding environment so as to materialize architecture in urbanism. This positioning “in-between” two arts, is one of the defining features of Perejaume’s work, like an updating of that fundamentally Baroque drive in contemporaneity”. Another key aspect is the works’ increasingly important literary side. Perejaume’s last major exhibition Maniobra de Perejaume (2015) in the MNAC of Barcelona took as its point of departure an essay published with a name of difficult translation: Mareperlers i ovaladors.
As a result, a poetic , evocative and scholarly work is revealed, sometimes playful and ironic. His works are filled with multiple references to both Catalan and international artists, writers, political figures, and their texts. Most importantly though his work is rooted in popular and vernacular references. “In my work” says the artist “I have been insisting on a great diversity of arboreal manifestations”. An example of this communion between trees and works can be found in his book of poems entitled Obreda (2003) (a fictitious word referring to arboleda, meaning a arboretum of works). More recently, a yet unpublished book, Treure una marededéu a ballar (Taking an image of the Virgin for a dance) is a study of polychrome wood images of the Virgin Mary, instancing the imaginative power displayed in trees since antiquity.
In the current exhibition, the fixed shot in the video projection Rondó (2016 ) shows an oak tree dancing in a forest, to the sound of cicadas. It brings together concepts of staging and transformation as a way of locating and identifying aspects of nature as art. Thus it is linked to a series of photographic works Retaulística (2015 ) showing the process of applying gold leaf to the trunk of an oak tree. As occurs in many of Perejaume’s works, they don’t pursue imitations of the world but the world itself, with a subtle intervention. Perejaume disappears before what he knows, learns from nature and thus, to paraphrase Blanchot, goes over to the side of nature; so that when he observes, it is nature itself that is observing. When the tree slowly rotates it comes alive and appears to dance before us and to whisper “as a word that sounds with semi-open letters. Because sound also turns into firewood, as if it were the word that had taken robust branches and turned them into a breath”.
These pieces exemplify the nonlinear and interconnected nature of Perejaume’ s thinking, by which every piece refers to an aspect of another piece, at once clarifying and complicating an individual work and the body of related works. A set of drawings titled Hi ha tantes obres com arbres (There as are many works as trees) (2016), Quantes paraules calen per ser un escriptor ( how many words are needed to be a writer ) (2016 ), Montnegre (2016 ) and Mar ( 2016 ). Like all of Perejaume’s works they share the characteristic interplay of images and words, which confound the real, the illusory, the representational, and the pictorial.