MAY, 27, 2009


Acrilyc on preexisting drawings and black and with photograph


What remains.

A black-and-white photograph and two walls covered with paper sheets painted black occupy the space.
In this installation by Pedro Gomes, we perceive the traces of his artistic practice as a glimpse, a look at something that remains, that has survived his working process.
In the artist’s work, the perforated surface reveals the colour painted on the paper sheet’s reverse, presentifying images, symbols and icons that invite us to a game of recognition, the origin of which lies in the studio’s unrelenting labour. The black papers on display, like monochrome paintings on the room’s walls, present traces we recognise, but which belong to another category of Gomes’ modus operandi. These papers are the unseen part of his work, pieces that were not selected to be a part of any of the series he has produced so far. The paint that covers these sheets is thick, and bears no trace of the hand that applied it. In place of the gesture, present only in the web of perforations, or wounds burned upon the paper, we see a textured but uniform surface, dry and distant from the sensuousness usually associated with the practice of drawing.   
These black sheets were an integral part of the artist’s daily work, accumulating themselves in the studio like undated notes, like lost hours, unreadable and undecipherable as meaningless words. Disconnected moments and gestures, which over time became absurd and lost their meaning.  
These are not rejected works that were subjected to a recycling action, in order to be used in a new composition. The installation possesses a strong poetic quality, in which painting – evoked as a moment of reflection on the author’s individual practice – is present in his treatment of the photographed object and on the austere walls opposite it. In the photograph, we see a big cactus, portrayed as if it were a large tree. This depiction of an ornamental garden plant presents itself as both an allegory of the studio and the metaphor of a matrix universe, in which its revealed image, prickly and adapted to stern climates, displays an ability to resist its surroundings.   
What persists in this installation is the relationship between the author and his internal and intimate process, showing a persevering attitude in the face of something that does not need to be revaluated, simply remaining, without nostalgia, as a sign or a trace.   

João Silvério
May 2009