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< 19. November - 13. December >

Juan-Pedro Fabra - Black Madonna


When one experiences something truly beautiful which at the same time is denoting or connoting something generally seen as bad, horrid or even immoral, a contradiction appears. In a best case scenario one can use this experience as a stepping stone for an intellectual process and a wider comprehension of a problematic situation. For Juan-Pedro Fabra such an experience is often the starting point for his art work. While at the same time producing yet a new image with a particular aesthetics and a splendid finish, the images are also often densely charged with heavy content like death, militaria, the cult of guns or even snipers on successful missions. Another recurrent theme in Fabra's imagery is the concept of camouflage, the technique to be indiscernible and to fuse/merge into one's surroundings.

In the exhibition at Lautom Contemporary, Fabra presents a number of collages and assemblages made with a variety of techniques including film, sound and installation. The consequences of the artist's manipulations – sometimes very minimal – highlight qualities originally hidden and changes the perception of the original material.

The film Ted Danson, 2009 is a refined version of a work exhibited earlier this year at Favoured Nations, Momentum Art Festival in Moss as part of the collaborative installation by the Graf Spee Gruppe (consisting of the artists Carl-Michael von Hausswolff, Jan Håfström and Fabra). What we encounter in the film is the remains of a download gone awry. The file was heavily corrupted after download and the moving images are at times standing still or are interfering with each-other, and at other occasions the main remnant consists of large pixels forming patterns. The result is a film that invades the territory of painting.

A more traditional form of collage, made out of pornographic images taken from magazines produced before the industry exploded on the Internet, is built up in situ for a larger installation in the gallery. The original images are modified, cut and pasted, transformed and worked on in various ways, with a fervour resembling that of a manic person, or an individual with too much time on his hand and, perhaps, a lack of brains. The aesthetics and content of the original pornographic image is highlighted in some of the imagery created, while other images are hidden behind a censoring pen or scalpel.

A third collage, T.R.L., 2009 is presented as a sound piece streaming up from the basement. It is composed of a compilation of collected gunshots and military explosions taken from a popular motion picture, put together one after another in the same chronology as in the original film. The piece can be regarded as a dense pictorial scenery where the visual pictures are not necessary in order to produce an imagery of an apocalyptic narrative.


Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena (1971) is born in Montevideo, Uruguay, but lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. He graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in Stockholm in 2002.

Power Ekroth
Stockholm, November 2009.

 

The artist wishes to thank Konstnärsnämnden and Daniel Andersson  

Juan-Pedro Fabra
Ted Danson, 2009
Video, 11 min 31 sec
Ed: 3 + 1
Installation view

Juan-Pedro Fabra
Ted Danson, 2009
Video, 11 min 31 sec
Ed: 3 + 1

Juan-Pedro Fabra
Black Madonna #3, 2009
Ink on magazine paper
27,3 x 19 cm

Juan-Pedro Fabra
Black Madonna #2, 2009
Ink on magazine paper
29 x 20 cm