Pedro Cera is pleased to present the first exhibition of Bruno Pacheco at the gallery.
The politics of painting is the foundation of Pacheco’s practice, making painting not only the principal medium in which Pacheco’s works are conceived but also his primary subject, rethinking traditional modes of display, perception, and subject construction.
Breaking with modern traditions of exhibition-making, the walls of the white cube are silenced in the background of a vast installation, in which paintings are mounted to support structures, lending them a new life and activating them through the movement of the spectator throughout the gallery space, a principle explored previously in One, Pacheco’s exhibition at Ampersand last year. Hierarchy is disrupted in this setting, with the frontal, painted part of the canvas occupying an equally important role to the raw, untreated surface of its rear side. A sense of sacrality, traditionally tied to painting, is removed by means of the display and the motives depicted in these works. Paintings are mounted in a manner where larger works become support structures and even backdrops for smaller paintings, shaping a vast web of shifting relations, where the impermanence of narrative is driven by the movement and changing perspective of the spectator, as s(he) moves between the paintings, and through the exhibition.
Despite the apparent randomness of their subject matter, characteristic namely for works, which depict objects from daily life, many works in Borrasca bear a relation to motives derived from classical painting, examining the construction of subject matter throughout history. By appropriating motives from the history of painting, Pacheco looks at how the painterly gesture, the color pallet, composition, or fragmentation influences the construction of narrative and how images are depicted and perceived through time. By abstracting the motive from its initial context, enlarging or distorting it, by removing some of its elements, or juxtaposing it against another image, Pacheco’s approach in many ways resembles digital modes of content construction, based on an associative chain, where one thing leads to another, and where content is created through rhizomatic structures, rather than through a linear approach to narrative.
Similar to the digital image, also here images are left anonymous, as are their subjects, thus gaining new life. Rooted in their own reality of the everyday and their history, their depiction and display denies the spectator access to the actual narrative of each painting, generating a multiplicity of interpretation materialized on the one hand, through the painterly process, and on the other, by the movement implied by the physical engagement with these works. Through his/her perception, the spectator becomes a protagonist of Pacheco’s paintings while actively participating in the blurring of boundaries between the interior and exterior of these works.
Bruno Pacheco is based between London and Lisbon. His work has been exhibited at the 31st São Paulo Biennial, Sharjah Biennial, Culturgest (Lisbon), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (Porto), Whitechapel Gallery (London) among other. His work is part of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian – CAM (Lisbon), Fundação de Serralves (Porto), Kadist Art Fioundation (Paris), The UBS Art Collection (London), Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven), Sharjan Arts Foundation collection and the MCA – Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago collection, among other.