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Perplexity in the abyss: “The nipple speech performance” by Gabriel Pericás


07 January 2013
“The nipple speech performance” de Gabriel Pericás_foto: Pere Pratdesaba

Perplexity in the abyss: “The nipple speech performance” by Gabriel Pericás

No doubt you will have noticed the trend in shoes this autumn-winter season, shoes with wedges, trainers with wedges, elegant shoes with wedges, suede shoes with wedges, boots and ankle boots with wedges, all sorts of shoes, all with wedges. To my utter perplexity Espai 13 in the Fundació Miró has joined the trend with the exhibition “The Nipple Speech Performance” by Gabriel Pericás, in this season’s cycle of exhibitions, curated by David Armengol. This season is definitely all about wedges.

Wedges serve to adjust, to fix something that is out of kilter, that doesn´t fit, in particular, to hold something that won’t stay in its normal place. If we take a look around us we’ll find millions of things to adjust. Don’t worry. Gabriel Pericás makes a catalogue of wedges all with their own story to tell. This personal history is very important, because, in general when something is out of kilter we look at the thing, not at the wedge. But Pericás looks at the wedges, and wedges tell stories.

Just like the penguins in Madagascar, the work of Pericàs develops, making a subject out of a mere detail. Having been secondary characters, the penguins were given their own series; wedges (not those of shoes) from doors all across Barcelona, having been the great overlooked, have been made into an art exhibition. The same occurs with the phenomenon that Pericás wants to hypnotize us with: ’the nipple slip speech’, where the talk no longer interests us, the only thing that captivates us is the glimpse of a breast that one catches when a pretty girl is talking in public and the strap of her rather low cut dress slips down. Gabriel Pericás likes girls’ breasts, undoubtedly, we’d already seen them in his pieces and now we see them again, and they also, obviously, become a subject.

So what do breasts and wedges have in common? Together they tell a story, that is somehow or other resumed in one of the pieces in the exhibition, the video animation, with drawings by Perich, in which a man looks at a woman´s cleavage and then follows her, entering through a door that goes neither in nor out, to go up a slope where on seeing the abyss, he jumps and traverses another door, that is yet another abyss, because it goes neither in nor out. In reality, each piece summarises the others, which though fragmentary are not as such unconnected, so much as conceptually and formally related. Between the abyss and fetishism, seduction and vandalism.

You’ll get the message when you see a piece of perfect (perfect!) marble, the first pubis in Spanish film, in an abyss that is a super zoom that blurs the image until it looks like an expressionist painting in autumnal, end-of-the-world tones, though be warned, the artist would be horrified to think someone might see similarities with a Rothko.

The exhibition can be visited until 10 February 2013; I’m waiting until 24 January when the artist will do a performance within the framework of the exhibition, in which he will no doubt tell us yet another truth or lie about his work, about the processes, details and interruptions of the discourse in which he embroils us each time. You can find more detailed information about the exhibition here and also about David Armengol’s programme. The curator proposes perplexity and dislocation as a point of departure, and now the artist gives us a wedge, to adjust what can´t be adjusted.

Caterina Almirall has only just been born into this world, but has lived in others, in similar parallel worlds, both liquid and solid. From each she has learnt something, and forgotten something else. Learning to unlearn. In all of these worlds she has been caught up in a web that interweaves everything, some call it ’art’…Entwining, unravelling, weaving and destroying this labyrinth has been her occupation in each one of these planets, and she fears that it will be the same in each of the ones to come.

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