The other is disfigured by his persistent silence, as in those terrible dreams in which a loved person shows up with the lower part of his face quite erased, without any mouth at all; and I, the one who speaks, I too am disfigured: soliloquy makes me into a monster: one huge tongue.
Une énorme langue [One Huge Tongue] is Gabriel Pericàs’ second solo exhibition at the gallery. With this project he moves deeper into the dichotomy between a certain verbal incontinence—the main characteristic of his performative works—and hermeticism, which characterizes his production of objects. Within this intricate system a discursive generosity coexists with a determination to avoid closing the work’s meaning. Thus his oeuvre extends along a digressive line which nonetheless does not cease to provide possible reading clues and access points.
For this new proposal, the artist has produced a series of large, monochrome, steel sculptures that appear to be abstract. These engage in the space with another group of extremely slight and delicate pieces which are exhibited on vertical wooden pedestals. Finall, two photographic works are strategically placed on two of the gallery walls, closing the exhibition.
For the realization of the Levitation series, the artist has been gathering documentation of internet users’ attempts to reveal levitation tricks carried out by street performers in commercial and touristic areas. With this information, a blacksmith has fabricated fully functional replicas of the structures that hold the street performers so that they may appear suspended in thin air. Whereas these constructions are designed to be easily hidden from the view of passersby, the artist’s replicas have been painted in a strident fashion, thus acquiring a new presence and visibility. Their formal features give these objects an abstract and enigmatic appearance which seems to contradict their functional logic. Now exhibited as sculptures, the initial intention to unveil the illusionist’s infrastructure is devalued. In the artist’s words, “What happens is that, deprived of the problem, its solution stands as a new unknown.”
In a similar exercise of exhibiting inner structures, two Pendulum sculptures hang from the gallery’s ceiling, housed in plexiglass vitrines. In each one the ball of an obsolete computer mouse has been dissected in order to reveal the metal sphere that resides inside. This analytic process is disrupted by its incongruous method of installation, hung as it is from the hair of a horse’s tail.
This methodology is again used in Untitled (Pen & Tooth) #1 where a baby tooth belonging to one of the artist’s nephews is amalgamated with the components of a pen with publicity from a financial institution.
Less specific is the role of the two photographic works on view: Untitled, which shows a frontal image of a horse, and Dry & Wet, a photographic sequence in which a person’s torso serves as a site for observing an abstract dialectic between two opposites.
As a whole, the exhibition is a methodological transfer from discourse production to object production, a constant negotiation between muteness and verbiage, in which ultimately the artist turns into the embodiment of the Barthesian buccal appendix.