Pep Duran

Galeria Carles Tachè

Four years after his last one-person show, Pep Duran again becomes a collector who searches, like a ragpicker, for objects or remains that respond to his demands. This time, the type of object accumulated is usually related to the world of textile production: hat moldings, tools used for weaving, patterns, stools, boxes, clothespins, pieces of leather boots, actual tools of textile machinery in disuse, sheathed shoe trees, and even cardboard cutouts from boxes of bottled mineral water, room fans, and other household products. The principal materials used are austere: wood and cork predominate. Each object is, nevertheless, a fragment or a part of something else, and as such it has lost its specific function, and therefore its meaning or raison d’être. The fragmentation is usually produced through an almost always involuntary rupture that the artist uses to emphasize the strangeness or uncertainty of the fragment.

Innumerable fragments have been placed on wooden platforms, at the far end of the gallery. One was obliged to move around the platforms, equidistant from each other, inhabited by the different fragments that thus acquired unity and took on the appearance of things that demand to be named. The installation is titled BIZARRE CORPORI (geografia personal-bosc anímic; personal geography-forest of the soul, 1992), and the objects in it, these “new” things, cease to be mere “accidents,” acquiring a signifying power they previously possessed only in relation to the whole. Space is converted into a storehouse of memory in which an inventory of unconnected pieces is syntactically ordered as if it were a question of signs destined to form verbal constructions to which we are not accustomed.

The materials that Duran employs for the eight pieces integrated into COL•LAGE BIZARRE (camins fértils; fertile roads, 1992) are paper, photocopies, and correction fluid and their similarities enable us to compare them. On each surface he has distributed the elements he uses according to a rigorous schema: on one side, the cutout sketches of patterns, and on the other, the often flat figures of cardboard, leather, cloth, or even wood. For him, correction fluid is an instrument comparable to the paintbrush, and he uses it to draw by erasing. With it he can transform a previous image, dissolve it, yet still leave the trace of the corrective stroke, like a subconscious mechanism of memory. The collage furnishes him with the formal freedom to associate parts of things, or to isolate them as he sees fit, in order to disconcert and surprise. The work of this young Catalonian artist springs from an ordered chaos: he begins to find what he is searching for and to build on elements that had been broken down. The two pieces included in the middle room, under the title BIZARRE METAL•LIC, bizarre transparent, 1992, have a slightly different format and use iron as a base but the artist’s intention is the same: to be present in the work and to show himself more, as he himself says, employing the most immediate resources. The rational is in conflict with the irrational, order with disorder, and vice versa, in a show that rescued the orphaned fragment and then organized, administered, situated, and named what has no name, that which is dismembered, the only end being to create disturbing poetic images.

Menene Gras Balaguer

Translated from the Spanish by Vincent T. Martin.