Pedro Mora

Galería Soledad Lorenzo

For his recent installation entitled “El objeto sin cuerpo o el cuerpo invisible” (The bodiless object or the invisible body, 1996), Pedro Mora constructed four large rooms out of sheets of foam, plastic, wood, and fiberglass. Inside these structures—which he compares to a living room, a bedroom, a corridor, and a storage space—he hung objects and clothing that had been formed from futuristic materials, turning the otherwise eerily antiseptic boxes into living spaces, and suggesting the presence of a mysterious inhabitant.

These four structures were somewhat bland in character, suggesting prefab housing, shelters used by construction workers, or space capsules. Mora’s project evolved out of the initial, simple notion of covering the gallery with tiles to achieve an almost clinical atmosphere, but he later decided to construct four interconnected rooms that would reproduce the spaces that he rents out in his New York loft. He then chose to separate the rooms into the four hermetic spaces that appeared in this show. The two storage rooms were accessible to the viewer only by way of peepholes fitted with fish-eye lenses that radically distorted the viewer’s perception of the interior, while the “bedroom” and “living room” could be entered only through tiny doors.

Mora has said that he prefers to see his art as practice rather than theory, thus he invited friends to stay in the rooms during the exhibition. As the clothing and objects he created for this installation—including a rubber suit, a rubber jacket, hats, key chains, plastic cups, and a sofa—were all simulated, experimentation with synthetic materials was integral to the piece’s conception. The sleeping bag he created, for example, was filled with fiberglass. The most surprising material that appeared in the installation was a kind of silica air gel called “frozen smoke,” a crystal carbonate whose molecular composition is 99.9 percent air, but which is 1,000 times stronger than its weight. Mora formed this material into a still life of transparent cubes, which rested, unmelting, on the kind of hard plastic briefcase that is typically used to transport construction tools.

This material serves as a metaphor for what Mora has identified as a certain disinterest in the surrounding world, asserting that we no longer pay careful attention to the things that surround us, that we live in a world in which we risk losing touch with our selves. In Mora’s view, we seem to prefer to live in a state of suspension, like the “frozen smoke” that he incorporated into this show. Hence the title of this exhibition, with its attendant implication that our bodies have become divorced from the spaces in which they move and the materials that surround them.

Menene Gras Balaguer

Translated from the Spanish by Vincent Martin