The RYDER is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Jaime Pitarch. In the widest sense, Pitarch’s work addresses humanity’s inability to identify with the structures we ourselves have created. The sense of loss or inadequacy we feel when faced with these structures (whether we call them culture, setting, society, ..) moves humanity to interpret the world, and ourselves, constantly and intuitively in order to try to insert ourselves into it. Through the use of elements fabricated by man, inhabited by man, or elements that have helped man to construct an idea of himself and of what the world is, Jaime Pitarch addresses in this exhibition notions of time, value and productivity. In its formal integrity, each of the works included in this show deal with the artist’s interest in the concept of unity, always working with the elements that form the object and recomposing them in various and inventive ways.
In his work Qui Custodiet Ipsos Custodes the artist progressively paints the exterior of a can with the paint contained in its interior. This process, which takes around four years to complete, unveils the object in a new form through a repeated act of considerable futility. The substance of the work is also entirely visible, it’s life cycle as a usable object being presented rather than applied. The repetition of a seemingly futile act is also present in Pitarch’s A place for hope, a piece in which the artist removes the green thread of a woollen sheet usually used to transport artworks and presents the resulting ball of string nestled within a crease of the blanket that remains. Here, the focus of the viewer is drawn to the materials that make up the process of art as an economic industry.
Pitarch’s piece Carderilla consists of a playful balancing act of coins produced in the style of Alexander Calder’s well-known mobiles, hanging from the gallery’s high ceiling. The play on words that constitutes the piece’s title (‘Carderilla’ means ‘small change’ in Pitarch’s native Spanish dialect) underlines the artist’s preoccupation with the economy of poor materials.
Nothingness, or a sterile suspension of linear time and space, is another sense that Pitarch attempts to make visible. In his video Particle Accelerator, the incidental dust and debris collected on the surface of a vinyl after a long period of exposure to an empty studio, is expressed auditorily through it being played in the conventional sense. The resulting noise, as the record player’s needle carves through the detritus, represents a sound-based microdocument of the halted time of the studio. By this symbolic reactivation of its time, the recording of silence and the air of the artist´s studio are transformed into a metaphor of the human condition, divided into the angst of nothingness and an opposing productive drive. The use of the long take or single shot, a usual technique in Pitarch’s video works, allows him to record seemingly sterile, absurd or unproductive actions by which the author strives to achieve uncertain objectives often employing insignificant or residual elements. The use of disposable materials can therefore be read as a critical statement towards a concept of productivity that has profoundly changed our perception of time – here reinforced through the artist’s attention and value applied to his non active time in the studio.
In Pitarch’s Momentum series, dating from 1997 to the present day, the artist dismembers and reconstructs pieces of furniture at the end of their usable life cycle through a complex system of balances and counter-balances, which converge to create a site of extreme fragility in equilibrium. The distance between the original object and the new object, often dysfunctional, acts as a reflection of the space between the original being and the person, between collective structures and our limited adaptation to or identification with these frameworks. The new object tends to express the loss of the self, and as a result, our need to keep standing even though it might only be to prove that in essence, we are still trying to hold onto what we think defines us, and what indicates that we still are.
Jaime Pitarch (b.1963) lives and works in Barcelona (Spain). Graduated from Chelsea College of Art in 1993 he then gained an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art in 1995. Recent solo exhibitions include Galeria àngels barcelona, Galeria Fúcares, Madrid and Spencer Brownstone Gallery, New York. His work has been selected for group shows in places such as Cristina Guerra, Portugal; MASS MoCA; Manifesta 7; Fondation Maeght, Saint Paul, France; Musée d’Art Contemporain, Lyon; Carré d’Art Contemporain, Nimes or MACBA, Barcelona, amongst others. His work can be found in public and private collections such as the MACBA, La Caixa, Artium, Bergé collection, among others.