For his first exhibition in New York City, Pedro Pascoinho (born 1972, Portugal) has decided to include only works on paper. Some will be disappointed that he is excluding installation art, another area in which he is active. Happily, despite the artist’s classical approach, both genres are served in the show. The non-conventional way the works are displayed, as well as their different sizes, provides the exhibition an installation-like quality, challenging the boundaries of both installation and painting.
The 14 works exhibited deal mainly with the issue of memory and our fragmented vision of memory. As with Pascoinho’s previous works, image occupies a central position in his thought process. Appropriation, fragmentation, decontextualization —these three steps, despite the kafkaesque result, lead the viewer to search for an ultimate truth through his own familiarity with the image.
These intimately dark works are closely connected to “film noir.” Through a careful mise-en-scène, Pascoinho creates silent environments, apparently devoid of any narrative logic insofar as the actions taking place are meaningless, approaching existential nihilism. The sense of fallibility and anguish derived from the works never ceases to rivet the viewer.
“No Future !? Utopia as Construction...” is a pictorial exercise in the triviality of meaning, the crisis associated with the selected images and, ultimately, our own perception of these ambiguities, which are closely related to the present. The ultimate truth is therefore open for discussion.
The exhibition is titled after an essay included in the exhibition catalog and written for this occasion by Ana Luísa Barão, a Glasgow-based art critic and a former Professor
at the School of Fine Arts of Oporto.