November 10, 2020
Pep Vidal is not only an artist, but also a mathematician who holds a PhD in Physics. His poetic artistic research is highly influenced by his scientific curiosity and aided by his expertise. Past and ongoing projects like Following the(Magnetic)North Pole (shown at La Casa Encendida in Madrid) and Trees, treelines and global patterns (as seen at CAPC in Bordeaux) deal with the notion of invisible concepts that shape our reality and our understanding of it. To chase the North Pole, not the reliable, unchanged point of reference we would think, or to painstakingly divide a tree into sections identical in volume are actions that unveil the powerful potential of these forces, imperceptible in our daily life. His exploration takes shape through the most diverse media and materials; installations, paintings, drawings, videos, and photographs, always resulting from thorough procedures that could stand (and have stood) the test of the strictest of laboratories. Vidal’s endeavours have been awarded with prestigious prizes, such as the one for La Caixa production and the GAC AWARD for best exhibition of an emerging artist in 2019, and the Montemadrid Foundation Generation Award in 2015.
"Chronicle of the birth, growth and death of a cloud" is Pep Vidal’s second solo exhibition at LMNO.
It was sparked by an ambitious enterprise the artist/scientist has spent the last two years planning and actualizing. Vidal’s work has often been centered around the issue of measuring objects and entities, reflecting upon its modalities and philosophical implications.
This project in particular deals with the technical and intellectual struggle of measuring and tracing the shape of a cloud from the moment it materializes to the moment it vanishes. Not only is it rather complicated to follow a cloud and its alterations through time at considerable heights, but the very concept of “cloud”, its essence and relationship with other objects and space had to be explored and challenged to fulfill the final intent.
The artist has been pondering since his childhood the conundrum "Is the cloud near and small or is it far and large?" and the relativity and paradox in the act of measuring, as opposed to merely looking.
Thanks to Photogrammetry, a technology that employs numerous (in this case 9) telephoto cameras to capture the cloud several times from all directions, Vidal and his team have been able to trace a cloud from its birth to its demise, through the infinitesimal changes it underwent. Elicited by this discovery, the works exhibited are drawings, paintings, sculptures, and videos that attempt to answer the question “how can we measure something so ephemeral, volatile and fickle as a cloud?” in a moving and imaginative way, with the tenderness often so apparent in Vidal’s work.
Produced within the framework of ”la Caixa” Foundation’s program to support artists. The project has been conducted thanks to the Spanish Embassy.
The exhibition will take place in three separate periods, showcasing three different bodies of work that relate to the phases of the cloud’s life. As the appearance and dimension of the cloud constantly change, so too will the exhibition space and its content.