Pablo Pijnappel’s work revolves around the relation between storytelling and the concoctions of memory. Taking psychoanalysis and literature as their starting points, his works are meta-narratives that poetically combine cultural, historical and ancestral identities, meshing them together through the prism of the past. For Pijnappel, language plays a central role in bridging the mechanisms of the mind and the world, whether as video installation, text or performance, his works lay at the crossroad between cinema, photography and literature.
For this current exhibition, Pijnappel’s works use the authoritative language of instruction manuals, self-help guides and the rulebooks of board games as ready-made narrative structures. Two works: From Admiration to Shyness and Sensual Exercises, appropriate such texts as film scripts, following their prescriptions, as if the subjects of the films were automatons devoid of empathy and even common sense.
Following appropriated and self-imposed rules is a common strategy of conceptual artists and composers, like John Cage, that hope to subvert notions of direct authorship by using indeterminacy. From Candy to Ashes expands the card matching game known as Memory, using the images on the cards to prompt another kind of memory in the player. As a result, players weave together a mosaic of short accounts, different at each telling and shared as if around a bonfire or in group therapy.
In Lucas, Pijnappel pursues the idiosyncratic relation we have with images, the work takes a narrative device from a Julio Cortázar novel; a diary of day-dreams that instead of stating real events charts a chain of associations and catalogues the places that the mind has wandered, creating an incidental, poetic prose.