Portrait of an artist as a contemporary man | PEDRO DONOSO


«The meaning of my work lays in the invisibility of my actions rather than in any representation in particular.

Actually no representation takes place other than a written testimony that I may produce later, once the action has ended.

The most difficult part is to decide when to put an end to the action.»

«Normally, the action remains unseen or rather unverified: nobody who has the opportunity of watching whilst the performance actually builds up is able to recognize such action as a proper artwork. In other words, the value of my work increases when it empties any practice of a clear intention of altering the world. I complete something as if it was essential, but knowing that it is nothing

«I hate statements.»

«Most of my work takes place in open public spaces and nobody realizes that there is something going on.

I have no discourse.

I like to subscribe to the idea that every human being is potentially ready to become an active participant in the world of art.»

«Action to solve the equation of abandonment (2008), for example, took place in an empty parking lot in a remote village of Sarajevo.

Over the course of three days I read fragments of the Ulysses in French, adding to my voice the sound of three different Tibetan bells. It was just me in that dark corner of the world. We all associate Sarajevo with the nationalist conflict that took place a few years ago: people fighting for a place that was essential to their identity.

Precisely, I wanted to stress the endless conflict between life and space. How can we get to be who we are when we constantly change our territory? Less than a hundred years ago my great- grandfather, who lived in a village in the Massif Central had the opportunity of traveling to Saint-Etienne. By the time he got back to his village, a couple of weeks later, he was a hero, an adventurer. Today nobody stays: the population of the village has dwindled and there is a recreational use of the space itself: it has become a spa, a holiday resort for a few families who live in Lyon and in other big cities.

Finally we have become no-place people.»

«My intentions were never clear.

I started to produce some performative interventions when I was in college studying Physics. At the beginning I was interested in the difference between the actual physical phenomena and the acquired cultural perception of them. But at some point I realized than even my “positive and objective scientific perception” was also part of a cultural perception and I stopped trying to produce art as some kind of meta-discourse. From that moment on, I decided that all my actions would be unessential, fleeting moments that nobody could ever distinguish from any normal daily gesture. Pointless? Precisely, that is my point.»

The previous declarations will not come as a surprise to anyone who has some familiarity with contemporary artistic practices. The only difference is that no artist has really utter these words: they are mere fiction. They could be read as a parody, they could be seen as a collection of sentences in anticipation to what, at some point, every contemporary artist could pronounce.

Do they sound predictable? Or, on the contrary, they actually reveal something that has been present in the artistic discourse for years?