an unfinished journey (1 de 2)
Text: Luis Revenga

sintitulo (1981)

sintitulo 1981

In order to penetrate into the fascinating world of Pilar Pequeño, we should, by way of an introduction, begin by quoting José Puga, who is without a doubt the earliest and most knowledgeable expert on her work: “When one encounters a photographer whose work is consistent, who has progressed through ever-increasing involvement in her work as well as the study of contemporary forms of expression which reflect the cultural ambience, one is very pleased”. »

Certainly, Pilar Pequeño’s career – from the early Untitled experimental photography of 1981 in which we see clothes hung up to dry, through, for example, Plant in 1998 – constitutes an extraordinary journey in which life and work are interrelated and fuse to shed light upon a series of sequential photographs that clearly demonstrate the importance for the photographer of learning through living, experimentation a primary need, dialogue with memory and real time (the moment of her life in which each of the photographs was taken).

plato de ciruelas y uvas (2006)

bodegón con plato de ciruelas y uvas 2006

Photographic series – Landscapes, from 1982; Hothouses, from 1982 to 1990; Leaves, from 1985; Washington, from 1988 to 1991; Plants, from 1993; Water plants, from 1995 – in which intuition, play, and thought enunciate a discourse of light and shadow, the fundamental bases for the foundations of photography.

These surfaces are the product of short, intimate dialogues that stem from the very personal depths within the author, ever in search of beauty.

Second stage

By this point, we become aware that Pilar Pequeño’s photographic series are pages in the collected poems that constitute her life-stride, her experiences, of body and soul.

It was Marie Geneviève Alquier who first perceived this journey and its narrative form: “I don’t know how long it has been going on. It seems to me that there has always been a Pilar Pequeño striding through life, writing haikus” (F.V. Foto Video Actualidad, Nº 48, 1992). Photography: inward glances, meticulous and simple, but which, beyond appearances, predispose and invite us to delve into the overwhelming musings of these visual poems that transmit a sort of permanent state of grace”. Forms that make us want to arrange them geometrically, and always follow the movements devised by the photographer. It was she who chose, desired, and wanted to describe each of the moments that moved her. The information in Pilar Pequeño’s photographs stems from knowledge, from love, and does so at the very moment of our examination. According to Antonio Tabucchi, “The essence of truth, is it to be found beneath the mask, or within the mask itself?”

Dreams. Creations. Signs

acelga (1993)

acelga 1993

Pilar Pequeño, in her photographic recreations – first lived and then dreamt of – conceals beneath the outward simplicity (Zurbaran-like) a strength in which the order and rationality of the itinerary and the accumulated cultural sediment continually experiments, transforms, and progresses.

Thoughtfully lucid. Sensuality. Solitude. Solitude that is shared with us, the viewers. Along the way on her vital, creative itinerary, Pilar Pequeño discovered Dennis Hopper, and from him learned to use light and shadows to dissect both the place (setting) and the moment at which the image is created, captured, and recreated.

Following Pilar Pequeño’s series stage by stage, countless signs, subtle and delicate gestures, inform us of the photographer’s powerful and meticulous ability to reproduce her inner feelings and the deep marks left by culture and life experiences.

“Substance is internal, Appearance is external”.
Antonio Tabucchi


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