Visual artist and researcher. Pedro Hurpia is a collaborator at the SEA Foundation Tilburg (Netherlands). He recently earned a Research Grant from Est-Nord-Est résidence d’artistes in Canada. Last year received a Research Grant from the Kone Foundation (Finland) to develop his project at the Saari Residence in Mynämäki in 2020. He was contemplated with a monthly stipend from the municipality of Sandnes and County of Rogaland (Norway) for the A-i-R Sandnes in 2019. He participated in the Residency Program at Nida Art Colony in 2018, with the support of the University of Vilnius and had the project partly funded by the Ministry of Culture (Republic of Lithuania). Between 2015 and 2017, he was professor of Visual Arts at the Pontifical University of Campinas (Brazil) teaching Photography, Drawing and Orientation in Final Year Project. In 2015 he studied ‘Advanced Studies Program in Photography’ at Ateliê Fotô (São Paulo), coordinated by curator and critic Eder Chiodetto.
Pedro Hurpia’s artistic practice investigates notions of displacement and collapse – not only in geographical way but also in a cognitive dissonance level (psychological stress) – when a person or a group are able to counteract even the basic level of logic; denying evidence, creating false memories, distorting perceptions, ignoring scientific claims, and triggering a loss of contact with reality. Following this thought of collapse and displacement, the paradoxes of human behavior are aligned with geological faults.
He uses fictional strategies creating narrative flows and systems that collapse when we face the evidence of the real, which is measured by modern empirical science. Hurpia recreates various existent devices in order to “understand” natural phenomena and geophysical anomalies that are only perceived by the human being when they emerge to the surface or when the body is directly impacted, such as landslides and sound waves. He is especially interested in binary contraries, which expand the analysis of his work, leaving open the certainty of what is real and fictitious.
FIELDWORK Q&A – September 2020
How is fieldwork part of your practice?
I could say that fieldwork and studio practice are somehow complementary activities if we are taking the idea of two distinct investigative practices. They are crossing each other several times during my process in a way that turns them into something dynamic and fluid. Each practice has its own relevance according to the project and has some rules and methods that are constantly updated.
Direct contact with nature allows us to expand the perspective of things, to become aware of the existence of non-human beings who are interconnected at different levels. This experience enables us to create alternative narratives. For me, it is the perfect moment to recognize myself as a being among many others. The time to start a new project or review previous ones from another perspective.
How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
The fieldwork activity requires some prior planning steps. In severe weather situations, for instance, there is a need to foresee difficulties and to know how to deal with them. It is not about being methodical and rigid, but about making situations more flexible. Usually, this planning includes the capture of sound, video, photography and collecting materials along the way. Everything must work properly during this activity and I should be aware of the possibility to shift the schedule depending on unexpected circumstances.
How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
Through residency programmes, exhibitions and project research shared on the web.
Nowadays I have been working on long projects that are developed in residency programs. These projects are recorded in several stages trough writing, brief notes, photography or video sequences. Then I try to organize and share these materials on specific blogs in addition to references and documents that were useful in some stage during the artistic process. I am not sure how many people access these blogs but I like the idea to have such material available for those who are interested in similar themes and how I deal with them.