Cave In Grotesque

Pedro Herrero Ferrán
Sophie Lee (with the collaboration of Johannes Büttner)

Out of fossil conches stem shoots of ivy —au naturel to start with, progressively turning into their mere silhouettes carved in wood, synthesised, hardened into enduring leafy ornaments that flow conveniently most times, in most directions. In front of each other, two very different chains hang loosely: one consisting of moist seeds stuck together, the other a succession of metallic fleurs-de-lys hooked to one another. In celebration, an exuberant bow knots both their closer ends together and marks just one point of symmetry in a much longer succession of garlands. Floating above, a crown of fresh flowers commemorates triumph as well as defeat, and momentarily fills the air with a scent of peaceful memory, quietly waiting for the rotting to come and change the smell and burst the bubble, for the wound to open again, for the confrontation to be inevitable again, as the dilemma of pulling the bow tighter or undoing it once and for all. The next knot in the garland has not yet been possible: a hybrid of human and goat and pilaster stands in place of a plush bow, tense, pulling together two ends of two ropes, pulling hard, arms stretched in unreal elasticity —it isn’t clear whether the stretching is due exclusively to the force of the pull on the body; it may well respond to the aspiration of a sensual posture, of an aesthetically magnetic shape. Below it, a plaster cast of a bust commemorates, if not peace, at least some more symmetry —the fragile equilibrium of some found harmony —, its head has been burst open and fully emptied to serve as the perfect, round, warm receptacle for the stemming of some more shoots of ivy.

Down in the cave, damp air and walls profusely decorated in dim light. How is such a grotesque amalgamation of fantastic, incongruous, mysterious arrangements of disparate elements possible? What dark conspiracy of remains and leftovers links them all together when nothing apparently relates them in the beginning? Their characters differ and so do their intrinsic vocations; they have singular qualities and tendencies, they materialise antagonising dramatic profiles. But in generalised weakness, all surfaces, all densities are subject to reaction, to attraction, to repulsion, a taste for the alien spreads, and connections are bound to be made. The dark walls within which they all dwell define a tricky field of possibilities of interaction, of coincidental fittings that inaugurate fleetingly shared interests, fallible compromises with a brief cause. Under collision, through tenderness, blows inevitably become embraces, threats are invitations to conspire, to breathe as one the same damp air.

Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Sophie Lee, Whistle to work, 2017. Courtesy: the artist.
Sophie Lee, Whistle to work, 2017. Detail. Courtesy: the artist.
Sophie Lee, Whistle to work, 2017. Detail. Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Sophie Lee in collaboration with Johannes Büttner, Nose #1 (Gérard), 2017. Courtesy: the artist.
Sophie Lee in collaboration with Johannes Büttner, Nose #1 (Gérard), 2017. Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.
Pedro Herrero Ferrán, Fickle Feast, Candid Threat, 2017. Detail.
Courtesy: the artist.