(0) There is in Pedro Kouba's moving pictorial work an impulse of sentimental ecology that transforms images in a process that is difficult to achieve. Like the lightning bolt that was a snake for the Pueblo Indians, the pictorial development of his unfinished Atlas goes throw "the subsoil of the image, where that struggle between the virtual and the palpable, between the scientific and the magical continues.’’
The constant danger of the meticulous gaze invigorate this project based on that psychology of images that remain stuck in culture, one in which Aby Warburg was so fascinated. The tribute performed fiercely by Pedro might have pleased a present Warburg, because Pedro Kouba presents himself as a true sufferer of the world of the visual-cultural, delving into the trauma that is still present as well, perhaps increasingly reiterated by the advance of the deceitful contemporary modes of vision, the Warburgian "magnetic library" of current exhibitionism, where the footprint seems to be the only trace that indicates where time has traveled.
(Text by César Novella, on Rain Ritual show, in Novella Gallery, 2020)
(1) Scapeland makes us wonder the extend to which our gaze has lost its depth due to the multiple layers of arificiality that it has been subjected to. Overlapping strata of phoniness where information is hidden, which help build the horizon that now stands on our own fingerprints.
Painting being perceived as a cartography of a physical terrain in which plastic, as a symbol of artifice and the massive-virtual, obstructs and hinders the legibility of what is in front of us. Making it difficult for us to separate what we know from what be think we know, constructing this way our true vision of space.
(About Scapeland. Pedro Esteban, 2020)
(2.1) Scapeland crosses cultural differences by translating renewed paradigms, understood codes for the great human diversity through the utility of objects: plastic bags, the rear window of a car, adhesive tape... The residue of things that previously had form.
The limitation of its plans translates an uniform look in force in today's societies. The camera is formed as a backup of our eyes, of our immediate memory. The author, wared of this circumstance, does not portray the object, or the moment, he portrays an universal condition of symbiosis between the human look and the apparently utilitarian.
Painting as cartography of a physical territory that delimits the visual field, just like the painting were a screen. In which different overlapping and canceling scenarios coexist, questioning the legibility of what we have in front of us and making us doubt what we think we know, building our 'true' vision of space. The horizon has come to be located at the tip of our finger.
(Text by Carolina Castro, about ‘Scapeland’ exhibition. CDMX. 2022)
(3) Pedro puts the ball back in our court for us to keep playing this fun game of dribbling identity traumas. Those which seemed to have vanished under layers of fresh sky-blue paint that resembles the sea, the clouds, or an eternal summery t-shirt on your grandparents’ pool.
On the one hand, to forget what isn’t worth forgetting. On the other hand, to remember what finally, once and for all, was worth remembering.
(text by César Novella, on The Nothing, 2016)