(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) Broken Views revolves around the constant questioning of the use of images in the age of social virtuality and the way in which these influence and distort our worldview. I don’t pretend to display the idyllic nostalgia of the past, but instead, to find on the basis of uncertainty whatever it is that keeps us awake.
Through this project, I attempt to dig deeper into the ambiguity that affects us in so many ways. The virtual against the tangible, the present agains the absent, the compressed file against what we really lived. By means of this established tension, I pretend to create a language that combines both parts, and therefore confronts the most primitive human values with the frame of codification and computer error, subduing the pictorial process to some sort of dehumanization.
This “arbitrary” construction of new scenarios integrates the dematerialization of the imagery, and intends to delve into “the aftermath”, with painting being responsible for the reconstruction of that which we search when we look, just like a branch that sprouts throght the ash.
(text by Pedro Esteban, on Broken Views, 2018)
(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)