A FOREST | Venice, Italy
Little bit over one year since his sold out London solo show, Pejac recently held another successful self produced exhibition in Venice, Italy. With only few days prior notice "A Forest" lured his fans and collectors from around the globe to experience his latest body of work that was on view over the weekend on 30th of September.
For this occasion, one of the oldest and most famous boatyards in the city, Squero di San Trovaso, was turned into an art venue for the first time in its 400 years long history. As one of the very few places still producing the iconic Venetian gondolas by hand, it was the perfect setting for exhibiting Pejac's work created on pressed wood panels. Leaving the place virtually untouched in order to celebrate its old fashioned appreciation of manual labor, the remarkable body of work was presented among the tools, materials and various gondola parts. By just adding his work to the existing beauty and soulfulness of the workshop, rather than putting all the focus on it, the artist showed huge respect for the great tradition of this place and their long legacy.
The artist started working on the pressed wood panel pieces back in January, using the everyday construction material as the base and the guide for his work. Finding peculiar elements in each of the panels and accenting them through meticulous pencil work, he re-purposes these common objects while creating complex narratives around seemingly insignificant wooden snippets. Along with the "Redemption" series , the showcase included a large charcoal drawing on paper, small sculptural piece showing the Prestige oil spill catastrophe, a downside-up anchor sculpture soaring from the canals, and couple of floral wreath life rings, revised symbols commonly used in Pejac's work.
Set around the corner from the main canal frequently busy with mega yachts or cruisers, the entire exhibition was clearly focused on pointing the larger issue - under ongoing threat of sinking, the UNESCO's world heritage city is one of the most obvious examples of the gravity of global warming issue. Showcasing cleverly obscured eye-opening work at this particular place during lively final months of Venice Biennale 2017, added a strong activist, as well as conceptual tone to this unprecedented event.
‘’In each of the works that I presented here I had the sensation of drawing different, unique types of work, conducted by the existing elements. Projecting images on different boards of pressed wood has been like giving back life and dignity to a crushed forest. It was important for me to exhibit the works in this incredible city where low tides are getting higher, metaphorically turning the gondolas from this historic workshop into lifeboats.’’ PEJAC