Mateo Pérez Terrarium

Mateo Pérez recent photographic work is focused on the idea of limits of the territory. Terrarium is a continuation of this work since his gaze pay attention to the island of Providencia (the strip of land most decentralised of the Colombian territory) perpetuating its investigation of the tactical spaces that are peripheries, summits, or also the outposts. But, instead of the typical topographic survey and the methodical record of inclinations and roughness of the island landscapes, Mateo Pérez has preferred the systematized capture of the same presence, of the same motif, the abandoned casings of cars along and across the island. The choice of subject is certainly not insignificant and also refers to the artist’s interest in the extremities, the latter limit before the absence.

The car, in its industrial meaning, emerge nearly 100 years ago as the most representative good of capitalist economy, emblematic requirement to belong to the globalized middle class. The images seem to refer to a last place achieved before getting stranded, in a desire to escape both of the economy and of the volatilization of its actors. The human figure, absent in all of the images, is suggested by the silent presence of communicational infrastructure (electricity networks, roads, airport) and housing.

Then, there is in this series, the desire to represent the immanence of an convulsive economy that seems to arise so massively that disappears immediately, but also the inconsistency of the trade flows, whether for tourism or for drug trafficking. Providencia island becomes finally, faced with these images of economic failure and places of the end of the national territory, in a manipulable space, in a class of artificial laboratory conditioning habitat and society: a terrarium.

Julien Petit | Exhibition Curator

All images © courtesy of Mateo Pérez

www.mateoperez.com