ARTIST:

Alejandro Guijarro

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Alejandro Guijarro
Stanford I, 2012
C-type print
117 x 240 cm

Alejandro Guijarro’s works are to-scale photographs of blackboards in academic institutions all over the world that specialize in quantum mechanics: Oxford, Berkeley, Stanford, Cern. The blackboards, photographed with a large format camera in an emptied lecture hall, are presented face-on, frameless, their roiled surfaces reminiscent of mid-century abstract painting (Twombly, Pollock, even Rothko).

Alejandro Guijarro
Berkeley I, 2012
C-type print
112 x 236 cm

The dynamic abstract forms of scuffed chalk and dragged erasers might allude, as those painted precursors might, to the expressive power of the individual gesture, even a yearning towards the sublime: something inexpressible, beyond the limited range of language. No accident, therefore, that Guijarro chooses the study of quantum mechanics as his subject – the study of the physics of the microscopically small, whose very formulae are expressed in abstract terms.

Alejandro Guijarro
Berkeley II, 2012
C-type print
112 x 236 cm

That these are photographs, though, brings additional meanings into play. Each image records the physical traces of a mental movement, the speed, repetition and emphasis of individual strokes suggesting a particular train of thought or area of questioning. Yet each blackboard is a token of something lost; every photograph records something subsequently erased or smudged into nothing, acting like the mind itself when attempting to absorb the complex, the inexpressible.

Alejandro Guijarro
Cambridge II, 2011
C-type print
117 x 200 cm

Alejandro Guijarro
Cern I, 2012
C-type print
100 x 180 cm

Alejandro Guijarro
Oxford I, 2011
C-type print
110 x 150 cm

Text by Ben Street

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