P E D R O   G R A M A X O

D I M E N S I O N.    A    P E R C E P T I V E   E X P L O R A T I O N

March 2021

Photographs are part of a wider process in which technical drawing, construction, installation and film-making are involved.

Pedro Gramaxo (b. 1989) is a Lisbon-based artist with an important architectural influence. He channelled his practice on exploring the dualism between natural and artificial, creating contrasts of man-made elements placed in the middle of remote and untouched contexts.

In our minds, concepts such as lenght, height or width are not related to a specific form. It is just when we bind together these terms, that we can build an idea around physical space and dimension. In order to make them understandable, the human race needed to establish measurement units to be able to handle its existence. This process allowed us to bring indefinite and abstract concepts into concrete, measurable and, as a last resort, tangible forms.

Here is where Pedro settles his practice, deepening how an individual has been able to understand these abstract concepts and how one-self engages physically and psychologically with volume, scale or dimension. On his photographs we see geometric expressions such as: linear, squared and rectangular forms placed in an unknown location, without almost any scale reference. There’s not too many information, but enough. The images force us to think about these abstract concepts that we were talking before and have been guided by, for so long. We are not sure how big they are, what is the material they were build of, nor even if they’re real or not. Through this work, the artist becomes the one in control of our perception and how we visualize the images, forcing us to express doubt about what you are watching. His aim is to make us ask ourselves how we consider scale, lenght, height, weight of forms, and how we engage with these.

Pedro Gramaxo puts in a material world ideas that are intangible, in order to make these abstract concepts, real. It’s all about a relation between the immaterial and the artificial. This is the topic that he has been researching in the last years and has been able to translate it into a complex body of work called Dimension Series.

Pedro Gramaxo
Dimension #1. 25Mx, 2020

Dimension Series is a perceptive exploration, a project that questions abstract notions and an intention of reformulation of the landscape.

On his images, Pedro Gramaxo shows us vast landscapes that we are not able to ubicate. Barely without a scale reference element that could told us how big the forms are. This line or that square that we saw on the photograph could be 2 meters long, but also 20 or 200 meters long. Just with that small amount of information, Pedro is making us questioning about our own perception, on how we visualize and understand when we think about size.

Pedro Gramaxo has been deeply interested in public space and urban intervention. Following the steps of some of the most important art movements from the beginning of 20th century, such as the brutalist architecture or the land art movement; Pedro developed a research based on the importance of on-site bodily presence and its relation within ourselves. This research combines the environement and human activity through the utilisation of man-made materials.

The Dimension Series are part of a temporary perceptional exercise, in which you cannot identify anything precisely. The artist purpose is to disconnect viewers from the space, make them feel lost, uncomfortable; and invite them to participate and experiment each piece. With this process, Pedro makes the viewer be aware of his own consciousness, that is, be aware of their own physical and psychological existence.

Pedro Gramaxo
Dimension #2. 25Mx, 2021

For this serie, Pedro Gramaxo develop a completely new grade and scale measure unit, which he named it Mx. He knows that these units are important for our understanding of space and nature, that’s why the creation of a new unit of measure was necessary to establish an artificial norm that could allow the artist to measure both scales, artificial and immaterial.

Mx is a scheme used to guarantee an aesthetic and geometric balance. Inspired by the golden number, Mx raises as a new way to ensure the best use of construction material. Starting from a greed that he developed based on a regular measure of selling, Pedro spotted that there was a lot of material waste, so he decided to create one unit that could avoid this ecological problem. This is how the Matrix or Artificial Framework -designated by the artist- has become the initial basis of any project and all of them respect this measure regulation.

This is how Mx became, not only a technical process, but also the language of Pedro’s built form and work. All of his structures are built in his studio in Lisbon, and then transported and installed in a previously selected secret location. The process, from design to installation, becomes an organized method.

The title of each piece is a reference to the “dimension” of it, and its also connected on how the artist perceive the installation and its context. Its function is to be a guideline for the viewer’s perception, and therefore, it becomes the “reality” of size. In this way, the artist controls the viewer’s perception of scale and size, and transform it to create a whole new understanding of space.

Pedro Gramaxo
Dimension #3. 40Mx, 2021

The dichotomy between tangible and immaterial is exposed on Pedro Gramaxo’s works. Dimension Series is more than the photographs that we saw, it involves a whole process where the perception is questioned. He revindicates the thought behind the materiality, and the necessity of being conscioussly aware of what we visualise.

Text by
Juan Blasco
Founder & Curator - Conceptual Projects

Images: Courtesy by the artist
Pedro Gramaxo

This article was made in collaboration with Pedro Gramaxo for his feature at Conceptual Projects profile on Instagram

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