Pedro Hurpia. Travail en atelier, 2022. Crédit photo: ENE / Jean-Sébastien Veilleux photographe.

Pedro Hurpia

Artist / Summer 2022


Pedro Hurpia might have been a scientist: he is disciplined and has an interest in mathematics. The first impression given by the arrangements in his studio is that of orderliness: the objects are set out at almost equal distances, drawings of parabolas fill the walls, black-and-white dominates. Then, the details begin to emerge – fragments of nature in unstable contexts: pebbles everywhere, shelves with curves preserved by those pebbles, groupings that might be unstable.

Pedro recalls what triggered his research at Est-Nord-Est: the image of a 2019 plane crash near Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. After taking off, the plane began a descent in an imperfect parabolic curve and was wrecked in the forest, causing the death of the pilot. Entropy was introduced into the process. It was starting from this premise that Pedro began to look for different iterations of the parabola in nature, photographed them, and reworked the images with software. He then made a short film from these images and scenes of nature.

Ultimately, the idea was to tell the story of long geological time, coupled with the short time of the crash. From the unexpected encounter of the two periodizations arose improbable narratives: that of a rocky formation in dialogue with a parabola, that of the intersection between human imperfection and natural symmetry. Natural stability, with its regular curves, and human unpredictability are intermingled to produce detailed installations.

To see behind appearances is the task that Pedro set himself. No doubt because, in his view, “collapse is imminent,” the forces at work in nature must be determined. Behind the apparent order are found manifestations of entropy, which both disorganizes and reorganizes the world. Also, perhaps, the forces that are situated between science and belief must be revealed – forces that are active but that science refuses to acknowledge. During a previous residency in Finland, Pedro had worked with dowsers, many of whom, all over the world, earn a living finding water sources. Certain hidden forces, Pedro tells us, connect us to the world of nature.


Artist Pedro Hurpia investigates notions of displacement and collapse, not only in geographical ways but also at the level of cognitive dissonance (psychological stress), when individuals or groups are able to counteract even the basic level of logic: denying evidence, creating false memories, distorting perceptions, ignoring scientific claims, and triggering a loss of contact with reality. He uses fictional strategies by inventing narratives and re-creating various existing devices in order to “understand” natural phenomena and geophysical anomalies that are perceived by human beings only when they rise to the surface or when the body is directly impacted.