Karina Peisajovich

Notes on other expanded paintings
By Rodolfo Biscia

To describe Karina Peisajovich’s recent work solely along the lines of its tendency toward the immaterial would be misleading: on what do we base the certainty that light is necessarily the antipode of matter? In this case, the issue at hand is painting with light, literally. By way of a conscious substitution, projection replaces brushstroke, and light –in its full chromatic range- replaces oils or pigments; contours and images are defined by a precise dialectic between light and shadow in an essentially amorphous territory of pure luminosity.

While the result may well suggest a certain supernatural character, we soon realize that this light does not fall neutral and immaculate from celestial heights or another unknown origin; on the contrary, it emanates from the floor, with a presence that is far less Olympic than terrestrial, finally revealing a certain inborn turbidity, a somewhat aqueous, dirty quality to it. It is in this intermediate zone, between the light source and the surface that receives its projected beams (the wall, transformed into canvas or screen), where the magic that Peisajovich conjures up like a wise régisseur appears. Extremely thin, subtle objects –suspended cut-out paper shapes- intervene in this medium, they may be tiny, but they bring about dramatic consequences: they bear witness to the unsuspected effects brought on by minimal disturbances to light. Indifferent to the discretion of the aesthete, the works do not deny, the natural inclusion of the devices that make them possible.

By way of procedures that demand precision and rigor (truly an optique de précision, to use Duchamp’s expression) we presence an inversion of traditional representation’s process of mimesis; the work’s unfolding into three dimensionality becomes skewed and problematic. In the architectural three-dimensional space, two-dimensional representations that contradict and falsify it are reconstructed. Fictitious and “real” perspectives become confused. In this manner, these objects are born out of an alliance of friction between the real and the virtual that becomes an unstable, fragile synthesis between contradictions; the viewer witnesses the configuration of problematic objects: a form that is effectively painted on the wall’s surface acts as the shadow for a form that paradoxically originates in a real shadow. Nonetheless, it is not merely an illusory effect that is pursued in this way; through the use of this artifice other vanishing points are set loose, and a perceptual space which is not submissive to those laws that endorse a rigorous distinction between reality and representation is created.

The factor of time naturally becomes part of this conflict between dimensions: but here time does not function like a simple accessory or appendage; on the contrary, it is situated at the very heart of the work: it actually constitutes the images themselves, through delineated processes of acceleration and deceleration. The work happens, according to its own laws and sequences. In this experience through the course of time, Karina Peisajovich constructs her cosmos of light, her complex planetary systems edified with time-images; she rediscovers light’s habitual performative potential, by projecting it in subtle or emphatic gradations onto a space that is alternatively empty, overflowing, and back to uninhabited once again. This paradoxical materiality of light –because it remains impenetrable- is what her work is made of.

Text for the piece Ogrod at the Lodz Biennale, Poland
Buenos Aires, 2004