Pedro Tudela’s work, after several years of activity in which painting was his dominant medium, has been using sound as the preferred material for many of his projects over the last decade. Sound appears, in its material quality or in its representation, as a starting point for the conceptual and formal redefining of the sculptural, pictorial or videographic object besides the differentiated use Pedro Tudela makes of it in his parallel activities in composition, improvisation, performance and as a DJ, which are generally carried out with the “@C” collective. A fascination for and an experimental practice in the field of electronic music, and his expertise in the area of contemporary musical languages provide him with a context for the crossing of interferences between sound, music and visual arts.

Lately Tudela’s work has centred on the material evidence of the object, of which sound and the physical devices of its recording or diffusion appear as elements of the composition. Thus, reels of recording tape, speakers, wires and cables are incorporated in works of sculpture, with the object of the formal visibility resulting from the functional materiality of its constituent parts. In Over, the exhibition Tudela is now presenting in the Serralves Museum, the sound results from the space and from the objects, limiting and constructing the elements we observe in it. The spectator is proposed with an intermittent wandering among situations, with sound being the guiding element through the associations and interruptions of perceptions and meanings provided by the several works here presented.

The geography of the space begins by being defined by a network structure of cables hovering over the visitors, in which several hanging speakers bring us the transformed sounds of recordings made in these same places. Two times and two places coincide: those that sensorially confront the spectator in the present and those that evoke the time and place hidden in the past revealed to us through the recordings presented. The suspended mesh relates two spaces of the exhibition, taking advantage of the architecture as a support for the installation, crossing through it and therefore giving rise to an interruption and a recurrence. It doesn’t become possible to go from one space to another, although later on in the path through the works a new perspective and consequently a new perception of the same work is proposed.

Then, over a succession of four rooms, we come across four moments in a path in which fragments of a hidden narrative appear as indications that may be associated to a final moment towards which they converge. In the two first rooms, boxes coated in transparent glass and glass objects construct acoustic situations originated by the sound devices they contain. A tension between fragility and protection is evident in the nature of the materials and in their forms. This tension bursts out in complete visibility in a third moment in which a video projection presents a transparent glass room exploding. When we are faced with this room, which we can see but to which we do not have access, we are isolated from it by a transparent glass wall. The clinical coldness of its glass coating contrasts with the explosion we have just witnessed. The room is immaculate, as if nothing had happened in it. However, accumulated debris emerges as a vestige of the disaster that has been witnessed.

Destruction has always awakened the pulse of order in the human being, the pulse of the regularity of the cosmos, of the necessary and inseparable antithesis that is echoed in a relationship with chaos. Performance has been the support for conveying numerous events in which accident, whether intentionally premeditated or not, contrasts with the routine of a state of things corresponding to the spectator’s expectations. The atmosphere that Pedro Tudela presents in Over is to a certain extent an anti-performance. The spectator’s inaccessibility in relation to the scenario presented, his doubts about the nature of the event taking place in it after seeing the images that describe it, the sound nature of the explosion and of its acoustic residue glimpsed at in the room being observed construct a suspicion as to the condition of the real that the images witness for us. As if each space and each image resulted from a camouflage, from an effect, from a superimposing in which a cold and naked reality is hidden.

Throughout his work Pedro Tudela has proposed a singular universe of synaesthesias between soundscape and visual perception. It is in the difference and in the paradoxical coincidence of both aspects that his works echo a human relationship with time and place, oscillating between the expression of emotion and control over it. Image and sound operate as sensorial deconstructions in which the artificiality of their devices confront the condition of the body in relation to the object or the space, as if they were supplemental prostheses of a post-trauma event of which there is no memory or record but only vestiges.

Thus there is the labyrinth hinted at in Over. As in the preposition that forms their titles, Pedro Tudela’s projects stand as intervals between situations or events whose true nature is not known, given that they are never made explicit by a before or an after their visual or sound materiality, although they arouse the evoking of the mystery of their contexts or of their references. The cosmogony resulting from these projects forms an interzone in which art becomes the expression of an evidence of the human through the inhuman, in a digital world that is deceptive of the expression of emotion, of which it nevertheless stands as a survivor in its creative and generative dimension.

In Pedro Tudela’s work, between image and sound, the provocation of the place stands up to the lack of expression of its materialisation in an archaeology of identity in an in-objective universe. Seeing is accepted as the doubt of living, in the diluting of subject and object in relation to their iconic dimension. Phase 3 Eye can see is the title of a video by the artist dating from 1996, in which there is the iris of a human eye transformed by a lens that observes us. The body becomes unthinkable without the prosthesis of the gaze. Seeing becomes an indissociable condition of the observed being. The action of the body introduces the suspicion of its passive appropriation through its redefinition of that half-cyborg condition, besides the relationship between nature and the artificial, between the senses and technology, between sensorial impression and the recording and transmission of data. The object becomes a new organ that the body incorporates in order to be able to see the world, or even just itself.

Over results from a similar incorporation of the spectator in the artificial route with which each project paradoxically involves and excludes him, in an exercise of distancing of the body in relation to the spatio-temporal situation that destabilises it. Over is a word that is empty of meaning and which questions order and disorder, construction and destruction, action and inaction, the theme and the referent, in which the exhibition is transformed into an over-exhibition of moments agglomerated by the cold fusion of the image, of the sound, of the object or of the situation that they may sum up, constitute or transmit. Pedro Tudela’s work here achieves an unexpected intransitivity, as a subtle provocation of the transitive that might exist inside each of us.