Air de ...: Pep Vidal

Overview

Opening November 26, 2022, from 12pm.

 

ADN Galeria presents the fourth exhibition by artist and scientist Pep Vidal (Barcelona, 1980). Air de ... brings together recent projects around air and its physical properties to reflect on the manners that have led us to the current ecological crash.

In 1919, when Duchamp made his famous Air de Paris, the world in which he lived wasn’t globalized. Last year, Pep Vidal bought something online from Great Britain and it came wrapped in small cushions of air intended to absorb the potential impact of transit, and he wondered where the air had come from. Could he find out somehow?


These unanswerable questions are the conceptual basis of Vidal’s project at ADN Galeria, 102 years after Air de Paris, in a totally globalized world, where, in addition, the quality of the air we breathe is being (or ought to be) questioned more than ever.

 

With Air de.. the artist dives deep into the world and physical properties of air, and more specifically, into those of bubble wrap. We all love popping the little air bubbles in the wrap, that small yet intense sound, and the force in our fingers until finally, the bubble explodes. Pop!


But what’s behind–or better put, inside–bubble wrap?


To explore this, the artist has pursued various avenues of research, including exploiting the air used for packaging to talk about the globality of the world in which we live as well as to lament and reclaim the quality of the air we breathe, studying the volumetric physicality of bubble wrap and the air it contains, and finally, reflecting on the question: does air somehow belong to everybody and at the same time nobody?


For the exhibition, Vidal collected pieces of bubble wrap, classified them based on aspects of their origin, such as the country they came from, the specific store where they were found, or the person who had used it for wrapping, and then put them in acrylic boxes.


Also featured are works that involved the precise measurement of the volume of air contained within bubbles: some from rolls of bubble wrap, another from an amber stone aged over a hundred million years, and others yet from a vase made in Paris in the 1920s, meant to evoke with its own air Duchamp’s celebrated piece.

 

Finally, there are two pieces that are transversal in every sense of the word. Crossing a border is easy (if you’re a cloud) is a two-channel video where a cloud is seen crossing the French-Catalan border (both from the French perspective and the Catalan one) following only the laws of thermodynamics. And in The light that doesn’t go out, the artist uses a solar panel and a light to show the photons that, after leaving the Sun and traveling thousands of kilometers, eventually make it to the roof of the gallery, having transformed into electrons and, at the same time, light.