Doppelgänger | Pedro Pires: Cape Town

15 February - 18 March 2017

Gallery MOMO Cape Town is pleased to present Pedro Pires’s Doppelgänger, after its South African debut at Gallery MOMO Johannesburg last year.


Milica Zivkovic explains that the doppelgänger “is not ‘outside’ time but produced within and determined by its social context” (2000:120).  For Pires this statement resonates with his current body of work, which he created while attending the MOMO Artist Residency in Johannesburg. The title of his exhibition refers to a possible/proposed identity that the sculptures and drawings have, reflecting the social contexts of Johannesburg.


Pires explains that he is interested in the banality of these objects; reorganizing them in a ridiculous and absurd manner, creating characters that confront the viewer within the gallery space.  “I really love the contexts from where all of these objects come from.  They were carefully selected from each environment, some contexts are more obvious than others and can be found everywhere, used by different people in everyday society. I am curious about the dialogue between these objects and the viewer.”


Pires adds that this is his way of talking about identity, stereotypes and everyday life.  “I feel there is something really powerful in these objects.  The relationship that we have with them can create space for the unusual.  These objects are known by all of us and in a way they bring us closer”, signifying “a desire to be reunited with a lost centre of personality” in a graphic form depicting the “tension between the ‘laws of human society’ and the resistance of the unconscious mind to these laws” (Zivkovic, 2000:120).


“The drawings, on the other hand, have a more aesthetic approach representing actions and situations relating to the human body. I try to create them with a poetic and elegant approach by using an action that is quite violent to the paper.  Grinding steel, for example, will send flammable sparks onto the paper creating a doppelgänger of the sculpture, now reflected on the paper” explains Pires.


Pires’s body of work becomes a mirror reflecting that which exists dependently with and “pursues the subject as [its] second self” making it “feel as himself and the other at the same time” (Zivkovic, 2000:121).


Zivkovic, M. 2000. The double as the “unseen” of culture: toward a definition of doppelgänger. In The Scientific Journal: Facta Universitatis.