LLORENÇ UGAS DUBREUIL. Tensions, impacts and fissures



In the last few years, Llorenç Ugas Dubreuil (Sabadell, 1976) has not stopped walking through various natural landscapes. Despite the plurality of the locations that interest him - from mountains and wooded valleys to coastal areas - there are precise connections between all of them: the tensions generated in the location by the human pressure, intent on exploiting a financial gain that will end up disfiguring and eliminating the natural significance of the area. During these times in which nature is faltering in favour of tourism or town planning, this is where he points his camera lens. And I refer initially to photography because it is at the core of his work, although the walking is expanding his resources towards the object, at all times with a desire that is procedural and performative.

As he walks, as he advances, the artist compiles numerous pieces of information through an intuitive and visceral system of appropriation of the location. As an exercise in recognition, the artist collects stones and fragments of the landscape. Halfway between the literal and the symbolic, the presentation of these materials allows us to understand the problems of an area experiencing difficulty. Potentially, the stones featured in his installations are themselves the incomplete landscapes he travels though: incomplete for being caught between what they were and what they are, incomplete for having lost their original condition, but also for being able to reflect their political and aesthetic complexities from the present time.  

In this regard, Tensions, impacts and fissures - his individual exhibition at the Tarragona Museum of Modern Art - invites a dialogue cross-referenced between recent works and new productions specifically produced for the occasion. The interpretation of the immediate present of his work allows us to understand the two central pillars of his approach to the landscape. On the one hand, the photographic experimentation that supports it; and on the other, the emotional charge of his experiences in it.  In this way, the material artifices of Black Landscape (2014 - ongoing) - a large mural in which the foreground features constructions and structures that have altered the natural landscape forever - or the graphic subtleties of Landschaf, a triptych where the photographs of three isolated and intervened natural elements almost transform themselves into drawings, appear alongside new pieces which intensify the biographical connection between Llorenç Ugas Dubreuil and landscapes in tension between nature and human imposition.

Thus, the exhibition resumes his experiences in highly sensitive locations, such as the mountain landscapes of Espuí in Vall Fosca (Discontinuous vista. 2100 metres above sea level, 2020), conditioned and fractured by the property development and landscape disaster of the Vall Fosca Mountain Resort, a tourist complex located close to the Aigüestortes National Park that was abandoned in 2008; the pine forests affected by the possible construction of a motorway between Blanes and Lloret de Mar which destroyed a fundamental part of the Mediterranean landscape (Draw a motorway with your body, 5 steps or Km 3, 2020), and other areas subjected to similar pressures (Structure no. 2, Vacarisses, 2020). As is habitual throughout his career, Ugas Dubreuil addresses us through the use of photography, sculpture and installation, but above all through his practice of walking through landscapes caught between an idyllic sentiment and abusive exploitation. He would say that his work focuses precisely on attracting our attention regarding such abuses. Which is why he needs to travel through them and experience them.