Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena - True Colours

In his four-screen work True colours (2002), Juan-Pedro Fabra Guemberena creates a mesmerising play between visibility and invisibility. We observe a figure slowly emerging from its background, coming to a halt and then merging back into its rural surroundings. The figures are soldiers from a Swedish armoured unit, whose camouflage uniforms are adapted for the Scandinavian terrain. Observing members of a largely non-combatant army, this work has been described as 'a dream of the ideal military: prepared but largely unused.' (James Rondeau, Frieze, 2003). The four monitors depict translucent landscape paintings in video, which, through the near-imperceptible movement of the soldierss, suggest an underlying, brooding violence.

These works perform a process of remembering through slowness, which demands of us something greater than the consumption of them as merely poetic or seductive images. They are at once imaginative fictions and documents of the implications of war, of social systems and urban dislocation. 

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