Rafael Pérez Evans | Sculpture as a form of protest
Hello, my name is Rafael Perez Evans and I'm a Spanish-Welsh artist living between London and southern Spain.
Thief. 2019. C3A Museum. Spain Car, cardboard, oranges. 6 x 3.5 x 1.70 m © Rafael Pérez Evans
Today I'm gonna speak a little bit about my art practice, biography, and research, and some of the elements in my work. I did a BA and an MFA at Goldsmiths College in London and I'll be commencing a PhD at Oxford University this coming autumn. I work mostly with sculpture and installation. I like to strip down ready-mades and juxtapose them with things like foodstuffs and plants.
Operación Free Lemon, 2017. Hangar. Barcelona Lemons, car. (Detail) © Rafael Pérez Evans
Very often, I like to work very large scale, creating almost industrial size installations. My objects have a sense of being rushed and a bit of urgency. You know, they have a sense of urgency. I like to park, spill, and dump objects into public and institutional spaces.
Mountain. 2021. Henry Moore Institute, UK. Galvanised metal silos 8.5m x 2.75 m & 6.4m x 2.3m. © Rafael Pérez Evans
My father grew lemons until a historical price devaluation in the early nineties made them more expensive to pick than to sell. This forced many families to cut whole lemon fields and throw the produce, creating a very large yellow monochrome. So this monochrome stuck with me and has led me to many years of research around farmers' protest and farmers' culture.
Lemons and agricultural workers, devalued price per kilo in the 1990s Agricultural Cooperative Estepona, Malaga. Photographer unknown. Courtesy Cooperative Agricola Estepona
And looking at this monochrome and this gesture of dumping or spilling as a way to think about new forms of land art, so a kind of extension of land art, and a kind of resistant form of sculpture against the absurdity of market policies.
I have been developing a few of these monochromes. So last year I created a white one at the Henry Moore Institute called "Lake 2021" in which I flooded one of the rooms with milk.
Lake 2021 at the Henry Moore Institute Photo C Rafael Pérez Evans
Prior to that, I created a very divisive work at Goldsmiths College for my MFA in which I created an orange monochrome titled "Grounding" where I dumped 28 tons of carrots onto the courtyard.
Grounding. 2020. Goldsmiths MFA 29 tonnes of carrots, truck, university glass building. © Rafael Pérez Evans
And I'm currently doing new work and research with Plata, which is a curatorial and cultivation group in Cordoba, southern Spain where we're developing a new public intervention in the city, and also developing work with Lava Group for a show opening this coming June (2022) at the TEA museum in Tenerife. I like to sort of tie produce to the people and lands that made them and think about rage and anger as a hopeful device to use in and out of sculpture.
Many thanks for listening.