The Fourth Wall

Paulo J. Futre

27 May 2017 - 31 July 2017

IPSUM presents The Fourth Wall, the first solo exhibition at the gallery by the Portuguese artist Paulo J. Futre (Madrid, 1989). The Fourth Wall refers to that metaphoric invisible wall that separates the audience from the work and that breaks down by producing an interaction between the represented and the spectator. The artist pursues this rupture through his work and raises a reflection on the degradation of reality and the diffuse crossing of physical reality to speculate from the thought of Jean Baudrillard and his own personal experience. As the son of a well-known footballer, Paulo J. Futre has been coexisting since he was a child with his paternal figure present in real life and in the media, stickers, t-shirts, and even video games. The latter are a source of inspiration and continuous research for the artist for its interactive content, as they introduce the viewer actively into the virtual world they propose, unlike other passive simulacra such as film or television.

Paulo J. Futre breaks the fourth wall in IPSUM making the gallery an ambiguous space between the material and virtual universe and turning the spectators into active players of a hyperreal world. From the gallery door, Interfaz (2017) greets both passers-by and visitors. It is an old Nintendo videogame console symbolically connected to reality. Interfaz is a videogame console technologically out-dated, as it is the case of obsolete reality, diluted between the massive proliferations of simulacra such as, for example, Narrator 1 (2017). This is an interactive installation inspired by FPS (First Person Shooter) video games, in which the player is placed in the position of the shooter so that it seems that it is his arms that hold the weapon that appears on the screen. Within this context, the work of Paulo J. Futre goes further until reaching a narrative metalepsis between the narrator and the fiction raised since the spectator-player physically handles the gun and is also reflected in the simulacrum of the character which he incarnates.

For its part, Dramatic Structure (2017) is a semantic and visual game of the concept ‘virtual image’ from two different perspectives. Although the most common meaning of the term refers to a fictitious image, from a scientific approach such as optical physics we would speak of the reflected image. In Dramatic Structure, an obsolete video game intersected by two methacrylate mirrors, both approaches converge and become confused. In Figure Literary (2017), a soccer shoe connected to a remote control from a console, the artist deepens in that confusion and hybridization starting from his own personal trajectory like son of the soccer player Paulo Futre, and his celebrity experiences coexisting with the hyperreal projection of his father. Finally, Reality Show (2017) is an out-dated cathode-ray television in which the screen has been replaced by a mirror. This subtle variation allows not only to introduce the viewer directly into the fiction through its own reflection but also, to decontextualize it as a lighting installation, to fuse with the environment, thus transcending its obsolete nature.