The work of Perejaume (Sant Pol de Mar, 1957) is often perceived as complex, its origins tied to literary traditions rather than to any particular artistic style or movement. Paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, videos and books do not begin to exhaust the many media and resources he has deployed since the mid seventies. Looking beyond its slightly anachronistic appearance, the work distils into a system that critiques our forms of globalised living. Perejaume’s attachment to localism has nothing to do with folklore. Quite the contrary, in his case, it is the sign of his radicality. The long periods he has spent living in the countryside bear witness to the fact this his way of understanding art is bound up with ways of life strongly linked to the peasantry, allergic to media attention. A good example of the connections Perejaume proposes between his writing and the natural world, couplings he recounts in the first person, can be found in his book of poetic practice, Pagèsiques, published in 2011.
This rich and variegated system, in which all sorts of artistic objects, actions, statements and texts coexist, generates its own methods, often enunciating a procedure that demands total compliance. If during the decades of the 80s and the 90s these methods were collage, pessebrisme, despintura and oïsme, in the last two decades Perejaume has expanded his repertoire with an emphasis on poetic and nomadic activism, focused on the recuperation of the historic and ancestral materiality of specific places. The objectives of these sui generis methods evidence a fusion of experience, legacy and cultural heritage with geological strata and orographic details. From here, Perejaume unleashes his attack on the centrality of visual perception and its political consequences on the landscape. To the point, he proposes the notion of field to cast off the tradition of extractivism tied to the landscape. So, despite being heralded as a referent in the critique of landscape, it is a term that he himself contests.
To talk of field instead of landscape restores the lived experience of every bit of land, an experience marginalised by the universalising discourses promoted, amongst others, by the history of art. The friction between these ways of life is represented in a writing that impels the artist to undertake derives and excursions, from which have arisen essays, such as Treure una marededéu a ballar (Take a Madonna out to dance) (2018). With this genre of displacements, Perejaume removes cultural artefacts from their protected spaces, the institutions responsible for their conservation. Dragged out into the elements, their cultural meanings are subjected to adverse weather conditions that show little clemency with the logic of the art world.
The result is a misleading exoticism. For what Perejaume promotes is nothing more than a common ground, where the human and non-human encounter each other, articulated through his unconventional writing, riddled with a delicious irony. In this sense, despite no one attributing him with the label, Perejaume, since the beginning of his career, has treaded the issues specific to the Anthropocene. His oeuvre guarantees a geological interaction that could seem like poetic licence with no effect on reality. But this is not the case. Within the framework of his artistic practice, culture and landscape are indistinguishable and share an ecological vision. Hence, decrescence becomes the most frequent response, for each time a work is exhibited it confronts the paradoxes of this world. This is how in the two most important retrospectives dedicated to Perejaume to date, the titles advocate a reversal of the saturation that characterises the contemporary world. In one, the title succinctly stated: "Dis-exhibit" and in the other it claimed "Ai, Perejaume, si veies la munió d'obres que t'envolten no en faries cap de nova!" (Oh Perejaume, if you saw the hoards of works that surrounds you, you wouldn’t make any more).