Written and presented on the occasion of Peter Eramian’s collaborative project with Rumen Tropchev at fAN Kunstverein, Vienna, 2017.

Peter Eramian’s practice develops through collaboration, discussion and the creation of constellations through the encounter of differing reference points that engage with and shift the probability distribution of cultural potentialities.

In his project Hopelessly devoted to you (2016), Eramian developed a peculiar methodology for the use of irony as a tactic of engagement with absurd vestiges of the present. The process of creating ‘orphan stalagmites of debris from land art and site-specific traditions’[1] amalgamated itself within a materiality of accumulation and decay, demystifying the commodity status of the art object. Eramian’s mode of operation creates pieces that are material expressions of thoughts and processes and at the same time act like incomplete reference points, probing us to think of the need to embrace the gaps of representation.

The work 1 Percent (white concrete, found objects) is a slice of material substantiation of concerns ranging from capitalist accumulation and the discourse on the word’s wealthiest and to an effort by an association of Cypriot artists to effect a disregarded law concerning the allocation of 1% of a building’s budget to art. The ‘found objects’ are material leftovers from the creation of Minimal, a serial sculpture project of eight inverted holes (white concrete, concrete iron rods, earth).

In the installation Queer Little Gods (2016) the dislocation of sixteen tons of rock from a mine was tied to the exploitation of the ubiquitous nature of the real-time sharing of documentation. Eramian’s process was to be seen on social media and the press alike. Different writers were asked to distribute, in textual form, the probabilities of four differential references.

Dislocation, real-time sharing of documentation and collaboration are tactics through which the process of demystification finds its coordinates into a process-based mediation on the effects of the smoothening-out art undergoes in its presentation and circulation. This smoothing-out is as much a cultural and political process as a process that traverses the experience of creation within a given set of principles of representation. ‘Can language capture hardship?’ is a question he often wrestles with. And this hardship is as much local and personal as global and collective. One way of looking at Eramian’s practice is as an effort to express the conundrums of cerebral, emotional and physical processes and the effect they have on a bulging consciousness.   

In Business Plan (2017), a collaborative project between Eramian and Rumen Tropchev, the function of the body in the public sphere as a site of lived truth, is put to work. The visuality and circulation of bodies, and specifically of the working body, becomes the main problematic of an elaborate mediation on the current state of society, where ‘to make a living’ and ‘living body’ are intertwined and feed into a loop of necessity and desire that furnishes how we come to understand our efforts and the labour that goes into realising them. The functions of bodies are involved in a politics where they become performative loci of experiences that cannot yet be adequately expressed. Just as the sculptures in Hopelessly embraced the material of the land that enveloped them and the rocks in Here’s were poured out of a wheelbarrow, in Business Plan the plaster tiles are accumulated in piles that index the work that goes in producing them and all the surfaces of encounters that happen when the work is (to be) produced by Eramian and Tropchev.

[1] “Hopelessly Devoted To You” exhibition text by Emmidio Vasquez, available at https://petereramian.com/Hopelessly-devoted-to-you 

More information about the project at https://petereramian.com/Business-Plan