Jonas Pequenos graduated from the Central Saint Martins (CSM) BA (Hons) Fine Art course in 2019. He is 1 of 6 UAL alumni exhibiting in the Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 exhibition, which is currently showing at the South London Gallery, having previously been at Leeds Art Gallery. New Contemporaries is the leading organisation supporting emergent art practice and is celebrating its 70 anniversary this year. We spoke to Jonas to find out more about his work and how it feels to be showing with such a well-respected organisation.
What was your time at CSM like?
Initially, it was difficult, but I came into my own during my final year, once I had stepped away to do my Diploma in Professional Studies (DPS) year. I learnt a lot in the time; what it takes to make work that satisfies your desires, and implemented all that into my final year which was by far the most productive year for my practice.
Tell us about your practice.
In my practice, I am interested in ontology in relation to object-making and the disparities within this dualism. Using sound as a principal medium for experimentation and development, I engage with concepts such as ‘experience as truth’, ’the flux of time’ and ’the location of the event'. Inspired to suspend moments by creating immersive works and engaging in the ’spectacle’, I attempt to be ‘violent’ to the event by disrupting spaces, permissible by sounds invasive and intangible materiality. I use sound as my principal medium for its ethereal qualities and impracticality of reproduction; it necessitates audience presence and every event and encounter is original. The experience is of utmost importance, requiring timely presence to any particular event and space. As a result, I cite documentation as a disservice to any of my artworks. The ’thing’ and the viewer’s relation to the ’thing’ is a catalyst for meaning, and mediating it through language or image corrupts it.
How did you get involved in New Contemporaries and what does it mean to you?
I had New Contemporaries in my sights for a couple of years prior to applying. I have a huge amount of respect for art institutions, and it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to be able to get involved with some of my favourite galleries in the UK. New Contemporaries has a formidable history of showing exceptionally talented and interesting figureheads in the arts, and when I was awarded the opportunity to be a part of that history, it gave me great confidence in my practice, especially during the critical time having just left University.
What is next for you?
I have been awarded the Associate Studio Programme which relieves a lot of worries for the next two years in regard to finding studio space and time to make work. I have also started a symposium space called COUNCIL, for new graduating practitioners from all walks of life, in an attempt to create a critical space to discuss progress, developments and get feedback on their practises, , and if all goes well, a couple of solo shows could materialise in the next year.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 is on at the South London Gallery until Sunday 23 February