Wilmotte Gallery at Lichfield Studios: 133 OXFORD GARDENS, LONDON W10 6NE
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org All Contents © Copyright 1998-2013 Tristan Hoare
4th October – 9th November 2012
The impetus, either of a body in motion, or of an idea or course of events (i.e. a moment).
2. Physics (of a body in motion): the product of its mass and velocity.
Momentum is a 3-year project in which Alejandro Guijarro travelled to the great Quantum
Mechanics institutions of the world. Using a large-format camera he photographed the blackboards
as he found them, and this exhibition will display the results in life size.
Before he walks into a lecture hall Guijarro has no idea what he will find. He begins by recording
the blackboard with the minimum of interference. No detail of the lecture hall is included, the
blackboard frame is removed and we are left with a surface charged with abstract equations.
Effectively these are documents. Yet once removed from their institutional beginnings the meaning
evolves. The viewer begins to appreciate the equations for their line and form. Colour comes into
play and the waves created by the blackboard eraser suggest a vast landscape or galactic setting.
The formulas appear to illustrate the worlds of Quantum Mechanics. What began as a precise
lecture, a description of the physicist’s thought process, is transformed into a canvas open to any
number of possibilities.
Momentum is a glimpse into the mysterious world of Quantum Mechanics, a branch of Physics that
provides the only understanding we have of the world of the very small. Without these equations,
physicists would be unable to design nuclear power stations, build lasers, or explain how the sun
stays hot. Without Quantum Mechanics, Chemistry would still be in the Dark Ages, and there would
be no science of Molecular Biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering at all. In his
quest Guijarro has travelled to the very best departments of Quantum Mechanics, including Oxford
and Cambridge in the UK, Berkeley and SLAC (The National Accelerator Laboratory) in America,
CERN in Switzerland and the Instituto de Física Corpuscular in Valencia.
Yet these are not works that pretend to hold any kind of objective truth. Stripped of their
wrapping they are merely photographs of large drawings! However the process of finding,
documenting and collecting them has a transmutational effect. The colourful equations remind us
of Basquiat’s formulaic language and the white chalk evokes Cy Twombly’s later canvases. Each line
and smudge has its own history and meaning, produced by a scientist unaware of their artistic
merit. Momentum can be seen as an attempt to bridge the gap between science and art and is an
exciting development in Contemporary Photography.