Emilio Pemjean

Emilio Pemjean

Spain/Chile, born in 1971

Emilio Pemjean’s work centres on architectural interiors illustrated in paintings by old masters, from Vermeer to Velázquez. Simultaneously architect and photographer, Pemjean assembles reduced-scale models of famous pictorial compositions, from which he removes all objects and figures. By erasing the pictures’ temporal data, as well as their original contents — though remnants remain discernible on the floor and on the walls —, Pemjean encourages viewers to concentrate on and reinterpret the empty spaces that constitute the true protagonists in his work. This process of purification and reconstruction is also evoked by the metaphorical title of the series, Palimpsest, which designates an ancient manuscript from which the original text has been erased and overwritten with a new one, leaving the obliterated script barely visible underneath. The video accompanying the series contextualises the pictures geographically and invites the beholder to reflect, in the footsteps of the great masters of the past, on the question of light and on its role in the construction and perception of space. Thanks to this multidisciplinary approach, the Palimpsest project presents a novel and unusual take on works dating back many centuries.


EFTI — Escuela de Fotografía y Centro de Imagen, Madrid, Spain, 2010 – 2012
ETSAM — Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, UPM — Polytechnic University of Madrid, since 1989



Emilio Pemjean, Palimpsest I. Alcázar de Madrid (Spain). Architect Juan Gomez de Mora, 1636. Spanish Royal Family Palace. Destroyed by a fire in Christmas Eve of 1734 [p. 20, top] and Palimpsest II. Oude Langendijk, Delft (Netherland), about 1600. Painter’s study and family residence. (Mother in law’s property) from the series Palimpsest, 2011 – 2013
Inkjet prints
50 x 50 cm
Emilio Pemjean, Untitled, from the series Palimpsest 2015
© Emilio Pemjean

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