Pedro Maia – 2021

Variations on Negative Space is a series of 10 unique artworks by Portuguese, Berlin-based, artist Pedro Maia.

Using 16mm analogue film as a point of departure, Pedro Maia pushes the possibilities of materiality and form in the medium. His interest in the physical and haptic qualities of film, as well as the traces of time which lie hidden in an image, are the starting point for further textural exploration and chromatic manipulation. Through mapping the beauty of an image’s patina and how it fades away, we witness a double temporality: we are able to see a moment in time while also witnessing a visual evolution. From this premise, Pedro Maia seeks to shape cinema as a language, bringing with it the simplicity and complexity of experimental abstraction, the semantic terra incognita which has shaped our visual culture for the past century.

With Variations on Negative Space we are confronted with a body of work that begs a question. Is what we’re looking at a computer generated image? Is it a render? While the term ‘variation’ refers to improvisation, interpretation and chance, negative space refers to that which is not there. The past versus the present. The answer to the question? This is where the tension exists.

This series, Variations on Negative Space, was created in 2021. It is composed of 10 unique works.


Born in Vila do Conde (Portugal) 1983. Based in Berlin. Pedro Maia is a Portuguese filmmaker working predominantly with 16mm and 8mm film, pushing the boundaries and aesthetic of analog cinema.

His work has been presented and exhibited at renowned film festivals, Institutions and galleries, including The Barbican Center, Serralves Museum, Tokyo Contemporary Art Museum, Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art, MACBA Barcelona, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Mostra São Paulo, Curtas Vila do Conde, Indie Lisboa, amongst others.

Maia has contributed to projects to Patti Smith and Charlotte Gainsbourg and has presented solo performances as well collaborations with musicians such as Craig Leon, Lee Ranaldo, Fennesz, Vessel, Shackleton, Visionist, Porto Remix Ensemble, among others with presentations on leading festivals like Sonar, Unsound, Berlin Atonal, All Tomorrow’s Party, Mutek, Dekmantel, TaicoClub Japan, Red Bull Music Academy, as well in renowned institutions like CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Eye Film Museum, Contemporary Cultural Center of Valencia, CaixaForum Barcelona, among others.