La parabole



This project was commissioned

by Est-Nord-Est / Résidence d'artistes (Canada), with support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Quebéc Arts and Letters Council




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The aerodrome routine meteorological reports (METAR) from the 3 closest stations indicated that weather conditions were favourable for a VFR flight. According to the graphic area forecast issued at 1333 and valid starting at 1400, the turbulence level varied from nil to light. Furthermore, weather radar images for the Saint-Jean-Port-Joli area at the time of the occurrence did not show any precipitation in the area. Consequently, weather conditions were not considered to be a factor in this accident.


* Excerpts from the Air transportation safety investigation report A19Q0088 (TSB)




Perte de maîtrise durant la montée initiale et collision avec le sol | 2022


installation view

Digital photograph on paper, stone and wood

Variable dimensions



On the morning of June 16, 2019, an aerobatics aircraft, a Pitts S2E crashed near Saint-Jean-Port-Joli airport. At approximately 1825, after refuelling, the pilot and the morning passenger took off from Runway 24 at the Saint-Jean-Port-Joli Aerodrome on board the occurrence aircraft, to conduct a flight under visual flight rules. Two amateur videos provided to the TSB showed that, after takeoff, the aircraft began a steep climb, then made a steep left-hand turn, lost altitude, and crashed in a nose-down attitude, leaning left, in a ditch next to a secondary road, approximately 450 feet southeast of the Saint-Jean-Port-Joli Aerodrome.



The trajectory was an imperfect parabola.



This project poetically recalls a tragic event
that took place in the surroundings of a
small Canadian village. The personification
of a trajectory, of a line, of a shape. A tale
told from a peculiar perspective.


If we think of the parabola as a closed system, in constant movement and equilibrium along the axis of symmetry; its stability will be affected by specific events in its trajectory. Stress and strain points act as disorder triggers in the system, changing its order irreversibly.


See more about the creative process > here.



Editing process in the studio at Est-Nord-Est Residency

 in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, QC.


The sound spectrum of a small airplane flying over at low altitude shows the shape of a parabola.




Field recording in Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, QC.




"Pedro Hurpia might have been a scientist: he has the discipline for and interest in mathematics. The first impression given by the pieces in his studio is that of orderliness: the objects are set out at almost equal distances, drawings of parabolas fill the walls, black and white dominate. Then, the details begin to emerge, and nature and uncertainty creep into the artistic inention: pebbles everywhere, shelves with curves preserved by those pebbles, arrangements that might be unstable.


Pedro recalls what triggered his research at Est-Nord-Est: the image of a 2019 plane crash near Saint-Jean-Port-Joli. The plane took off then began a descent in an imperfect parabolic curve and fell into the forest, causing the death of the pilot. Entropy was introduced into the process. It was starting from this premise that Pedro began to look for different iterations of the parabola in nature, photographed them and reworked the images with software, and made a short film from them and scenes of nature.

Ultimately, the idea was to tell the story of long geological time, coupled with the short time of the crash. From the unexpected encounter of the two periodizations arose an improbable narrative: that of a rocky formation in dialogue with a parabola, of the intersection between human imperfection and natural symmetry. Natural stability, with its regular curves, and human unpredictability are intermingled in detailed installations.

To see behind appearances is the task that Pedro set himself. No doubt because, in his view, “collapse is imminent,” the forces at work in nature must be determined. Behind the apparent order are found manifestations of entropy, which both disorganizes and reorganizes. Also, perhaps, we may discover forces that are situated between science and belief, forces that are active but that science refuses to acknowledge. During a previous residency in Finland, Pedro had worked with dowsers, many of whom, all over the world, earn a living finding water sources. Certain hidden forces, Pedro tells us, connect us to the world of nature."





Text written by Pascale Beaudet, independent curator and

author, as a result of the Summer Residency in Est-Nord-Est 2022.


The book of paraboles | 2022



Digital photograph on paper and drawing

Variable dimensions




La parabole | 2022


installation view

Stone and wood

Variable dimensions




Fieldwork nearby L'Islet-sur-Mer, QC.





La parabole | 2022


installation detail

Digital photograph on paper, notes and drawig

Variable dimensions




Discordance angulaire | 2022


installation detail

Drawing, scale ruler and light table

Variable dimensions




La parabole | 2022


video still

16:9 | 9'56" | stereo | French audio | English subtitles | color




Non-plugging folds | 2022


installation detail

Stone and drawing

Variable dimensions