When Pedro Mora moved to New York in 1991 -he has been living there ever since- his creative process shifted towards a fresh understanding of materials and the concepts of interpretation derived from them. Moreover, from his encounter with the city there emerged a body of work which shows a great interest in revealing the limits between the public and the private space, as opposed to the European perception of those concepts. Lab-1 is, in that way, a paradigmatic work along the new road he has taken.
The work consists of a completely closed cubicle made of white plastic with small openings that provide a glimpse of the interior. Inside the cubicle -whose walls are lined with foam rubber like the cells of a beehive- there are some items: a wetsuit jacket of the kind divers use; a pair of skiing trousers; fat discs; a piece of red plastic and various printed strips. Everything is illuminated by a fluorescent light.
Mora has shown himself to be particularly inclined to ponder the idea of privacy and the way it is perceived by the public in the context of a society like the United States, whose understanding of what constitutes privacy and intimacy is very different from the European one. Playing with the idea of voyeurism, he brings to the work an interpretation of the insurmountable nature of a culture that is subject to the moral laws of privacy, whilst shaping equally moralistic discourses on the strength and transparency of what is public. Parallel to that, Lab-1 speaks of the concept of "dwelling" peculiar to a contemporary mega-city: small rented spaces, aseptic and anonymous, almost bare survival level, whose walls become a second skin (the wetsuit or the tatami on the floor). In this work Mora questions the social will to seal off private spaces, isolating them from the surrounding public world (the rubber discs that seal off the base of fire hydrants in the street), as well as the obsession with separating each reality from the adjacent ones in order to preserve it from any contamination.
At the same time, he begins to search for new materials throughout the length and breadth of the city. In contrast with Europe, where, in his own words, the artist tends more to lock himself up in his own process, he adopts the role of random searcher for things, under the influence of the "recycling" practised by a hyper-consumer society like the USA: mutant materials, deceptive materials or materials taken from state-of-the-art technology which end up being just typical objects of places like the giant shopping malls.