Sebastian Diaz Moralez, Paralelo 46° (1998, 56 min.) Filmstill
SMBA is proud to premiere two new video installations by the Argentinean artist Sebastian Diaz Morales (Comodoro Rivadavia, 1975). Diaz Morales’ video works interweave a range of genres. On the editing table, the artist merges fictional, documentary and experimental material and, taking an improvisational approach, arrives at riveting sequences of images.
The series of five videos Water, Box, Handkerchief, Dress/Undress and Force (2003) together with the diptych The Enigmatic Visitor (2003) comprise the exhibition in SMBA. The images for this new work were shot in the summer of 2003 on the steppes of Patagonia. Like the majority of Diaz Morales’ videos the atmosphere is charged and apocalyptic. The ensemble presented under the title In A Not So Distant Future heralds a new chapter in his oeuvre. This time, Diaz Morales does not construe a feverish hypnotic series of images but creates an environment of bare, stripped scenes dominated by a single action. In a desolate, undefined landscape, a man and woman attempt to battle the elements. The wind wails while they dance about each other in an absurd ballet or – to no purpose – seek shelter under a cardboard box. In A Not So Distant Future emerges as a degré zéro of human existence.
The five videos are contrasted in the SMBA exhibition with The Enigmatic Visitor (2003), a panoramic registration of a dialogue between a soldier and a scientist. The fragments of their conversation paint a picture of a world of destruction, violence and horrors of war. The dialogue is based on excerpts from the novel Los Lanzallamas (The Flamethrowers) by the Argentinean writer Roberto Arlt (1900 – 1942), part two in his novel series Los Siete Locos (The Seven Madmen).
SMBA Newsletter no. 77 will accompany the exhibition, with an essay by Wim Peeters, Antwerp.
Sebastian Diaz Morales lives and works in Argentina. From 1993 to 1999 he studied at the Universidad del Cine de Antin, Capital Federal. He completed a work period at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, in 2002. Over the last few years his work has been presented at Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, NICC Antwerp, the Sao Paulo Biennale and the Berlin Biennale. In 2002 he was awarded the Van Bommel Van Dam Prize for young art and in the autumn of 2003 won first prize in the 14th international Videobrasil festival for his piece The Apocalyptic Man (2002) shown in the front space of the SMBA. Diaz Morales’ work 15.000.000 Parachutes was recently acquired by the Tate Modern Collection, London.