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Berlin / NY / Shanghai Time

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Sebastián Díaz Morales was born in 1975 in the Argentine city of Comodoro Rivadavia. His pictorial language bears the mark of this “Capital of the Wind”, as it is called, situated in an isolated spot between the Atlantic Ocean and the Patagonian Desert. As Morales himself says, the experience of growing up in an extreme environment in the middle of nowhere led to a special way of perceiving reality.
His films and videos, which he has been producing since 1998, show that reality is nothing more than a figment of the imagination. Every figure and every narrative in them is a metaphor for the boundary between reality and fiction. His films revolve around the suspension of time and the displacement of space and time through the constant dreaming and reconstruction of reality.
Morales works with various filmic techniques, for example montage, cartoon-like dissociations or slow motion. Sound also plays a leading part, whether in the form of noise or film music. Some of the works are reminiscent of science fiction. Their narrative style and dialogues are of a minimalist character, yet their imagery evokes associations by which the viewer discovers a new take on reality.

His work has been exhibited widely at many prominent venues—such as the Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou; Stedelijk Museum and De Appel, Amsterdam; Le Fresnoy, Roubaix; CAC, Vilnius; Art in General, New York City; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; Biennale Sao Pablo; Biennale of Sydney; Miro Foundation, Barcelona; MUDAM, Luxemburg; and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon.

His works can be found at the collections of the Centre Pompidou; Tate Modern; Fundación Jumex, Mexico; Sandretto Foundation, Torino; Constantini collection, Buenos Aires; Pinault Foundation, Paris; Sammlung-Goetz, Munich; and the Fundacion de Arte Moderna, Museo Berardo, Lisbon between others.

In 2009 he was awarded with a Guggenheim Fellowship.

His pieces ‘Suspension’ and ‘Pasajes IV’ are exhibiting at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Viva Arte Viva.

Oracle / One Year Later / Lucharemos hasta anular la ley / Pasajes I / Pasajes IV


SD video, 11min, 2 screns video installation, 2007
Produced by HERMES

Today nobody is interested in the Future at all. Future has been annexed into the present. Occasionally a futuristic image is trotted out, ransacked like an image of the past and absorbed into the ongoing continuum that represents present-day life.

After all time is no more than a neuropsychologic structure that we inherit and that like the appendix or corporal hair no longer need. Our next great evolutionary leap will not be of the physical but mental type. We will learn to live thinking that everything happens at the same time. That is to say "No Future"

"The alluring images in his films speak clearly for themselves, for they usually lack of sound. This aspect lets the artist give the audience all they need to create their own individual and personal story, without imposing any set structure. The video installation Oracle alternates a series of apparently random images that are not linked one to the other. They just follow on, like the tesserae in a mosaic that is still to be completed. The title seems to allude to the tradition of the Greek Oracle as a source of wisdom and prophecy, capable of offering a vision of the future through a combination of elements from the present. A plastic bag moved by the wind, a solitary man staring at the sea, and a solar eclipse are just some of the images that appear on the screen as propitiatory signs, and with which the audience can create their own free response." JG Ballard


One Year Later
SD video, 11min, 2001
Sebastian Diaz Morales, Jo Ractliffe Music: Philip Miller

‘The sign was saying:

After or before the wall there is us, the people.

He has seen it cause he went through, cause he jumped it. Because of that he had an idea. That something which was above or behind him was after him. That's why.

Things are relative.’

Made over a period of six days in October 2001, One year later traces a man's journey through Johannesburg. In a sequence of images taken from the inner city and surrounding mine dumps, along the freeways to the suburbs and malls of the north, the narrative is developed through the internal dialogue of the central character as he makes his way through the city, and the interjections by the constructor of the film.

"We wanted to make a story about the inner city. But usually, to be the tellers of the story means that you are outside of it in some way; either the story is already made, and the telling comes after, or, as the one who determines and controls the narrative, you are separate from it. In this video, we are both the tellers and the characters; a position which is not unlike the way we inhabit and experience this city. And then there is this city... But it is not a place that you can apprehend in any concrete way; it is a place that slips, that moves away from your understanding every moment that you think you have found it."

The footage was photographed on colour slide film with a Holga, a plastic toy stills camera. These transparencies were then stuck together to make one continuous filmstrip that was then illuminated through a light box and filmed onto video and edited.

Joubert Park Public Art Project, Johannesburg, South Africa 2001. While the film exists in its own entirety, it is also our intention to exhibit selected photographic stills from the film. These would be printed up in full color at scale and budget permitting  on billboards at various points in the city.

Lucharemos hasta anular la ley (We shall fight till cancelling the law)
SD video, 10min, 2004

Video installation that takes on the notion of public violence and its catalysing effects. Lucharemos was based on existing news footage from a street protest in Buenos Aires. In front of the parliament a crowd has gathered in order to contest a law that implements more rigorous sanctions for demonstrators and street vendors, threatening their survival and their very being. When the attack is broadcast on television it becomes a matter of national importance, as a symbol for the a-priori unfair fight of the individual against inhumane politics.

Argentina's economic crash in 2001 has triggered a chain of events that was seminal in re-awakening the communal power of civil protest. It’s reveil is however measured not in terms of political or revolutionary overthrow, but in the number of minutes of national TV prime time that it is able to capture. Lucharemos reflects this condition of mediatized protest turning it onto a state of hyper-protest.

Lucharemos redefines the fight between good and evil, between the law and the individual. Where ideology criticism has been able to unmask language as a form of violence, Díaz Morales, with Lucharemos delves into violence as an attempt to speak.

Pasajes I
HD videos, 12:30 min on 6 hs loop, 2012

Buenos Aires appears in this video series as an endless maze where an optional image of reality takes shape. This is the geography of a story expressed in an alteration to the normal, which arises from a montage of urban spaces. The urban reworking of the story is an attempt to regenerate the body of a city and its images in the form of an alternative geography.

Pasajes IV
HD video, 22:40min on 5:30hs loop, 2014

In Pasajes IV the idea follows the same narrative, concept and structure as of former videos from the series.

In the so far three Pasajes video works a similar formula repeats on different backdrops: a character unites places through gateways, doors, stairs and roads which would be naturally disconnected from each other. This is the geography of a story expressed in an alteration to the normal, which so far aroused from a montage of urban spaces.

In this proposed formulation of Pasajes IV the video explores the landscape of Patagonia.

Crisscrossing this territory in the search of the differences on the landscape, a character as a guide, unites different territories disconnected in its geography, as essential pieces of a puzzle to understand this region’s present.



Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie carlier | gebauer, Berlin.
Image credits: Sebastían Díaz Morales, Pasajes IV, still from video, 22:40min on 5:30hs loop, 2014