From December 3, 2022, the De Pont Museum presents the video installation Miles Marchan (Thousands March) by Argentinian artist Sebastián Díaz Morales. This summer he made a notable contribution to Documenta Fifteen (Kassel, Germany) with the video Smashing Monuments, which he made in collaboration with members of the ‘collective Ruangrupa’. The sixty-minute long video installation Miles Marchan created during and around the various shutdowns, was completed in 2021 and will now premiere in De Pont on a ten meter wide screen.
Calm, stomping, waiting and then again in decisive step – in the video installation Miles Marchan (Thousands March), an impressive flow of thousands of legs passes you by in changing rhythms. Young legs, old legs, bare legs, in tights or jeans, on sandals or sneakers. Legs that Díaz Morales filmed at curb height. Legs without a face, but all moving with the same purpose, though you never know what it is.
The protests in Iran, the demonstrations for the climate and against the war in Ukraine – the protest march as a condemnation and call for change seems more relevant than ever. But for Díaz Morales, who grew up with the image of the foolish mothers in the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, such a march also has historical significance. With Miles Marchan (Thousands March), the artist creates a portrait of a protest march as a unit. A portrait of a crowd, of countless individuals temporarily moving together as one being with one collective energy, composed of recordings of various demonstrations, where the focus is not on the individual, on faces and slogans, but on the movement of the whole. It resulted in an image that is as poetic as it is activist, a cross between fiction and reality.
That feeling is reinforced by the soundscape, which Díaz Morales collaborated on with the South African composer and sound artist Philip Miller, who is also a sparring partner of the artist William Kentridge. The sound is alternately abstract and realistic, exciting and calm, moving with the rhythm of the crowd that seems to go on forever.
The video installation can be seen until 5 February 2023 in the Pont Museet. The address is Wilhelminapark 1 in Tilburg
About the artist
Sebastián Díaz Morales was born in 1975 in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. He lives and works in Amsterdam. He attended the Universidad del Cine in Argentina (1993-1999), the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (2000-2001) and Le Fresnoy, Roubaix, France (2003-2004). Díaz Morales’ perception of reality is shaped by the living conditions and landscape of his hometown, Comodoro Rivadivia, an industrial city located on the Atlantic coast, in a harsh region between the Atlantic Ocean and the desert of southern Argentina. His dealings with reality in film, be it the landscape, the urban or even the socio-political, have been characterized from the start by a fundamental mistrust of the belief in an objective reality. In Díaz Morales, the camera does not function as a medium to faithfully depict and record the observed, but as an essential, even epistemic, means of questioning and appropriating reality.
Díaz Morales showed his work at Tate Modern, London; Center Pompidou, Paris; Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; de Appel, Amsterdam; Le Fresnoy, Roubaix; CAC, Vilnius; Art in General, New York; Ludwig Museum, Budapest; São Paulo Biennale; Sydney Biennale; Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona; Mudam, Luxembourg; Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; Venice Biennale and documenta fifteen.
His works are among others in the collections of the Center Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Fundación Jumex, Mexico City; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Fundacion Costantini, Buenos Aires; Pinault Collection, Paris; Collection Goetz, Munich; and Fundação de Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Museu Coleção Berardo, Lisbon.