Tuesday, 13 July 2010
Martin Sastre, production still Ride With Obama (2009)
WE ARE THE WORLD (SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE
FOR EVERYTHING TO STAY THE SAME)
8 - 30 September 2009
An exhibition of video works by the Uruguayan artist Martin Sastre (b. Montevideo, 1976).
Sastre’s videos combine a woozy love of trashy pop culture with witty meditations on life on the geopolitical periphery. Fascinated by the notion of the cover version or remake, his work, as he has said, ‘exists on the frontier between reality and fiction’.
In the animated video KIM X LIZ (2008), the United Nations airlift a wheelchair-bound Elizabeth Taylor into Pyongyang, causing the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il (a noted cineaste, and Taylor’s biggest fan) to decommission his nuclear armoury, and pursue an autumn-years romance with the ageing actress. Sastre has described these unlikely lovers as ‘real people but also fictional characters, artificial icons created by apparently dissociated celebrity-cult and personality-cult societies’. The work is sound-tracked by a cover of Aimee Man’s Wise Up (1999) by Veronica Ramos – a song best known for featuring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia (1999).
Making its debut at the Hayward Project Space, Sastre’s latest work, Ride with Obama (2009), sees the artist visit a Madrid theme park in the company of a man who appears to be Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States. Here, two men who hail from the Americas – somewhere Sastre has called a ‘continent of remakes’ – inhabit a corner of Europe where simulation rules, and authenticity has slipped out of sight.
Curator: Tom Morton
Hayward Gallery / Southbank Centre website
Exhibition opening images at Centre for the Aesthetic Revolution blog