THE INSTANT OF THE WAVES
Matias Duville, 2021
Whatever the reason or shape of fate, it is how we got here, traveling at lightning speed on top of a planet overflowing with natural phenomena that come before us. In this journey of endless madness, we pause to reflect until a puff of air spits us back into the void.
I try to disappear and forget who I am but, in a sort of magnetic teletransportation, my mind goes back to the south, where as a child in the early eighties my family would go on expeditions. My father, a chemist who worked in marine biology and dabbled in geology and archeology, was at the helm of those caravans. So, as if by magic and after crossing thousands of kilometers, we would find ourselves in a random terrain for exploration that was gradually engraved on my mind. Whether it was the petrified forests of Chubut, glacier rivers and lakes, or the coast of the South Atlantic, it all formed a concoction in my head, a sort of generator of stimuli and energy swirling in my mind.
Nothing could be more vivid than the possibility of expanding the notion of landscape with layer upon layer of time, an infinite machine of never-repeating connections and links.
Pangaean logic sets in, connecting Patagonia with early Australasia, regions that, though far-flung, are strangely alike.
In a retrospective vision of the universe and how the world was shaped on a physical and chemical level, I imagine a ghost film set on that vast landmass that stretches to the sides in so many ravines turned into rivers and seas. My body is imbued in that attempt to return to a childhood scene; I lose myself in time. I imagine I am a small dome camera that documents the journey with its total vision. From above, I can see dams that mutate into small bridges, melding into giant shards of a glassy mass, migratory whirlwinds of strange natural phenomena here and there. I experience time flowing forward and back in the great valley. I might call it the highway to the future, but it’s more than that. That flow of energy finally moves away; it gets lost in the space of a constant friction that vibrates in unison in the distance. And all is silence.
I wake up in a child’s body, leaving that mighty landscape behind. Walking to the shore, I sit and see the sun as it reveals the instant of the waves brimming with micro-organisms that submerge into an ancestral and universal brew.
Amanecer, Retroceder, 2021
Petrified Dream, 2021
Space crab pure, 2021
charcoal on Tyvek
Courtesy the artist & Barro
Teflon Beast, 2021
Audio, single channel, stereo.
Duration: 61:25 minutes.
Soundtrack by Centolla Society (Pablo Duville and Matias Duville)
Commissioned by the Biennale of Sydney with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Argentina
Argentine artist Matias Duville creates large-scale drawings of uncanny geographies using charcoal – the charred wood relating to the barren, burnt, congealed, and devastated landscapes that are a recurring subject in his work. ‘I’m interested in the analogy between mental space and real space. My work dives into the depths of the mind to capture new geographies: it captures the unpredictable.’
‘At the Pangaea level, there is a strong connection between the American southern cone, New Zealand and Australia as they were once connected to the supercontinent Gondwana. There is natural evidence that millions of years ago both geographies merged into one. Australia was linked to Antarctica so there was a strong migratory flow of species. This was, therefore, a good starting point for a mirror work starting from Argentina and ending in Australia.’
– Matias Duville