Monday, May 6, 2013

Interview: Sebastian Diaz Morales

By Bas

Letting go of your work and having someone play with it without having anything to say can be hard. Argentinian video artist Sebastian Diaz Morales dared to surrender his work to the mercy of experimental guitarists Raphael Vanoli and Mark Morse, for Cinesonic's latest session last April. He kindly answered a few questions on this project and his work in general.

First of all, what were your thoughts when you first heard about using your work for a Cinesonic screening? Did you need to be convinced or did you like it right away?

I can say I was a bit reluctant when giving away the work for re-editing. I didn’t have to think about it that much with Oracle and The Apocalyptic Man. With Insight the story is different since it has been finished last year and only showed once here in the country.

For the three works used in this screening, what was the original soundtrack like? Was it anything like the score provided by Raphael and Mark?

There is no similarity what so ever. Only part of The Apocalyptic Man bridged with the sort of aggressiveness of the image and its original sound track but in any case it was of another nature. Let’s say their original tracks are not that musical.

What did you think of the end result?

They added an element of mystery that is not embedded in the original soundtrack and less visible in the total atmosphere of the works. This new soundtrack reinforces that aspect. It was a great event and proposition which fitted the moment and played smoothly with the films. The works embraced the music but didn’t change their aspect.

What was it like to let go of your work, at least as far as sound was concerned, especially with regards to Insight, which only premiered recently at this years International Film Festival Rotterdam?

As I said, that was a bit difficult and I proposed another one instead of Insight but then Bass insisted and since I respect his general vision on the matter of things I agreed. Probably I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t personally know the background of the proposition. Also I realized that Insight plays with these multiple points of view given by the shuttering of the mirror. It is like a big puzzle trying to make sense of what we see and perceive so another point of view on this would be consequentially coherent with the concept.

At first sight, the three films seem very different in style and tone, can you explain what is the common ground of these three productions, and of your work in general?

Mainly I intend to permeate into reality, and by using the given elements of this, relocate its meaning transforming and shaping it into other optional fictions. I do see reality as a big fiction and that construction arises for me a lot of questions, which in my work I reformulate. As for the formal aspects, there are many, and using this theme as the core of the work and process I explore the diversities and capabilities of the medium film/video to make a point on it.

Your work has been screened in movie theatres, as installations in galleries and this time it was accompanied by a live soundtrack. Is there any way you prefer your work to be shown, and if so, why?

These film/video works have different facets, and as such, depending on the nature of them, they can exist either as an installation or on a theatre. Though my latest works are fit better for display as an installation.

Raphael and Mark told me most of the music they played was improvised, mainly based on the mood and rhythm of your imagery. Does this method of working also apply to your work?

Improvisation is always an option when traversing the process of working. Either this can take place when shooting or when editing. A lot of these works depend on a script which is based either on a story or an idea. That’s the departure point, but from there on the paths can be multiple.

Check out Sebastian Diaz Morales' work here