Conversation with Matías Duville

You have been raised between sea and forest. Your work has to do with lanscapes, would you say they are more like « unknown territories » ?

I spent many years between sea and forest, and my work has something to do with this period of my life, but at the same time I don’t remember anything in relation with art when I was there, until I was 22. I used to skate which I still do, but now I live in a big city that has no waves.
I did my Art school at Mar del Plata, also called « the Silver Sea », but when I moved to Buenos Aires I started to work with this idea of « distance », the distance in terms of territory but also in terms of the depths of my mind. In a way, I was also searching deep in my mind,.

Although you first expressed this distance through drawings, there is a real dialogue in this show between sculptures and drawings.

Sculptures are part of my last production, but this has been recent, in the last 3 or 4 years. In this show there is a close relationship between sculptures and drawings and it is certainly the first time that I introduce « myself », my own presence, in a show. This transpires through the large drawing, Some Reason, with the sculpture of the foot prints in front of it, Bridge.
The foot prints look like rocks but when you look closely, you find some traces of ordinary shoes, it is a way to mix my presence as a common viewer and as the artist. I feel like I am there but at the same time I feel invisible.
When I produce a piece I cross many levels. I can stay very close but also I can disappear.

What do you specifically express with these outstanding dimensions in your drawings?

The size helps me to « be » inside the drawing. At the same time it is also a sort of mirror of my mind. This big drawing of waste lands (Untitled) is a chemistry between geography and psychology, it is also a reaction of my mind. I imagine myself in this big landscape, what happens if I decide to dry a river or cut a mountain ? I can feel my presence and one minute after I feel like a stranger to the work. The large drawing may also be in a way like a sculpture, you feel the trace of the big charcoal. It is a mix between something physical and a perception of my mind.

The project room appears like a « path», a sort of strange outdoor « wandering » signified by the sculptures …

The sculptures lead the viewers on several levels. I built Fireplace made of wood and I burnt it, I froze the moment. You can use the material of the fireplace also to draw, that dark area where I can take some contents to produce new narratives. The fireplace is a way to mix indoor, the interior of your home, with outdoor. Almost all the pieces of the exhibition are « outdoor » works: foot prints, drawings about waste lands, the new drawings of palmtrees …
The fireplace is the only object which places you inside/indoor. I use the fireplace to produce some tension between the viewer and the « universe ».
The sculpture Linked, Unlinked is also about landscape, but it is also a living work, the hooks leave traces on the salt until the end of the show …
When I thought about the show, I was imagining a different work from the other pieces to place at the center of the space. So I thought to build a sort of bed, full of salt. I placed a circle with linked hooks on the salt and with humidity they would get rusty. The work changes everyday . Even without hooks there would be red traces. It is the idea of an « eternal work ».

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