Three Anachronisms

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The video installation “Three Anachronisms ” is a trilogy produced by Mario Asef between 2010 and 2012, in which the artist reflects on three aspects of the constitution of reality. 1. the appropriation and structuring of space, 2. the construction of time and 3. the relationship between information, nature and culture. But this trilogy is not a philosophical treatise, showing the functioning of these categories. The reality that Asef observes is constituted by deficiencies in three different kind of orders: the paradox , the coincidence and the failure.

The title reveals that the work is composed of three parts, which in turn indicates how the parts relate to each other. Although three videos were produced in a continuous period of time, the relationship between them is not time – or space. Like a medieval altar when deployed in their wings, in which each part represents different events occurring in different spaces and times, building a narrative that links different events, Asef’s videos are presenting singular facts. On the whole, however, the trilogy builds a representation of the event of Asef’s research (social reality as a construct), the variety of approaches, contexts and reflections come to change and destabilizing reality itself exposing their shortcomings.

The urge to ask about reality is given in advance and the formal aspects of video. Close to a almost pasiv camera, Asef dispenses the staging. The facts are far away so that the artist can modify them directly. The fixed camera and the presence of common places (the terrace , the museum, the square) confirm here that the camera is negotiating with what is put in charge directly without preamble. The presence of a theoretical body, which is the basis for his work, the constant readings of sociological, philosophical and archaeological theories construct the objectivist building from which Asef casts on reality.

However, Asef demonstrates, this building is full of cracks and at risk of collapse: Reality and objective look come to be refuted from the realm of words. With the use of language Asef separates the video from his documentary content and purpose. In each of the videos, the text does not run as a subtitle, but as title, positioned in the center of the image itself, breaking the hegemony of this enthroned in the middle of our field.

While the use of textual -visuals make the ground of the building tremble, irony –an important feature on Asef’s work– completely destroys this building. Heir of the tradition of Argentine literature, where the derision on reality allows to open hyperreal worlds that never stop to reproduce itself (Cortazar and Borges), Asef destabilizes images, concepts and categories with which we build the platforms for which we travel reality. To provoke laughter, Asef allows us to enter a new order of the visual and begin to think the unthinkable .

In some cases , especially in „Edad de Hielo“, irony emerges with absolute stylistic elegance. Here the “subject matter” is only one, a plastic bag. It moves on a grid plane formed by the tiles of a square. The movement serves as a metonymy of movement between Y – X, the variables of space and time of a Cartesian plane, where we can generate scientific conclusions. However, when you look closely, the tiles are cracked, or out of square, so the mathematical grid that measures the movement ends in maladjustment, failing and causing uncertainty about the conclusions, the origins of those and their causes.

Jorge Sanguino

La siesta en la Alcazaba

„La Siesta en la Alcazaba“ draws a line through the urbane landscape around the Alcazaba of Almeria, Spain for telling the story about the make of cities and the evolutionary process of appropriation and domestication of space.
duration: 7’ 34’’ min
Mario Asef © 2012


The consecutive shots between the interior and the garden of a museum are the starting point for a speculative reflection on time and its ways of representation.
duration: 6’ 06’’ min

Mario Asef © 2013/14

Edad de Hielo

On an elevated, concrete area a plastic bag is picked up by the wind, spinning it on its axis and pushing it around a pedestrian zone in a circle. Several passersby come into contact with the bag, shifting it off its course. But eventually the bag returns to its original starting point, thus completing a cycle.

duration: 8’ 48’’ min
Mario Asef © 2011


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