press release

This will be the first UK one-person exhibition of Uruguayan artist, Martin Sastre. His work is an ironic and humorous commentary on the international art scene, from the eyes of a Latin American artist trying to establish himself in the mainstream art world.

Sastre set up the Martin Sastre Foundation for Super-Poor Latin American artists, with the slogan, ‘Adopt a Latin American Artist’. The foundation has at its heart the opportunity to sponsor artists from the ‘periphery who normally do not have the economic means of access to international circuits’. The Foundation highlights a set of values regarding status and fame that have become the local currency of the contemporary art world.

For his first show in Sheffield, Sastre will be showing his most recent commissioned videos. Videoart: The Iberoamerican Legend is a high-art history lesson, in which Sastre blames the death of video art on Matthew Barney – and claims a profitable afterlife for himself. With the aim of restructuring the grand narratives & their audiences, Martin Sastre begins by presenting a frozen narrator from the end of time. ‘The Iberoamerican Legend’ is the story of a Latin American who tells true lies and exhibits a handful of bizarre fetish / cult objects for an era that doesn’t know what to worship anymore.

The accompanying video, 'Montevideo, The Dark Side of The Pop' for which Sastre has just won the best young video artist award at ARCO, Madrid,continues the story, but now set in the year 2092. A teenage prodigy is sent to Montevideo by the ‘European Centre of Intelligence,’ to find out the secret behind Martin Sastre’s success. As everybody knows behind every success there is always a secret, a pact.

In following the route of this Uruguayan artist the teenage investigator discovers a deserted capital city, a forgotten place in far South America that could be hiding more than a simple secret of success, an occidental experiment which could be a vision of the future European Union.

Martin Sastre was recently selected for the 2003 Havanna Bienale. His recent solo shows include ARCO 04 Project Room, Madrid 2004; Ruth Benzacar Gallery, Buenos Aires 2003; Casa de America, Madrid 2002 and Engelman Ost Collection, Montevideo.

Selected Group Exhibitions include Playlist, Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Superyo MALBA, Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, "Video X" Momenta Art, New York; You Think I'm Supeficial. Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art, Palm Beach 2002; III Bienale of Mercosur, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2001.

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Martin Sastre