08 September, 2009
Martin Sastre - London
Martin Sastre: We are the World (Something has to Change for Everything to Stay the Same)
8 - 30 September 2009
The Hayward Gallery
London, SE1 8XX
This September the Hayward Gallery Project Space presents an exhibition of works by the Uruguayan artist Martin Sastre. This will be his first exhibition in a major UK institution.
Sastre's videos combine a love of trashy pop culture with witty meditations on global politics. He is fascinated by the notion of the cover version or remake, and describes his work as existing 'on the frontier between reality and fiction'.
In the animated video KIM X LIZ (2008), viewers see the flowering of an unexpected love affair between Hollywood actress Elizabeth Taylor and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, who is a well-known fan of Taylor's. Sastre is fascinated by these two figures, who he sees not only as real people but also fictional characters created by the desires of societies driven by the cult of celebrity and the cult of personality.
Making its debut at the Hayward Gallery Project Space is Sastre's latest work, Ride with Obama (2009). Continuing Sastre's enquiry into impersonations and the rewriting and re-depiction of reality, the film shows the artist visiting a Madrid theme park in the company of a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to President Barack Obama. Here the two men from the Americas explore the rides and inhabit the theme park, which represents a place in Europe where artifice dominates and authenticity has slipped out of sight.