Interview with David Martínez Suárez, author of 'Inercia'

The winner of the sixth edition of the LABjoven_Experimenta award tells us what his project is about

Published: Jul 10, 2013
Interview with David Martínez Suárez, author of 'Inercia'

John-117, character in the video game 'Halo?, rearticulated. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

By Semíramis González (@semiramis_glez), Semíramis en Babilonia.

We will have to wait until this October to view at LABoral the piece by David Martínez Suárez, the winner of the LABjoven_Experimenta award with his work Inercia [Inertia], but we wanted to go ahead and find out during the production process what this project is about.

The LABjoven_Experimenta Award, which is handed over this year in its sixth edition, is jointly called by LABoral and the Instituto Asturiano de la Juventud to reward experimental artistic projects specifically conceived to be installed at LABoral Centro de Arte (Gijón).

Inercia is a project with two points of departure. On one hand, the film Streets of Fire 1984 by Walter Hill, and on the other hand, the video games saga Halo (2001-present). In this piece, the artist creates a relationship between these two elements, focusing on the play between reality and fiction which is present in both the film and video game, as unreal spaces although they resemble a known city. From 11 October we will be able to enjoy this work at LABoral.

S: Inercia is the winning project of the LABjoven 2012 award – what is this installation with such a specific name about?
D: I took the title from a quote by Baudrillard. I thought it fitted in well with what I wanted for the project, a word with a very physical idea of movement and resistance, yet in principle it doesn´t give more information on what the work involves.

S: When it is shown, the piece will be an installation based on three elements – how does each one contribute towards understanding the overall meaning?
D: Well, there are really two elements in the work: the film Streets of Fire by Walter Hill and the video games saga Halo. The third element would be the articulation between them, it would respond to the adaptation of the work to reality, based on what is projected, to what occurs when formalising it.


Frame of the video that forms part of the installation. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

S: The line that you have followed throughout your career pays special attention to installations - why this format?
D: Maybe, to be honest I didn´t realise. I am interested in installation but as an articulation of the functioning of the object in the space and the body relationships that are established. I´m not interested in it from a theatrical staging perspective, where what happens is in the service of the performance of the play. Neither am I interested in it as a false participation - I remember visiting an installation where the staff in the hall indicated to you that it was a participative work, you had to move some of the projectors and I don´t remember what else. I found that what was being offered as participation with the spectator was a compulsory imposition, not participative. One should see for oneself how to relate with things, not understand art works with instruction manuals.


Frame of the video that forms part of the installation. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

S: The exhibition will be shown in October, What do you expect from the public who will come to see your piece? Is there a special relationship with people who stand in front of your work
D: I'm not really expecting a response, it will be up to each person to see what type of relationship or communication they want to have with what I´m proposing.  A comeback is always beneficial and the truth is that this rarely happens - I don´t know whether this is down to lack of interest, embarrassment or modesty in thinking you don´t understand what is there and appear foolish. What is clear though is that in any artistic work there is a desire to communicate, the need for an encounter through what has been produced.  Art has its own language through history, it is not a mere document limited to a historical account; works of arts from other periods (whatever it is) continue to speak to us in the language today.

S: How do you see the current artistic scene in Spain?
D: Well, it seems that there is still the tendency for two big centres, Madrid and Barcelona. But it seems that other spots such as Bilbao, Valencia, or Gijón also have spaces and a strong artist network. The truth is that there are very interesting works, artists with an extremely high level and I´m surprised that in many cases the visibility given to their works is very little.

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