Art Sales Index, O Resto é Silencio, Defesa da Europa Decadente y Latin America

Milton Marques

24 June 2007

Books, electric mechanisms and magnets. Variable dimensions

Courtesy: the artists; Galería Leme, São Paulo; and private collections

Milton Marques (Brasilia, 1971) experiments with cameras, motors, printers, computers, projectors and low-tech gadgets, using them in conjunction with objects and situations that don’t usually require them, in an attempt to create singular experiences. The new purposes that he finds for these gadgets once they are stripped of their original functions are disconcerting to the viewer, and offer a glimpse of a mechanical poetry, which is what the artist is interested in exploring. Technology loses its usefulness, and hand-crafted objects become surreal, as in the case of the artist’s magnetized books.
Basic impulses still drive technology, and it can be thought provoking to distort the original functions that some machines were designed for. Milton Marques uses irony to seek these kinds of alternatives, questioning original purposes and disrupting the most complicated parts in order to end up with the simplest possible uses (or disuses). Ultimately, the artist aims to question society’s current dependence on technology, our eagerness to throw things away, to buy the latest gadget on the market and get our hands on the newest application.
Marques finds the elements he uses to create his works in second-hand stores and flea markets. And if his purchase doesn’t work, he couldn’t be happier: a zero point of departure from which to give it a different use. In his works, which lie somewhere between the audiovisual and the sculptural, the important thing is to arouse our critical nature and lead us to a new perceptual experience. There is still room for irony in a world of technological hyper-development.
Marques’s magnetized books are completely useless, the reader and owner cannot even open them to read them because the magnets deposited on their surface have usurped ownership. Through a kind of childish experiment that cannot be clearly explained and produces useless results, the book becomes a sculpture.