Friday, May 27, 2005

Miguel Angel Rios's "A Morir (‘til Death)"

Ask me what art I've recently seen that has truly impressed me and often times I'll struggle. I see so much that often I forget I had seen something until someone reminds me, and then I'll be like "Oh yeah, that was great!"

Thanks to Tyler Green, I just had that experience again. In a post about what he saw during a recent trip to the Hirshhorn, Tyler informed us that they've recently purchased a piece I first saw at the Reina Sofia in Madrid: Miguel Angel Rios's gorgeous and highly compelling three-channel video installation, "A Morir (‘til Death)" (the awful installation shot on the Hirshhorn's site doesn't do the piece justice...see this page for a better sense of the imagery). This is the best description of the piece I've found in English:

[A] three-channel video installation shot in Tepoztlan, Mexico; the work focuses on a popular street game called "trompos" that involves spinning tops. Viewed from multiple perspectives, the video begins with one spinning top and culminates in a cacophonous profusion of numerous tops in a single game that includes thirty of the most skilled players in town, aged 14 to 50. Through the documentation of this simple scenario, dynamics of competition, invasion and territorialism are signaled both visually and aurally. The lyrical movement of the tops is accompanied by their intense, sycopating sound. Confined within a white grid painted on asphalt, the masses speak to both space and subjectivity. The relative violence is complicated by the game’s high formality and beauty. A Morir (’til Death) negotiates both politics and poetics in abstracting narrative about urban sprawl, congestion, and war.
Nearly everyone who saw the installation in Madrid remarked that it reminded them (and I agree) of Shirin Neshat's 3-channel video installation at the last Documenta (the buzzing tops looking like nothing so much as Neshat's group of women in burkas on the beach perhaps). I rarely say this, but if you're in DC, do NOT miss the Rios piece.


Anonymous bambino said...

Thats really great one.

5/27/2005 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jackmormon said...

Anything that reminds you of Neshat sounds good to me. I loved that installation at the Documenta.

5/28/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

me too jackmormon...I had the interesting experience of watching the film while Neshat herself was there. I kept watching her watch the viewers watching her piece...she's so lovely to watch in and of herself, it was an exquisite experience.

5/28/2005 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous nsowcrash said...

I saw this @ Reina Sofia four weeks ago, and I must say, it impressed me nearly as much as standing in front of Guernica 30min. later. A great piece of work!

6/05/2005 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Eduardo said...

I saw "´til death" during june 2004 in a Mexico´s City curatorial space, called CANAIA, (in "Las ecuaciones de Lotka-Volterra" show), it was installed in a more or less small room, in such condition, the sound was incredible, and made the spinning tops seem like snakes ....

7/26/2005 11:13:00 PM  

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