“Time is the substance from which I am made. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire“. Jorge Luis Borges
Hamish Morrison Galerie is delighted to present an exhibition in their off-space Im Büro by the Venezuelan artist Marco Montiel-Soto. It is his first exhibition in the gallery.
“Ich gehe nie, komme immer zurück” (“I never depart, I always return“), this and other aphorisms, Marco Montiel-Soto types with an old Olivetti typewriter in German, English or Spanish onto long narrow bands of old till receipt roles, which he then pins beside each other in an installation of vertical strips on the wall. The installation is entitled “Stop the plane! I need to return”. Himself a traveller and an immigrant, Montiel-Soto constantly finds himself returning; returning to his home of Maracaibo or from there returning to his chosen home of Berlin. He moves in transition from German through English to his mother-tongue Spanish and back again.
This invariable process of returning leads him constantly into his future. Montiel-Soto uses the confusion of this paradoxical time travel like a prism of the mind. If the future can be revealed through a process of returning, then memories can equally be filled with hope. The starting point and goal of his journey becomes imaginary, they are the artist’s dream locations that melt into one another. Points of orientation on his travels are provided by experiences and artefacts of other people’s experiences, things heard, seen and dreamt. Thus, with the artist’s work, his very personal Musée Sentimental comes into existence.
As time does not evolve in a linear fashion for the artist but permanently fuses present and past, many supposedly bygone techniques and materials are always brand new: typewriters, till receipt roles, old post cards, text, video, cassettes, slides, objects, installations, cabinets of art and wonder, photos of photos of originals that have been manually manipulated, etc. Thus through the melancholy undertone, present in almost all works, arises an entirely conscious composition. It is therefore basically self-evident that Marco Montiel-Soto is a passionate collector of things. He collects foreign memories, which he lovingly adopts and that effortlessly integrate themselves into the family of his own memories.
The experience that overlaps the collective and individual memories of different cultures, within a certain period of immigration, inevitably causes the insecurity of personal identity and corruption of the essence of a coherent identity in general. Amongst others, questions arise: what does one actually lose when one believes to have lost a part of oneself? Is it possible to fill these gaps again with incidentally found or imagined memories, experiences and possibilities? Is the illusion not equal to the alleged reality?
Through their beautiful poetic presentation, Montiel-Soto’s very personal questions become an empathetic mirror of our desire to accept our own states of internal turmoil. This reflection of poetic-like identities also provides the possibility for a global communal vision of diversification, whose verbal link amongst others, the English language is able to provide.
Marco Montiel-Soto was born in Maracaibo (Venezuela) in 1976. In 2002 he graduated from the Julio Vengoechea School of Photography. After extensive travels across Europe, he settled in Berlin. In 2011 he graduated from the Universität der Kunst (Berlin) with a Masters of Sound Studies. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions in South America, the USA and Europe. Marco Montiel-Soto lives and works in Berlin and Maracaibo.
Lisa Gelhard, 2011