Between the speed and the calm. The work of Marco Casado.

By Kerstin Erdmann

 

“There are eyes everywhere. No blind spot left. What shall we dream of when everything becomes visible? We'll dream of being blind.”  ― Paul Virilio

 

Mexico is characterized by a baroque style in many ways, not only in the architecture of buildings, but in all social structures of life. Widespread chaos, excessive spectacle consumption, and a lush historical heritage that  goes hand in hand with the temperament of the majority of Mexicans. The history of this country is rich in many ways, but at the same time extreme and painful. Many foreigners are attracted to that gap, to those sporadic moments of order in the chaotic. Everyday scenes that concatenate with the lack of organization, and the disdain for order culminate in improvised ways and structures of life.  But how can a contemporary artist absorb this reality? How can a Mexican artist take away or separate that reality in his work? Does he become minimal, conceptual, spiritual, or creates autonomous spaces of representation carried away by the middle or the extreme path?. In the work of video artist and film maker Marco Casado, various complex aspects converge in singular ways and in the creation of a parallel universe in which absurdity, sarcasm and nihilism meet.

 

In his work, he manages to present the dominance of a contemporary neo-baroque style, characterized by a saturation of images, in which figures and ambiguous characters are part of an oblique and technologically dominated reality. On the other hand he creates contrasting moments of reflection and tranquility that are permeated with eastern motives, values and philosophical states of empty contemplation.  His films are characterized by an aesthetic in which each frame is a piece in itself. Narrative and concept join in a series of communication systems that are discrete, and sometimes remain hidden to the superficial spectator. The themes in his videos are not simple and are usually a mixture of drama and abstraction, love, dreams, crime, suffering and life in the city.  At the same time the creator makes direct and constant references to the apparatus, to the technology he uses, and to the structure of the very system of communication, language in its various forms.  In the same vein, the history of photography, video, film and literature are sub-themes that find a place in many of his projects. Whether as texts alluding to the poetics of spoken language or to certain strangeness that connects his videos with the films of D. Lynch.  

 

The familiar and the known are constantly challenged in his work. Reality and fiction are mixed giving rise to the question: can we believe everything we see?, everything we hear?. In his videos sound has a core value, he has said that sound has a higher importance than image, or that the value of an image is dependent of the value of the sound that accompanies it, which is seen in the recurrent use of sound atmospheres.

 

The themes that the artist presents in his videos are also reflected in his photography. Meta-language and the conscious use of media are constant references in the way they complement each other; series of photographs of cameras and televisions and the way each contains or becomes subject matter of the other. The variation and the sequence as a recurrent theme in the representation of objects or situations. The representation of social issues that mainly deal with beggars and people living in the streets, the city as a complex structure full chaos and organized disorder. The screen as a living organism and as a omnipresent channel or medium of flux and transmission of energy in which simplicity it is wrapped in a game of languages. Besides that, image manipulation has allowed him to create absurd and artificial compositions that are loaded with black humor and a tone of cynicism that gives us an opportunity to reflect in a world resulted of the exacerbation of spectacle and the frantic development of media...; and at the end, to experiment the world vision of an artist shaped by a convulsive and expressive country like Mexico.