Smashing Monuments, 2022 - Autostrada Biennale

Smashing Monuments, 2022

Artist: Sebastián Díaz Morales & Ruangrupa

Venue: Hangar 2

Smashing Monuments, a film by artist and filmmaker Sebastián Díaz Morales, is a heartfelt conversation about past and future. It follows five members of the Indonesian artist collective ruangrupa as they roam the streets of Jakarta and engage in personal conversations with iconic monuments that mark their city and their history. Even though doomed to eternal silence, the monuments emote and come alive through these intimate conversations. Anchoring itself in the personal stories of the artists, the film navigates the Indonesian fight for independence and the latest socioeconomic, commercial, and urban developments of the city. These themes are articulated through values that are important to ruangrupa’s practice, such as friendship, generosity, endurance, and others. Although they are static sites of remembrance and collective memory, these monuments pierce the sociocultural layers of Jakarta’s urban fabric, archiving realities and depictions of power, progress, dreams, and illusions. The film invites viewers to look at monuments as multidimensional entry points both into the history and the future of a community, linking personal, collective, and ideological histories across time and generations. In his films, Díaz Morales critically investigates particular sociopolitical, urban, and cultural contexts by questioning the idea of a single objective reality. Approaching reality as fictional and constructed, his filmmaking surpasses the idea of documenting what is observed and becomes a companion in exploring the multitude of possibilities and meanings of reality.

Sebastián Díaz Morales (1975) was born in Comodoro Rivadavia and lives and works in Amsterdam. Ruangrupa is an artist collective based in Jakarta.

Text by Ieva Laube

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