Martin Sastre

Martin Sastre
Born 1976 BirthMontevideo, Uruguay.
Lives and works in HomeMadrid, Spain.

Martin Sastre
About a True Hollywood Story

by Jean-Paul Felley & Olivier Kaeser

If we are to believe the film E ! True Hollywood Story, Martin Sastre
spent his entire childhood attached to a chair placed in front of a
television that was on constantly. Those years spent swallowing credits,
films, advertisements, music videos, logos and the news, all underscored
by 1980’s pop and disco sounds, moulded him to the cult of success,
celebrity, wealth, power and glamour, without any real distinction made
between shock images from world news and chic images of Hollywood
movies. A few years later, Sastre made an implacable realisation, i.e.,
he who controls fiction possesses power over the future. He therefore
came to adopt all the excesses of those English-language “models” and
adapted them to his situation with complete impunity. He scornfully
looks at the rest of the world from Montevideo, his unjustly ignored
native city, “the cradle of the history of video” and capital of
Uruguay, “a country that is the result of a failed Western experiment,
postmodernism”. Following the decline of Hollywood, Uruguay and the
other Spanish-American countries started churning out remakes one after
the other, which earned them success and wealth.

Sastre quickly included the world of art in his exploration of the star
system. He challenges Matthew Barney to an epic duel in a spanking brand
new contemporary art museum, and took advantage of the opportunity to
remind the American star that while some bring up the apocalypse when
talking about him, Sastre prefers to speak of evolution. Sastre has
presented Tom Cruise as a vampire from a world of dreams. He has rushed
to the aid of Britney Spears, bearing before him a giant cotton swab to
provide her with relief for her overly hyped “virginity”. And he has
even allowed himself to arrange for the reappearance of Lady Di eight
years after her accident, in a humble neighbourhood of Montevideo which
assumed a new aspect, in the eyes of the world.

The artist’s mordant sarcasm has never prohibited a form of
self-derision that is equal to anything that can be thrown at it. And so
the Martin Sastre Foundation offers one and all the chance to adopt a
Latin American artist and use your Visa or your Mastercard to pay
directly for the opportunity. An unrepentant looter, Sastre reveals in
film excerpts or CNN clips, juggles with advertising and television
effects, creates animated sequences, shoots his own images, and serves
it all up with a masterful understanding of film editing. Dreams are his
secret. On planet Sastre, it is “Prada for all”. Whew, it was about

Taken from the catalogue of the “11ème Biennale de l’Image en
Mouvement”, Saint Gervais Geneva, Switzerland, 2005