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ÉXTASIS installation shots taken with camera-phone flash,
4 works mounted on a reflective fabric wall.
Blank Paper, Histoires du Présent Inmédiat at Les Rencontres d´Arles 2017

ÉXTASIS book, published by Dalpine, 2017

ÉXTASIS, second book by photographer Óscar Monzón, stands as a continuation of his analysis of technology and advertising, shifting his attention to the phenomenon of mass tourism. The proposal brings together a collection of landscapes made in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world: the Iguazú Falls, in Brazil and Argentina, which are crossed by diagonal lines suggesting the striking of these images while the object that interferes in the framing is progressively unveiled: the selfie-sticks of the tourists who visit this enclave and that complete the crossing out -X sign- of the landscapes we observe.

Through such mechanism Monzón creates a graphic synthesis that illustrates our gradual abandonment of reality, relegating the scenarios and experiences that it offers us to mere consumption objects mediated by digital technology and therefore also susceptible to be devoured and discarded in favor of the world of the images. Relying on a risky editorial design, the author strives to point out disappointment or disillusion as one of the main consequences derived from consumption and from the substitution of the world by the simulacrum of the images.
“Vertigo and nightmares imbue this introspective journey into the dark side of the shining world of appearances. A scene formed by dense atmospheres and dramatic lights frames these snapshots of “a brave new world” where happiness is dehumanized and, as Monzón shows us, is one with the apocalypse”. Joan Fontcuberta

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KARMA audiovisual piece 10:19min
Still, video and music by Óscar Monzón

App interactive version. The Portable Photo collection.

KARMA is a project that was carried out in Madrid between 2009 and 2013. It presents cars as a means of transport connected to the beings that inhabit them. Unconscious longings for our savage past are manifested in the aggressive designs of the bodywork and headlamps, inspired by predatory animals; in the boundless power of the motor or our behaviour when driving. The inner realities of humankind have their effect on the exterior. This work displays a free interpretation of the term ‘karma’, whose origins can be found in the Sanskrit noun ‘karman’.

Through a photographic language that eliminates any illusion of depth, bodywork and human skin are transferred to the same surface, revealing the result of a direct confrontation that emphasises the tension between these elements. Values like power, independence, autonomy or freedom are transformed into aggressiveness, separation, competitiveness and alienation in a discourse that offers the opposite message to the codes used in car advertisements, widely misused and ubiquitous.

KARMA, like a post-apocalyptic fiction of sorts, anticipates the definite fusion between man and machine: a possible future that is the result of entrusting technology with the evolution of our species. In this futuristic invocation we may find references to J.G. Ballard’s novel “Crash” or the film “Tetsuo: The Iron Man”, by Shinya Tsukamoto. The project is also inspired by the particular aesthetics of techno music, created in Detroit by the children of car factory workers. Strobe lighting, primary colours and beings enshrouded in darkness and alienated by technology are elements common to the aesthetics of techno and are palpable in the photographs of Karma and in the repetitive sequence of the book. The audiovisual piece, with the same title, reinterprets this approach through the music wroten by the artist as soundtrack to the cyclical movement of cars in a city that appears, once again, as a reflection of our own wheel, endlessly turning.

KARMA book first edition published by RVB Books / Dalpine 2013

KARMA book second edition published by RVB Books / Dalpine 2014

R-P-R (REPETITION-PATTERN-RYTHM) -Fragment- 2013. Video + Sound: Óscar Monzón

Installation shots at Teatro Fernán Gómez, Madrid. P2P Prácticas contemporáneas en la fotografía española. PHE 14

MMM is a project developed by Alejandro Marote -visual-, Óscar Monzón -dj and live programming-, Efrén Mur -visual programming- & Matías Eisen -samples and instrumentation-. It includes different disciplines: from a specific installation to an audiovisual live set.

The project integrates a sound collage built with bits of minimal techno and instrumental arrangements, with the composition of visual architectures, coming from a broad production of original photographs. The result of this collaborative process is a living organism that reveals its form through sound and image.

The link between two basic elements of perception, geometry & texture, fractures three-dimensional logic, by putting an emphasis on the repetition of rhythm patterns, and travelling to the inner forms through an endless chain of spheres & membranes.

Cyclic time is restored in the audience’s consciousness: the future can stay behind and the past plunge forwards.
ÓSCAR MONZÓN 1981 Málaga, SPAIN


RECENT EXHIBITIONS

2017
·ÉXTASIS. Your Selfie Stick and You. Lianzhou Photo Festival. CHINA
·Blank Paper, Stories of the Immediate Present. Rencontres d’Arles, FRANCE
·AutoPhoto. Fondation Cartier. Paris, FRANCE
2016
·ÉXTASIS -screening- La Nuit de l’Anée, Rencontres d’Arles, FRANCE
2015
·Gd4PhotoArt Award. Biennal FOTO/INDUSTRIA. MAST Gallery. Bologna, ITALY
·Under 35. IvoryPress, Madrid, SPAIN
·Photography Now! Vol.2 - Spanish New Horizon. IMA Gallery, Tokyo, JAPAN
·KARMA. GetxoPhoto Festival. Bilbao, SPAIN
2014
·KARMA. Breda Photo Festival, HOLLAND
·KARMA. PHotoEspaña Off. Fresh Gallery, Madrid, SPAIN
·Fotolibros. Aquí y Ahora. Fotocolectania, Barcelona, SPAIN


SELECTED AWARDS

2015
·GD4PhotoArt Award. Foto/Industria Biennal, MAST Foundation
·Nominated at Prix Pictet
2013
·First PhotoBook Award, Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation
·Finalist at First Book Award. National Media Museum / MACK
2007
·Art and Photography Creation grant from the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
Residency at Colegio de España in Paris


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

·ÉXTASIS. Dalpine 2017
·AutoPhoto. Éditions Xavier Barral 2017
·Under 35. IvoryPress 2015
·Photography Now! Vol.2 - Spanish New Horizon. IMA 2015
·KARMA. RVB Books / Dalpine 2013