Q&A with Menabrea Art Prize winner Diego Marcon

Interlude (introducing Dick the Stick), 2014
Animation on paper, color, sound, 2′
Scan from working sketch


Diego Marcon (1985) has won the Menabrea Art Prize 2013 organized by Untitled Association and Birra Menabrea. Thanks to winning the prize, he realized the work Interlude (introducing Dick the Stick) of which here we publish some sketches. We asked Diego some questions about his practice.

Unlike your early videos, which had an amateur sheen not far from Jonathan Caouette and Harmony Korine, one of your recent works – Pour vos beaux yeux – represents reality in an abstract way. What are the existential and professional passages that contributed to this shift?

Each work can be seen as a further step in tracing a thought. Into this path, every biographical event is decisive for the work, but at the same time no one is, because biography does not exist than as a fake, a fiction – an abstraction. This is why Pour vos beaux yeux can be considered an abstract film, because – at the opposite – it is also the effort to reach a deep part of the real – the try not to represent it, but to present it.

Thanks to winning the Menabrea Art Prize you produced an animation, titled “Interlude (introducing Dick the Stick)”. Can you tell us more about this work? Is the off-screen voice inspired by Robert smithson’s voice in his film Spiral Jetty?

Interlude (introducing Dick the Stick) is an animation on paper sonorized through the voice. The work is loosely based on a recollection that Georges Perec uses as preface to Espèces d’espaces. Interlude takes form in three acts and is a film about an orderly – Dick – that polishes a boot. It is not inspired by Smithson’s film about the Spiral Jetty; his work stands between rocks and water. “Interlude” shapes into the nothingness that the cities – like Paris – in their painful and vulgar way to be, reveal better than the desert.

A few years ago, to describe your work, a critic wrote: “… The result is a frontierline “film form”, the visual and narrative substance of which moves on the contamination between the different elements at play. It’s a visual experimentation on the move.” Do you still consider this to be a valid interpretation?

I consider my work itself as a frontier – and as a front.

Last year you were in residence at the Centre International d’Art et du Paysage and after that you have chosen to stay and live in France. What are you working on at the moment?

Right now I am still working with Dick. He will be also the protagonist of a book that will be published in September by Cura.books.


Dick takes a nap.
Scan from working sketch


Dick checks a gunshot wound.
Scan from working sketch


Gee, this time they hit him on the head!
Scan from working sketch


According with the first of the Cartoons Laws of Physics, Dick remain suspended in space until he is aware of the situation.
Scan from working sketch


Dick tries to read his hand – but is the left one that should be read, not the right one.
Scan from working sketch


“Is the birdie dead or alive?!”
Scan from working sketch