The films of Argentinian artist Sebastian Diaz Morales depicts a solitary figure moving through an urban or rural landscape to highlight certain issues or absurd realities in human existence. These landscapes or cityscapes are further abstracted at times to resemble a stage backdrop by using a cinematic technique that highlights the edges. In this respect Diaz Morales’ film can be seen as a cross between theatre and cinema, while the absence of dialog and lack of a traditional beginning and ending adds to the ambiguity.
The Man With A Bag (2004) displays such ambiguity. Displayed in a 2 channel side-by-side format, with the subject viewed from different angles simultaneously, the film depicts a reality that is as surreal as it is fragmented, where the cause has no bearing on the effect and a man’s circumstance doesn’t justify his intentions.
In it, a man carries a bag running from something or someone, across the sparse Patagonian landscape, but we never see who or what he is running from. Half way into the film, he opens his bag to inspect its contents (of bones or rocks later) only to find himself standing in a place that’s has plenty of what he is carrying, scattered all over the ground.