Sebastian Betancur-Montoya

Sebastian Betancur-Montoya
Coming from a background in architecture and urban design, Sebastián has worked for 15 years in a blurry intersection between sculpture, installation, drawing and performance as his more intimate practice; and curating public art from an urban planning and landscape architecture perspective on a much larger scale.


A common conceptual thread legible in his artwork is the constant preoccupation for the body[ies] and its relation with[in] the surrounding space and its limits/conditions; the themes of home, language, migration, belonging and uprooting have become unavoidable for someone as him, who has lived on the move, away from his birth place half of his life.

Sebastián´s work has been part of exhibitions, publications, art residencies, and art fairs in Colombia, The Bahamas, Qatar, Russia, and Germany and participated in other events such as The 2015 Oslo Architecture Triennial, the 2015 Kuwait pavilion for the Venice Biennale, NYT art for tomorrow 2016, and the 2018 Istanbul design Biennial.

Abi and Sebastián´s collaboration is the product of a long series of conversations and an intention to explore together a common fascination for the Arabian Gulf shifting landscape and the contrast the man-made, architecture, objects, and materials sprawling in the region. The decision to work in the uncharted -for both- field of video art came as an attempt to meet in a neutral ground to build a piece beyond their individual work, a hybrid of their conceptual interests and technical skills: photography-image making and performance-sculpture.

The idea of a slowly moving photograph became also a poetic medium to transmit their vision, one of a universal and inapprehensible character[s], that at once shapes the environment around them and is reciprocally being shaped by it in their constant state of transit.


Fata Morgana

Us, humans, the one species present in every latitude of the earth have never really settled, from hunters and gatherers to refugees and expats. Throughout human history reasons for exploration vary; trade, fear, ambition, or curiosity. Still nomads, our quest to chart every reachable corner has been fundamental to the dissemination of symbolic structures growing from wealth and power into different forms around the globe.

Fata Morgana balances between that primal urge to explore the unknown and the instinctive need to make a home and belong...

Pulling or being pulled? Coming, going or returning? The physicality of struggle, disappearance and emergence within this piece becomes a metaphor reflecting on Poetics and Politics, Geography and Geometry, Dreams and Death, as well as memories of Future and Past. With the uncertainty and hope of new beginnings across the ocean, the transient figures glimmer and nearly blend into their surroundings, flirting with symbolisms of ritual: the platonic geometry, immersion/ascension, and their perpetual journey. These travellers move oblivious of any limits but their own, challenging the very notion of borders; which are, anyway, invisible and futile drawings of power onto an ever-shifting landscape defiant of any divisions.

Inspired by the artists own attempts of somehow always carrying home with them, the piece is a video loop meditating on the emotional ebb and flow of the many departures and the inevitability of a return.

A return home, that whether it be a place, memory, feeling, or a word it is always a reflection of oneself.