To Pour Milk into a Glass

David Lamelas

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1946
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Chromogenic print on paper
  • Dimensions: 
    Variable dimensions
  • Edition/serial number: 
    1/3 + 1 A.P.
  • Media description: 
    16 mm film (colour, sound, 7'35") and eight photographs in an only set (235 x 26 cm)
  • Category: 
    Installation, Film, Photography
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

To Pour Milk into a Glass is framed by the period in which David Lamelas lived and worked in London, where he became familiar with British conceptual art. This experience, along with his interest in semiotics as a scholarly discipline, led him to investigate the structure of language and the idea of time as duration, two elements that are visible in this work.
In this installation Lamelas proposes a dialogue between a series of eight still photographs, framed and following a sequence, and the projection of a 16mm film that develops these images in movement. A simple gesture, introduced in the very title of the work, is repeated with slight variations – the glass is half filled, the content overflows, the glass breaks, the milk spills on the table – and constitutes the film’s only action. Lamelas rejects any type of narration or human presence, and the filmic code – reduced and dissected – comprises the only argument. In the words of the artist: “I wanted to find a symbol for 'container' and its 'content,' to reflect how the camera frames and what is shown on the screen.” In the work there is also an underlying intention on the part of the Argentinean artist to encourage the spectator to reflect on the medium and the message, the mechanisms involved in the production of meaning, and also the transmission and reception of information.

Lola Hinojosa