Lecture 4: Edgar Martins

Edgar Martins works on both long-term commissions and personal projects, he’s created work using night photography, architectural photography and also studies institutions which is guided by his interest in philosophy to do with the character and paradoxes of the medium.
Not only has he published more than a dozen books but he has also exhibited his photographs internationally.

He combines analogue and digital to expand the possibilities of photography.

On his website (http://www.edgarmartins.com) Martins has twenty different pieces of work he has created over the years. During his talk he tried to cover most of the projects he has worked on, but mainly wanted to focus of his newest work Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes (2016). Within the information for this project found on Martins’s website he states that “This project attempts to understand our relationship to death, particularly violent death (namely suicide), and photography’s role in this process.”. His work is also a note to how the media has an inability to represent death.

Shown above are just a few examples from the series of images, in the work he also includes archival images, and various objects and evidence to do with deaths.
The paper plane shown on the left was inspired by a person who through one out of their prison window. In his most recent exhibition of the work he created an installation of the paper planes.

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Destinerrance: The Place of the Dead is the Place of Photography at Centro de Arte José de Guimarães, Guimarães (Portugal) (2017)

I thought this was a very effective an interesting way to display this piece of work, a paper plane is such a physical object, made to be picked up and thrown that it does not impact the viewer by just seeing it through a photograph.

The photograph of the rope, shown in the centre, comes as part of a series of its own. It was only in his most recent exhibition that they were even a part of the exhibited work.

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Destinerrance: The Place of the Dead is the Place of Photography at Centro de Arte José de Guimarães, Guimarães (Portugal) (2017)

They were displayed in a darkened room on their own. In a way these images are the most sensitive and intimate out of all his work shown within this project, and I can understand why it is only now that he has decided to show them. These are ropes which people have used to commit suicide, they’re never shown in the media but are just put away in evidence. The images are very powerful, through having a black background you are forced to see them, they are not photographed to be ignored.

The image to the right of the rope, shows a crumpled piece of paper. This was inspired by the creases found on suicide notes which Martins has recreated and photographed.
Within his exhibitions the work is shown with text which Martins has not made available online. The text he uses is interchangeable and can be put next to any of his pieces of work.

It was amazing to see all of the work Edgar Martins has created, seeing how he has explored the medium of photography in different ways throughout the years, always trying something new.

 

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