Both large- and small-scale Digital C-Type Matt Prints were produced for the show, comprising of previously unseen works from Martins’ most recent projects: Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes (2016-17), and What Photography has in Common with an Empty Vase (2018).
Martins uses photography to develop a philosophical, quasi-scientific investigation, examining various minimalist concepts of the contemporary urban landscape. Moving between the factual and fictional, between the concrete and the metaphorical, the artist operates within a landscape of uncertainty, permanent flux, transition and opposition. Destinerrance is themed on the object of the letter as a medium of documentation, visibility, and absence, represented here through abstraction, association, with collages and investigative still lives.
Destinerrance is a term proposed by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida in his seminal book La Carte Postale. According to the author, Destinerrance combines notions of destination and destiny with error or errancy. The images included in this exhibition tap into Derrida’s conception of Destinerrance; the work explores the philosophical concept of absence and addresses a broader consideration of the status of the photograph when questions of visibility and documentation overlap.
From a humanist perspective, the work seeks to reflect on how one deals with the absence of a loved one, brought on by enforced separation. From an ontological perspective it seeks answers to the following questions: how does one represent a subject that eludes visualization, that is absent or hidden from view? How does photography address the politics of visibility in an era that privileges transparency but is also sceptical of fact? And what does it mean for photography, in an epistemological, ontological, aesthetic and ethical sense, if it does not identify with the referent but the absence of the referent?
Exhibition dates: 12 October – 10 November 2018
Opening Times: Mon – Fri 10am – 6pm & Sat 11am – 6pm
Purdy Hicks Gallery
25 Thurloe Street
London, SW7 2LQ
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