Entry Title: "
'A Metaphysical Survey of British Dwellings'"
Category: Photography, Professional
Landscape, place, space, and architecture have established themselves as the predominant themes in Edgar Martins' photographic imagery. In this context, his work is subsumed under a challenge that is ever more pressing: that of revealing and interrogating the ways in which space is appropriated and transformed, and salvaging some vestige of the events, dilemmas and reverberations wrought by the contemporary world on the territory.
In technical and conceptual terms, Edgar Martins' photography links together analogue and digital devices as a way of enhancing the dialectical and paradoxical possibilities of the photographic image as something that oscillates between the factual and fictional, between the concrete and the metaphorical. In this respect, opportunities for editing and handling the image are also adopted as ways of lending greater complexity to the characteristics of the image, specifically its poetic and phenomenological derivations. On the other hand, his photographs show evidence of enormous care taken in the composition and the control of light (as a privileged form of drawing), which endows the images with a remarkable power of suggestion and attraction. However, the seductive character of the images does not nullify the critical meaning that the image, and the themes associated with it, attempt to expose to scrutiny. This is particularly evident in A Metaphysical Survey of British Dwellings.
Structured into an urban topographic survey, this series exposes the difficult relationship between modernist architecture, commercial and residential development and summons a disquieting conjunction of reality, hyper-reality, fantasy and fiction.
In this series Martins is addressing a peculiarly contemporary landscape that ever more generic terrain vague.
A Metaphysical Survey of British Dwellings calls to our attention that all is flow, all space is permeable - the mis en scne for spatial and temporal dislocation. In this realm, we are in a landscape of uncertainty, within a culture landscape of permanent flux, transition and opposition. Spaces are primed with a sense of purpose yet they are marginal, fragmented and dispersed. In the delicate weight of these landscapes, human perception seems to enter a different register. It is as if everything expresses contingency, as if space and time are about to simmer and disperse. In these images, space cannot be perceived as absolute form, it is fluid, relational, migratory.