Little do we know how to define what memory is. Collectively understood as an infinite storage space, memory is in fact the unknown territory that we continue to inhabit, while denying the elusiveness of its nature. The forces influencing the complex mechanisms that determine what is gone or what is remembered are also obscure. The truth is that we build our identities and our lives with fragments of experiences that are collected in the process of being lost. And while the essence of memory may very well be that of absence, its particular structures are nevertheless meant to capture the remains of the past that would otherwise join a state of permanent disappearance.
If our knowledge about memory is restricted, it might be due to the lack of opportunities for our perceptions to be confronted about this situation. Perhaps because of unique experiences, such as a traumatic event, or possibly the simple fact of growing old, memory then turns into a more visible enigma. Enrique Marty (b. 1969) brings the enigma of memory to the gallery space as his work directly confronts the individual’s own view of reality. Evoking, and often recreating, particular scenarios through a diversity of media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, video and installation, this young Spanish artist displays powerful idioms that convey a new set of questions about the real and the fictional as well as their plausible separation.
Without abandoning his characterization as a visual artist, Marty, like a magician, pulls out of his hat some of the intricate operations that act in the recreation of reality. By reflecting on his family members as primal archetypal figures, mainly his mother and father, Marty unfolds all of the particularities of the universe of the familiar, bluntly displaying the conflicts of the commonplace that the private realm is. Revealing those private struggles, in a manner that blurs the line between reality and fiction, is also a strategy aimed at showing the private aspects of the realm in within which our first experiences of the world, those that would shape our emotions and experiences for the rest of our lives.
Every element that pertains to the architecture of memory is also connected to our consciousness, which holds the ability to reveal modes of perceiving reality. Marty´s work directs the viewer´s attention towards the ambivalence of visual pollution produced by late-capitalistic societies of spectacle. His works as well manifest socially invisible conflicts such as repercussions resulting from the limitations of logical understanding, the raving power of emotions, and the consequences of a constant blurring of the real and the fictional.
All of these issues are fine components of his work; their subtlety is where their strength lies, as they appear in the shape of suggestions, not affirmations. They imply some of his desires. His work is impregnated with autobiographical references that are simultaneously real and false, and, in deliberately omitting the date, he silently rejects the idea of the forever-finished work. Like Andy Warhol before him, he recalls in his paintings industrial modes of mass production, as he aims at mirroring the industry producing large quantities of paintings using a process that never takes more time than it is necessary to print a photograph. But unlike Andy, whose creative processes depended on the factual use of technological appliances, Marty’s arm and hand turn into mechanic tools by the practice of painting.
In addition to what can be seen in each of the singular pieces, another fundamental aspect of Marty´s oeuvre, is that of the relation that exist among all his works, in space and in content. They can be arranged according to theatrical or cinematic concepts. But, like raindrops, none of the individual pieces are more relevant than any other; together they form the rain that falls and transforms space. Like memory, each fragment, each image, each feeling, forms a unique structure that transforms life.
Freelance curator based in New York.
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Exposities (komt nu voorbij)
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DEWEER Gallery, Otegem
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DEWEER Gallery, Otegem