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SILOQUIES AND SOLILOQUIES ON DEATH, LIFE AND OTHER INTERLUDES

BY
EDGAR MARTINS

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PARIS PHOTO 2017 
8 - 12 November
Grand Palais 

 
 

Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes began to take shape during the course of research carried out at the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences (INMLCF), in Portugal.
Over a period of three years, Edgar Martins took more than a thousand photographs and scanned more than three thousand negatives from the INMLCF’s vast and extraordinary collection. 

By productively linking documental and factual records with images that seek to explore their speculative and fictional potential, Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes scrutinises the tensions and contradictions inherent in the representation and imagination of death and the paradoxical role that photography has played in its perception and intelligibility.

However, by also insisting on photography's elusiveness, its inability to fix meaning, Martins' work taps into Jacques Derrida’s concept of Destinerrance.

Destinerrance combines notions of destination and destiny with error or errancy. Every missive, every letter, suggested Derrida in La Carte Postale, risks ending up in the wrong place, being misinterpreted, because it must use iterable language, and therefore the context of any given utterance can never be finally exhaustively delimited. For Martins a photograph is like a dead letter, stuck in the dead letter office, no return to sender, no addressee found, because of its inherent quality to detach from its author, to circulate and continue to signify long after death. 

This work marks a significant transition in Edgar Martins’ creative trajectory, including a vaster, more diversified body of visual processes and types – photographs, appropriations, projections, installation, text, sound – signalling the artist’s growing inclination towards a broader, more hybrid perspective of the practice of photography and the experience of images. 


 

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