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Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz, Islands

P.P.O.W Gallery
535 West 22nd Street, 3rd Floor, 212-647-1044
January 10 - February 9, 2008
Reception: Thursday, January 10, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

PPOW is pleased to announce Islands, its seventh exhibition featuring the collaborative work of Walter Martin & Paloma Muñoz.

In their recent work Martin & Muñoz have created a series of panoramas and snow globes that image forbidding island landscapes buried in ice and snow. This is a world imagined, and in a physical sense one where perhaps continents have slowly been swallowed to a point where only the tops of mountains and high places survive as dry land. Vast oceanic emptiness separates lines of evolution and communication, science reverts to philosophy and history to myth. Dissolution continues until there are parts of the world that no longer have knowledge of each other. These archipelagos and islands can be seen to function both in a physical and metaphysical way. Whether this is a place or a state of mind what is clear is that winter has come and may never go away.

This is a developing project. Martin & Muñoz are imagining the contours of a different world in the same way a blind man feels an elephant. There are implications of a narrative but one that is shuffled, fragmented, and dreamlike. There are fantastic components where the laws of physics, anatomy and predictable behavior seem to have been broken or forgotten. In addition to sinking continents and eternal winter there is a third approaching cataclysm which like the third wave of a set, threatens to dwarf its predecessors and clean the slate of man forever.

The island literature of fiction, satire and myth imagined over centuries of continental civilization could be read as prophetic. H.G. Wells’ Isle of Dr. Moreau, Homer’s Isle of Circe or Swift’s Lilliput could all be possible in a world made up of fractured and disparate islands, at least in the minds of its inhabitants.

Walter Martin and Paloma Muñoz have been collaborating since 1994 and have since exhibited internationally. Their work is in many museum collections, including Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, La Caixa in Barcelona, Spain and the KIASMA Museum of Contemporary art in Helsinki, Finland. Concurrent with the exhibition at PPOW the artists have solo exhibitions at Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art in Vienna, Austria and at Cerealart in Philadelphia, PA.
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