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Patrick Martinez, The Tunnel

Parker's Box
193 Grand Street, 718-388-2882
March 14 - April 28, 2008
Web Site

Parker’s Box is proud to present The Tunnel, a solo show of recent works by Patrick Martinez.

The central work in the exhibition gives the show its title, with visitors being invited to enter The Tunnel, a new interactive installation whose parameters they can modify. Using touchscreen technology visitors can transform their own experience of The Tunnel, which begins on entering the piece itself. The Tunnel (which uses the principle of concentric colored circles, rotating to provide optical effects) situates itself in many ways in the underexploited lineage of experimental works such as Thomas Wilfred’s Clavilux, 1920’s, and Peter Sedgley’s Windome, or Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine, both from the 1960’s.

The unusual and unexpected nature of much of Patrick Martinez’ work is a seductive side-effect rather than in any way being the aim of the artist’s relentless exploration of the unchartered territories of different media. Parker’s Box regulars will recall the artist’s memorable previous shows, Liquid, and The Ends which featured such original offerings as large holes in the gallery floor filled with bubbling green liquid, smoke sculptures, and a choreographed dance performed by audio speakers on legs…

Martinez’ eclectic practice sees him frequently searching for limits, of both medium and idea, in practices that in their simplest forms can be called drawing, installation, video and sculpture. The artist tends to deal with notions of ÒmatterÓ rather than abstraction, and “cosmic realism” rather than figuration. At the same time, he has an unassuming knack for embracing the strongest of symbolism and metaphor, which he processes so that they seem entirely familiar and thoroughly new. While Freud would have a field day here, as would many other interpreters of dreams or fantasies, Patrick Martinez’ is first and foremost preoccupied with questions of the physics of existence, the physicality of our world or the physical possibilities of our universe, even though he is far from averse to the sensory, cerebral and even metaphysical stimulation that his artwork may provoke. In The Hole, a new single-channel video made for the exhibition, Martinez has used multiple images of holes as stills for his film, allowing him to create the impression of an endless, vertiginous journey, tunneling into the bowels of a hypothetical mass, its existence generated simply by the technique. This creation of an existing but immaterial space in which to operate is characteristic of the artist’s work. In a series of recent “drawings”, the artist abandoned any mark-making implements other than a blade that cuts lines into the paper, and then abandoned this too, in favor of laser cutting devices, allowing him, for example to cut away as much paper as is left behind, without its shape or integrity quite collapsing under its own presence/absence. Meanwhile, in another ongoing series, the artist is equally capable of using up endless ballpoint pens to overload his paper with feverish imagery and/or obsessional mark-making… .

Patrick Martinez was born in Besanon, France in 1969 and studied in Grenoble and Paris before leaving to live in Tokyo and finally settling in New York. He has exhibited widely in Europe, Japan and the US including at The Showroom, London; Galerie Georges-Philippe & Nathalie Vallois, Paris; Galerie Anne Barrault, Paris; Futura, Prague; Metrònom, Barcelona; Intercommunication Center, Tokyo; D’Amelio Terras, New York; Exit Art, New York; Artists’ Space, New York…

The Tunnel has been realized thanks to the support of Blank Bubble, LLC.; special thanks to Sandra Villarreal, Thierry Millotte, Erik Spooner, Michael Nellini at NY Designs, Levent Tuncer at Ark Media Framing, Gamze Buyukkusoglu and Jacqui McLoughlin
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