Kris Martin: every day of the weak

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Kris Martin Idiot II (2006) Goldmünze, 21 Karat, ø 3,5 cm. Photo by Achim Kukulies © Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf

With „Every Day of the Weak“ the kestnergesellschaft presents the first comprehensive solo exhibition in Europe by the Belgian artist Kris Martin. The show – a cooperation with the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Aargauer Kunsthaus – offers a unique opportunity to discover Kris Martin’s spectacular installations.

Kris Martin occupies an important and quite distinctive position in contemporary art that draws on the tradition of the ready-made, but redefines it. His installations, sculptures, photographs and drawings humorously materialize his reflections on key questions about life. In an art of appropriation and revelation, Kris Martin sounds out the meaning and meaninglessness of human existence. With minimal interference and reduced means he alters found objects to create blank spaces, which viewers can fill with their own interpretations.

In For Whom (2012) a large church bell produces no sound even when in movement, as the clapper is missing. A huge hot-air balloon is inflated by a blower in the exhibition space and can be entered by the visitors (T.Y.F.F.S.H., 2009). In Trinity I (2009) Martin has removed all the letters and numbers from an indicator panel familiar from airports or stations. The indicators turn over in an unpredictable rhythm – without announcing places, times and destinations.

One focus of the exhibition is the series of works bearing the title Idiot. This is an encounter with the literary figure of the idiot, and at the same time a humorous reflection on the role of the artist in society. The departure point of these works is the Idiot (2005), a handwritten copy of Dostoyevsky’s novel of the same name. Kris Martin dedicated himself to this task every day for five months and made a minimal, but decisive alteration to the original: he replaced the name of the protagonist Prince Myshkin with his own, thus giving a fictional character a body and himself an identity.

Kris martin
Everyday of the weak
At the Kestnergesellschaft
23 November 2012 to 3 February 2013

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