Every Day of the Weak
12 May 2012 – 12 Aug 2012
Belgian artist Kris Martin (b. 1972) today occupies an important and distinct position in contemporary art. In his diverse work, which ranges from installation and sculpture to photography, video and drawing, he loosely refers to literary and art history. Examining and questioning the cultural conditions surrounding us, he focuses on the essential themes of life and death, transience and finitude with an impressively sure feeling for materiality and form. Furthermore, he integrates symbols of religion, faith and spirituality as fields of interpretation into his art.
The exhibition Every Day of the Weak at the Aargauer Kunsthaus is the most comprehensive presentation to date of the artist's work in Europe. Conceived as a first retrospective, it assembles his pivotal works of recent years and shows the entire gamut of media he draws on. A highlight is Martin's piece titled For Whom, a large church bell that doesn't produce any sound even in motion, because it is missing its clapper. Swinging, yet remaining mute, the sight of this Christian symbol of community is irritating.
Less a creator than a collector and dissector, Kris Martin frequently uses - aside from objects that he has elaborately produces by others - found objects that already have a history inscribed into them. His central artistic strategy consists in lifting those found objects from their original context, removing essential information from them, overlaying them and shifting their scale. Martin's works take our imagination beyond a rationally interpreted, bounded world and address us in the transience and fragility of our own lives.
The exhibition was organized in cooperation with the artist as well as the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the kestnergesellschaft in Hannover.