Thursday, December 10, 5:00 p.m.
Members-only walkthrough and conversation between exhibiting artist Kris Martin and AAM Associate Curator Matthew Thompson
Thursday, January 21, 6:00 p.m.
CCA Wattis Institute Director Jens Hoffmann and AAM Associate Curator Matthew Thompson discuss the Kris Martin exhibition
Belgian artist Kris Martin creates objects in which the ideas and the materials are carefully refined. From a full-size church bell to a pile of broken wristwatches, an enigmatic bomb to a blank train information board, Martin’s works emphasize time: its making, its passage, and its role in aging. Martin explores time’s relationship to faith and to our self-conception and sense of mortality, cueing into these essential elements of our worldview with a wit and incisiveness that is disarmingly earnest and direct.
Martin’s exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum features all new work. In the lower gallery, Martin will position five large, human-height boulders and mark their apexes with tiny paper crosses. This shift of scale and perspective turn these rocks into mountains, their cracks into crevasses, and their highest points into symbols of arduous accomplishment. For Martin, the summit marker imparts the comforting knowledge that, although the journey ahead may seem overwhelming, someone has been there before.
Also included in the exhibition is Martin’s Idiot (2005). Printed to resemble a pocket bible, this artist’s book consists of Martin’s hand transcription of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s 1868 novel The Idiot in which the artist has replaced the name of the book’s protagonist with his own. In so doing, the work becomes an unconventional self-portrait, and an extreme act of adulation in which Martin identifies with Myshkin’s desire for spiritual transformation. In addition to conventional distribution, the book will be placed in hotel rooms throughout Aspen, including: Annabelle Inn, Hotel Aspen, Hotel Durant, Hotel Jerome, Hotel Lenado, Innsbruck Inn, The Little Nell, Limelight Lodge, Molly Gibson Lodge, Mountain Chalet Aspen, Mountain House Lodge, St. Moritz Lodge, the St. Regis Resort, Aspen, and Sky Hotel.
Kris Martin was born in 1972 and is based in Ghent, Belgium. Solo shows include P.S.1, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007). Group shows include Traces du sacré, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008); Passengers, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2007); Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007); and Of Mice and Men: 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art (2006).