Empire (Artist Talk)
For artist Martin Gantman's first solo exhibition at Kristi Engle Gallery, he investigates global capitalism through visual and social inquiry. The main part of the exhibition consists of digital prints of imagery found on the internet that Gantman uses to illustrate the ways in which the costs and benefits of globalization affect us, both economically and socially. In multiples of 25, Gantman amassed these images in order to represent the tangible outcomes and effects of bottom line economics.
Centering on the global economic forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland the exhibition also utilizes physical evidence of Gantman's interactions with both the "players" and the "workers" of the economic status quo, including letters written to CEOs and government officials (as well as any responses he received) and his own experiences in communicating with people internationally about economic globalization. While Gantman has been working on this project for several years, the 2008 Global Meltdown has made this project even more significant as it exposes the social and economic differences in scale that corporate globalization creates.
Gantman creates a visualization of globalization and in doing so highlights the connections between culture and business that are inherent in the 21st century global landscape, while also acknowledging the basic and open questions regarding globalization writ large.
Martin Gantman is a Los Angeles based artist and writer who has exhibited internationally including venues New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Rome and Viareggio, Italy; and La Coruna, Spain. His project, "See you when we get home." was featured in Art Journal magazine. He also co-edited "Benjamin's Blind Spot: Walter Benjamin and the Premature Death of Aura" for the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, distributed by DAP Publications in 2001.