EDGAR MARTINS: THIS IS NOT A HOUSE at Wapping Project Bankside
Coming to Wapping Project Bankside this spring is the most extensive body of work of photographer Edgar Martins. ‘This is not a house’ is the result of Martins’s 2008 commission by the The New York Times Magazine to explore the United States’ subprime mortgage industry collapse and its impact on the real estate market. This collection is, however so much more than just a series of photographs of empty unfinished houses – it has become a reference for many in the debate between Art and Journalism.
Martins photographed abandoned homes, golf courses, ski resorts, hotels and other building projects in sixteen locations, across six federal states, choosing carefully researched locations in their widest latitude, to expose the full extent and impact of this crisis. Exploring his subjects as an artist, rather than within the paradigms of photojournalism, Martins structures the series as a ‘photographic intervention into a crisis, a crisis that is only in part economic’.
When the series was first published in 2009, it became the subject of a hot debate, bringing out some of the age old issues of Art and Journalism. By adding ditigal manipulation to the equation, Martins’s work became much more than just a documentation of time and place; it became a work of art. Contradicting morale in photography and freedom of creation in art, ‘This is not a house’ has today become a reference in the hot debate between Art and Journalism. The series has since reached a wide audience in the form of a book (published by Dewi Lewis, 2011) and found a home in galleries and museums around the world, as vehicle to consider and address some of the longest-lasting questions around truth and verisimilitude in Photography.
Edgar Martins: This is not a house
May 9th – June 30th, 2012
Wapping Project Bankside
65a Hopton Street, London SE1
Find out more here
(Images: Edgar Martins: This is not a house, courtesy of the Wapping Project Bankside)