This Is Not A House
09 May – 30 June 2012
Untitled, from the series, This is not a House (Connecticut, NE), 2008
120 x 150 cm
This is not a House, Edgar Martins' most talked about body of work, is showing at The Wapping Project Bankside this late-spring, amidst a successful international tour (with stops at the Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris; The New Art Gallery, Walsall, PM Gallery & House, London; Ffotogallery, Wales; The Wapping Project, London).
Winter 2008, Edgar Martins is commissioned by The New York Times Magazine to explore the United States' subprime mortgage industry collapse and its impact on the real estate market. In a study that goes beyond pure formal investigation and factual documentation, Martins, a photographic artist, decides to tackle the project from the outset and to use it to explore new models for conceptualizing a hotly contemporary phenomenon and landscape, outside of the photojournalistic canon. He sets out to photograph 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.
When the work was finally published in the summer of 2009, it became the
focus of a heated debate (now a reference discussion among artistic and
photographic circles) as the result of Martins' decision to digitally
reshape some of the images. 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