With the Unknown
Classic tragedy plays across the theatre of Adam Martinakis’ inventions…..The empirical experimentations of science, the imagined possibilities of biological experimentation, themes of alienation and redemption are each part of the complex iconography of the art of Polish born Adam Martinakis who fled communist Poland at age ten to live in Greece, returning to his native country only very recently.
Adam’s 3-D work reflects the increasingly significant role of technology in our everyday lives. Certain pieces express the imaginative power of technology as well as real and evolving experimentation while others symbolize the sense of alienation and disembodiment felt by those who feel somehow displaced by the digital world.
All of the work is produced digitally, the models, visuals, lighting and camera composition, and then sent to a manufacturer who makes a diasec. Most are made as limited editions of up to three, measuring 100-120 centimeters.
As a whole, Adam’s work has a certain presence, not only pictorially but also in terms of the way it evokes humankind’s rather complex and tense relationship with immortality and technology. One can see the cultural worship and idolization of science, concerns about immortality, invention, beauty, pictures of death and sexuality.
Breathless connection, 2014
Thematically the artist continually pairs technology and cyborg like images of people. The artist points out that just as the human body (such as in dance), and traditional artist materials have served as a means for expression, technology can be regarded similarly. Yet, the artist’s work recognizes that the use of technology in creative production is more complex, and points to the challenges of meaning incumbent with the increasing use of technology not only in artistic production but also in our every day lives.
“The figures are symbolically expressive motif intended to redefine and reconstruct the meanings of the perception of existence. The new era we have entered is in a need of a new frame of definitions.”
The inevitability of time, Pietà, 2013
The Erotic Void, 2012
Works like The inevitability of time, Pietà, 2013 are a haunting combination of canonical figuration, neo-noir meets Hajime Sorayama and the fantastic. Adam’s struggling and heroic bodies seem to take on an impossible task, to recover the human in the mechanical: “My characters are like cyborgs because they are lonely lost bodies which are desperately in a need of redemption.”
This redemption it seems, is found primarily in an expression of sexual satiation, a residing in the body that is both pleasurable, distinctly human, and as well perhaps a way to return one’s soul to existing in a physical space. The connection to the canonical and constantly evolving work of Sorayama is not lost on most, this refrain of fantasy, sexual paegentry, and moments of extraordinary horror and beauty. This is not to say that Adam’s work is derivative of the Japanese master’s oeuvre, but rather that it reflects a certain way of looking, an enduring taste for images sexualized technology.
In this genre, Adam’s series of images (Materialism) responding to the nature of transformation of the material through time, is connected to this idea of materialism, e.g. the way things decay in the natural world, and the conversely eternal plasticized bodily involvement with technology, as a sort of decorative shell or armor, the artist explains:
“In this series I mostly work in an instinctual way, I wish to express a new human perception of materialism.”
Materialism, No. 3, 2013
Taste of Material, 2015
RB: There is much to the theme of the human embattled with a dominating technology shown as entrapment, or fragmentation, all metaphorical. As well, in your work there are also various images of a sexual dominance over technology e.g. embodied as cyborgs. Regarding this dialogic view, what is the story behind the eerie and erotic work Taste of Material, May 2015?
AM: The work is related to Materialized project but also refers to eroticism and dependencies with the subject. It can be challenging to discuss symbolic works like this, because of not only the controversial meanings but also the dependence on the point of the viewer.
Human Printing, 2013
RB: Some of your work is mythological, and is related as such to the cultural imaginary of technology, not only its potential but its dangers such as the various themes of entrapment seen in work like Crystal Nightmare. Visually, this narrative is intense, rich and highly creative. The parallel I think of is the visual aspect of Freud’s 1st edition of The Interpretation of Dreams. I think the nexus of the creative meets the experimental more often than we know.
Your oeuvre also approaches work that addresses science in progress or in the very least in the experimentation, an evolving area of research. As such, please tell me more about your work Human Printing, December 2013?
AM: This work confronts the issues that arise from the possibility of creating artificial intelligence and life. The title implies that perhaps in the future we will have the ability just to “print” life, which will carry similar information to ours.
The Crystal Nightmare
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