Martin Widmer


Martin Widmer is a Swiss artist based in Geneva. He studied at the Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD / ESBA) in Silvie Defraoui’s studio, and the École nationale des beaux-arts of Paris in Jean-Marc Bustamante’s studio. He has shown his work in numerous art centers and galleries in Switzerland and abroad. He is also active as a curator, mainly at the Centre d’art contemporain de Neuchâtel (CAN), having joined the staff there in 2012.

While initially Martin’s art took shape around photography and sculpture, he has since focused almost exclusively on the photographic medium. He is currently pursuing writing under hypnosis, which he connects with his work in the plastic arts.

With Présence Martin started in on new series of photographs. By abandoning the term Objet for that of Présence, he is indicating that he wants to include the question of the living (both human and animal) in his work. This has meant distancing himself even more, taking a step back and incorporating in the image first its direct, even private environment (Présence I “Les Ambassadés”), but also the viewer and the display installation (Présence III “Serpent”). The artist and the viewer (subject), who, to this point, had been separated from the work of art (object), found themselves joined and being treated on the very same footing. The term Présence therefore has to be understood here as a surpassing of the subject-object duality for a state in which beings and things are not separated. In this latest movement, the artist pulls off a spectacular reversal of the situation in which art, by being put at a remove and forced outside the object-artwork, really does in the end take up a position in the reality of the day-to-day world.

In 2015, Martin began a writing project carried out under hypnosis. The artist describes these texts as “narrative devices making it possible to deal in motion with the question of the image and the object.” Intended to be first of all a method that allows the artist to go and seek images directly at the source in the mind before they pass through the filter of conceptual thought, this work is also a way of building and sharing an ideal space that does not suffer the constraints and limitations of space and time.

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