The artists’ practices differ in approach and process, yet their work converges in a single impossibility: that of nailing down identity.
Martínez currently focuses her research on a precise subject, a seemingly innocuous and relatable figure: the duck. The factoids she digs up work slowly like a puzzle, parsing together a map of deep inquiry into fundamental questions about human interpersonality considering subject positions, relationships, geographical displacements and survival strategies. Martinez’s resultant paintings and sculptures function within a similar logic –attractive bright colors, impulsive strokes, and characters seem friendly and easy, but exude an uncanniness pointing directly to meta-cultural and existential problematics.
Reger approaches undefinable identity through visceral materiality. A phantom moment of dressing the clay body in a fabric mold defines the shape. The sculptures take on forms of compressed folds, truncated stumps, deep crevices and slick peaks. Bits of clay become individual entities, clustering and inter-depending in-situ. Reactive glazes seal each work, underscoring an autonomy, while their rosaceous tones suggest tissue, flesh. Onomatopoeic, kurt titles mirror that which they name: the visceral, unsettled, yearning. These works are antithetical to determinate bodies –they leak, creep, lurk. Reger’s works stress the bizarre naturalness of fragmenting and constructing the human body.
The artists’ respective articulations of shapeshifting identity imply more specific questions–such as those of gender, race, class and nationality– but look somehow to skate above their particulars. Instead, the artists seek to illuminate the operative mechanisms of these constructions, Martínez through investigating an archetype and Reger through abstraction of the body. In this way, the works share a metatheoretical position that allows for an eerie material dialogue.
Reger and Martínez are part of Lagos four-month residency program, for local emerging artists. However distinct in origin, the works of the artists find a point of encounter in the expulsion and exploration of the obscure, the uncanny, the black swan in ourselves.
Please come visit from April 4 to 7, 2019 at the Escuela Superior de Guerra del Ejército del Perú.