Installation view, Martin Boyce, Inside rooms drift in and out of sleep While on the roof An alphabet of aerials Search for a language, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Maag Areal, Zurich, 2015
Inside rooms drift in and out of sleep
While on the roof
An alphabet of aerials
Search for a language
Martin Boyce — Of Other Spaces
The poetic image is an emergence from language,
it is always a little above the language of signification.
Gaston Bachelard: The Poetics of Space
The works of Martin Boyce speak of other spaces.
Of spaces that seem near to us yet remain strange. Of spaces in which the familiarity of the objects collides with the abstractness of their forms, and an echo of history reverberates in the presence of their physicality. Of spaces in which the organic appears in architectural form, the outworn in the untouched, and the everyday in the exemplary. And of spaces that open and shut, that fold the inner outward and the outer inward, of spaces that become passageways in which the expanse of landscape continues to breathe in the seclusion of the interior
Of spaces also that attract us and invite us to enter, to linger and move about in them, while at the same time continually letting our gaze slide off of their surfaces. Of spaces that are perhaps by no means so strange as they seemed at first, but that rather turn us into strangers ourselves. Into strangers, visitors, guests without a host. Or witnesses. Witnesses to a constellation of objects that we might recognize, but that do not really permit us to take part in the stories they appear to relate. Of spaces as well that turn us into actors, actors without a script moving across stages without a play.
And of spaces that turn us into readers. Readers precisely because as strangers, witnesses, actors without a script we set out in search of a language that might allow us to decipher the stages across which we move. We decipher the familiar and quotidian things, the elements of urban and domestic space. And we register the shifts and displacements these objects undergo in their orchestration as bare forms and naked materials. And we follow the traces of history that appear in them, follow the fade-outs and mutations of the terms of modernism to their historical sources. But do we ever find a language that might allow us to describe the space?
Of other spaces. Of spaces that move along the threshold of legibility, that threaten to become opaque as we try to decipher them. Of spaces that slip away at the precise moment in which we appear to be taking hold of them. Of spaces whose spatiality allows us to move about in them, to be sure, and whose references are transparent, yet whose veil of the imaginary we can never actually penetrate. In a word, of spaces that are always already on their way – on their way to emerge from the language of space and enter into the sphere of the image. Of spaces, then, that invite us to come in only to leave us outside.