Edgar Martins – What Photography & Incarceration Have in Common with an Empty Vase
What Photography & Incarceration Have in Common with an Empty Vase is a two-part photobook by UK-based Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins, created in collaboration with inmates at a prison in England’s Midlands region. In this densely packed project, Martins wrestles with crucial questions about the representation of the experience of incarceration. The two volumes are packaged together in a plastic police evidence bag. One of the volumes is the facsimile of pages from an incarcerated person’s diary; handwritten entries express the frustrations and anxieties of undergoing trial and daily life in prison, occasionally layered with a photograph or drawing by either the author or Martins. “The complementary volume sets up an uneasy juxtaposition,” Meister cautions—opening up questions of truth and fiction, or the equivalencies between shooting a camera and a gun. Martins brings together a heady mix of studio and archival images, documents, and other interventions “to complicate or render impossible any simple read of the subject,” Meister observes.
The Moth House
Bedford, United Kingdom, 2019
Designed by Pedro Falcão