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An Abstract Voyage

Edwin Martinez

August 5, 2023

Press Release

Of Uncertain Passages

An Abstract Voyage reflects on the complexities of life's journey and the significance of introspection. Contemplating past decisions and missed opportunities, Edwin Martinez acknowledges the fickleness and unreliability of the human mind. The artist emphasizes the importance of rest as an essential component of learning from failures. We are often too quick to bounce back without taking the time to reflect on our experiences, yet this is imperative if we are to survive.

The artist seemingly aims to capture the cycle of failure, respite, and redemption that is an inherent part of the human experience. Through the depiction of a cycle of continuously falling down and getting back up, Martinez’ works illustrate that failure is not always negative; it is an integral aspect of life. When faced with failure, one must compose oneself and prepare for what lies ahead.

Falling into Earth, an astronaut, a lonely soul floating about in the cosmos, finds the comforts of home within reach: a plant, a pillow, a chair, even a steadfast companion serves as accessories and accompaniments in a convoluted journey. The pieces in the exhibition signify that following a period of rest and reflection, the future may hold uncertainty, excitement, and perhaps even fear. However, with adequate preparation and unwavering courage, progress is likely to follow. The astronaut serves as a representation of ourselves, the artist, and the viewers, symbolizing the need to confront life's challenges fearlessly and survive falling and failing with resilience. It is being lost as we find the meaning behind our existence in the world, the universe, rather, and never getting tired of finding our own way.

An Abstract Voyage encourages viewers to embrace the uncertainties of life, understanding that falling is not to be feared. Perhaps a straight-edged, well-planned navigation through human years is less exciting than losing oneself in unexpected adventures. What truly matters is the ability to endure and prepare for whatever life presents, maintaining a steadfast determination to face its burdens and challenges head-on.

Martinez also draws on Blaise Pascal’s quote, “Men seek rest in a struggle against difficulties; and when they have conquered these, rest becomes insufferable,” which explores the paradoxical nature of human desires and the quest for contentment. The famed mathematician and philosopher observes that individuals, when faced with difficulties, exert effort to overcome them, hoping that achieving this conquest will bring them a sense of tranquility and ease. However, Pascal also notes that once these individuals successfully surmount their difficulties and attain the desired rest, they surprisingly find it insufferable or unbearable. This suggests that the very state of rest they yearned for and worked hard to obtain becomes dissatisfying for them.

Martinez, through his works, reminds us that human nature tends to thrive on challenges and the process of conquering obstacles. Struggles, however we wish to avoid them, undeniably give us a sense of purpose and direction. They give us reasons to move forward and continue fighting the good fight. Without struggle, a feeling of emptiness or a lack of purpose ensues, no longer having something to strive for or a goal to pursue. Often, it tethers us to reality and to being human, siting our bodies within the wider expanse of space. Comfort is good, yet it is discomfort that coaxes us to propel ourselves forward.

Kaye O’Yek

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