Floor Martens

Floor Martens, Armen Takken, 2022.

Year granted: 2022 Website: Part of Prospects

The work of Floor Martens (1998) focuses on the beauty that may arise when contradictions are brought together. For her graduation work, for instance, she showed a dead fox that looked as if it was merely sleeping. “Death is present, but life is still there as well,” Martens says.

The artist is interested in pinpointing the exact moment the soul leaves the body, after which the only remaining material eradicates the contradiction between life and death.Although combining contradictions may sound very philosophical, Martens’ approach is actually very intuitive. In her work she tries to organize and understand all experiences she undergoes, for instance by writing about them in a diary, or by capturing them in images. During this process she regularly uses animal or human material, such as locks of hair.

Among other things, Martens is showing a tablecloth at Prospects, which was used by her grandmother for many years. The artist decorated it with a silk-screen printed self-portrait. Although the image is a snapshot in time, it is visualized on an object representing a long family history. The tablecloth is part of an installation the artist made especially for Prospects. It contains both objects and photographic images, the latter sometimes printed on carriers with a history of their own, like the tablecloth. By presenting memories, Martens is searching for something she calls ‘intangible inspiration’: “I want to create an atmosphere that is both vulnerable and comforting, where you can almost touch the emotions.”

Text: Jorne Vriens

Translation from Dutch to English: Marie Louise Schoondergang