semantic permutations

Mär Martinez

About Mär Martinez

Mär Martinez is an interdisciplinary artist specializing in sculptural painting. Her work dissects dominance, aggression and power dynamics through the lens of a culturally-enforced binary system. She received a BFA in Painting and a BA in Art History at the University of Central Florida. Awards include: Bridge Ahead Grant, Jewish Art Salon Student Fellow, FusionFest Best in Show Award, and the Miniature Fine Arts Society Award. 2021 Exhibitions include: A Tiny Bit of Fire, London, GENESIS, NY, Raw Fibers, FL, GALEX 55 National Juried Competition, IL, ARTFIELDS 2021, SC, Collaborative Animals, OH and Sugar, Spice, and Not Playing Nice, NY. 2020 Solo Exhibitions include: FRACTURE, FL, and Illusions of Safety, PA. 2020 Exhibitions include: 2020 Florida Biennial, FL, B20: Wiregrass Biennial, AL, Feminine/Masculine, and Hungary. In 2020, Martinez was Artist-in-Residence at Temporary Stay, FL. She was Artist-in-Residence at The Spruce, PA. Martinez is a member of the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation Advisory Board in NY. In 2021, she was Artist-in-Residence at the Stay Home Residency, TN, and was Curator-in-Residence at the Dorothy Gillespie Foundation, NY. She was Resident at the M.O.M. Museum, FL. Martinez is Maitland Art Museum’s 2022 resident, will be resident artist at Piedmont University, GA, in 2022.

About semantic permutations

I’m interested in how value is applied through language. Is value inherent, or granted through process – being written of stored within the body? By shifting sound into letters, information undergoes transformation; it becomes permanent/stationary, but when paper is destroyed, meaning still remains; it just changes shape. I explored forced symbiosis between applied and inherent meaning through rumination of written/unwritten/written reiteration by using paper as stand-in for our shifting relationship with language. My body became a tool to link concept to the physical, semi-permanent ‘receiver’ and ‘holder’ of an idea, the paper itself. I drew influence from the Kabbalah, that at one point was passed down to preserve potency and power, written down out of necessity when Kabbalists needed to preserve information – some historians believe negated some of its mystical power. When information is transcribed it mutates. It is rarely decontextulized right away; the recording/re-recording creates subtle shifts that form an entirely new idea with the original parts of the first concept. Paper mimics this process through recycleability; it can be reused/endlessly remolded, but like the body, it holds history of past forms in its structure. It’s the same product but is concurrently an infinite representation of possibility. The loop of self-as-machine/product holds concept of knowledge (process of transcribing to recognizable symbols and association with meaning) as an essential part of the process, which is represented through the byproduct of the “holder.” By chewing the paper, I’ve connected process/product and have become permanently linked. Masticating is also reminiscent of verbal dictation.Language, like our bodies, is a resource with capacity for power, and through this process of regurgitation I’m reflecting on ways our bodies are vessels for information that changes the world around us. Our histories, and our ancestors, are linked to us through language and our physical forms.Shmita is a time to rest, meditate, and celebrate our relationship with the natural world. In these pieces I am thinking about what it means to occupy space in the world, the importance of safety, and how to honor ritual and history through an embodied state. I am thinking about the need for preservation, our connection to history (through language and through ritual) our connection to a shared history through our bodies, and by giving ourselves a place to rest. sematic permutations are meditation on the power of language and the connection  to the power capacity of our bodies and our ability to shape the world around us through language.To me, the time of Shmita is a way to live mindfully through deliberate and embodied actions. Typically I create work that relates to violence through raw exertions of unbalanced power, but I shifted the way I thought about artmaking throughout the making of these pieces. I am used to a very fast-paced life, so I tried to find meaning in quiet, controlled and minimal actions that became a way for me to “ground” my physical self while exploring other ideas. These works, in the context of my practice, look inward in a quiet and reflective way, and this to me embodies the way I have tried to honor the Shmita. I really wanted to focus on quiet actions and rituals – like covering/uncovering oneself with a fabric to create a space of safety and rest through the textile, and the act of symbolically “processing” language through an intentional and ritualistic act – to explore ideas of how we can honor our physical forms and seek understanding during the Shmita.