The production of Near the Egress (2009) began in 2006 with 16 rolls of black & white photo film and a few curious ideas about the following: the moving still-image, a society’s fascination with arena spectacles, and the desire of a memory.
With the use of the chemical darkroom, each 35mm frame of 16 rolls of film was processed and enlarged to become a 4x5 inch modern dry-plate image (aka tintype), which then were scanned and re-sequenced to produce a stop-motion video with often eerie and ephemeral visuals effects. The artist acknowledges the work of Edward Muybridge, Stan Brakhage, and John Aasp’s lecture on the moving image (Nashville SPE 2006 conference) and Scott McMahon’s tintype workshop as central influences.
Near the Egress began as an attempt to celebrate the artist’s own middle-class fascination with arena spectacles, but over time the video evolved as a surrogate memory for the adult artist who desired to have witnessed the circus as a young child. With personal histories set aside, the video ultimately expresses a rhythmic, yet entropic advancement towards one’s uncertain exit (egress) and transformation.
In April 2008, Near the Egress (originally titled, The Bygone Circus) was first shown publicly at The Artist Project in Chicago and has recently reached a tender point of completion in November 2008 with the sound design support of Ramah Jihan of Chicago. As of January 2010, Near the Egress has been screened in over 28 national and international exhibitions and festivals, ranging from Egypt, France, Spain, Lisbon, and Chicago.
Antonio Martinez is an emerging artist with deep interest in manipulating the still-image and advancing its use in video art. He was raised in Oklahoma, educated in Nebraska (Creighton University) and North Carolina (East Carolina University) and teaches for a living at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He was a recipient of the 2009 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. He has exhibited his video and photographic work nationally and internationally such as Blue Sky Gallery, Anderson Ranch and in 2010 was featured in PDN magazine and platestopixels.com and Lensculture.org. He is currently working on a photographic project involving southern Illinois cagefighters of which he participates and is making another tintype video with male bodybuilding as its subject matter and additional experimental stop-motion videos with alternative materials.