Martin Gantman: “Empire: Davos”
AC [Direct] I and II presents the first complete showing of Martin Gantman's new project "Empire: Davos." Each January the founder and President of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Wachs, announces the opening of the Forum's annual conference with the words: "Welcome to Davos." The conference is populated with elite members who have been selected and invited from the worlds of business, politics and entertainment. They are there, ostensibly, to discuss issues of global importance with respect to improving the quality of life of the world's inhabitants and the ecological systems within which they reside.
"Empire: Davos" strives to portray in a discernible way the seemingly contradictory notions of bottom line economic performance and human benefit. Centered on Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum conference is held, the work projects, as a device for representing the above notions, Davos as the capital of an economic empire, as was Rome its empire's capital. The project to date includes direct correspondences with heads of state and CEOs of international corporations and NGOs, two-dimensional works, a book and a revisited globe of the Earth.
Martin Gantman is a Los Angeles based artist and writer who has exhibited internationally in such venues as the Alternative Museum (New York), A.R.C. Gallery (Chicago), HAUS (Pasadena), POST and Los Angeles Center for Digital Art (Los Angeles), Artetica (Rome and Viareggio, Italy), and La Coruña (A Coruña, Spain). His recent solo show at HAUS Gallery, "Tracking Identity," was reviewed in the January, 2008 issue of Art Ltd. His project, "See you when we get home." was featured in Art Journal and his most recent project, "Atmospheric Resources Tracking Incorporated" was shown at the Seyhoun Gallery in West Hollywood last year. He is currently working on a multi-faceted undertaking entitled "Tracking Empire." Recent published writings include: "The Irresolute Potential in the Unimagined Possibility," "Swingin' in the Slammer," "The Word Was Charm," "DuSable Park: An Archeology," "Notes on the Oddness of Things" and "Mapping the Lost Idea." He also co-edited "Benjamin's Blind Spot: Walter Benjamin and the Premature Death of Aura" for the Institute of Cultural Inquiry, distributed by DAP Publications in 2001.
Gantman’s work is included in numerous contemporary collections such as the Peter Norton Foundation, the Marv and Judy Zeidler Collection and the Michael Collins/Daniel Banchik Collection.