Kris Martin



With Kris Martin (*1972, Kortrijk, Belgium), time is the main motive in his art practice. “Everything is time and time is everything, but you cannot grasp what it is. Time is fluid; it constantly escapes.” According to him time becomes frozen in his work and he considers it a challenge to give an object a notion of time.

Kris Martin considers himself as an observer. With “small gestures” he tries to influence his audience brains: he attempts to show something in a way you have never seen it before. He tries to unlock little details.

Open to many interpretations, Martin's work causes an emptiness, a space where you can think about the complexity of life. Attending complexity makes her real: open yourself up to this complexity and not only focus on your own opinion. His work can be an open end or a new beginning; Martin provides a frame. The viewer is able to complete the work by himself; the viewer’s imagination, his time and effort to reflect, is required.

Kris Martin uses well-known or daily objects in a strange way. His work is frequently the result of daily fortune – breaking a champagne glass or going to the flea market and finding a cannonball from the Napoleonic war. Spontaneity is an important factor of his work.

Aware of the relativity of his own life, the artist shows “this is who I am” or “I was here”. By means to his work he tries to change the viewer in order to make a difference. His thoughts about time are reflected in a definition by St. Augustine which Martin considers as the most interesting he has come across: “if you ask me what time is I do not know, but if you do not ask me I know exactly what it is.”

Kris Martin lives and works in Ghent, Belgium.

By Karlyn De Jongh

All quotes from an interview with Karlyn De Jongh, as published in Personal Structures: Time Space Existence, DuMont, Cologne, 2009, p. 248-251