AC [Direct] I and II presents the first complete showing of Martin Gantman’s ongoing project Empire: Davos. Each January Klaus Wachs, the Founder and President of the World Economic Forum, 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 much like Rome. The project 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.
About the Artist
Martin Gantman is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer who has exhibited internationally at 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 work has been featured in Art Ltd. and Art Journal. Recent publications 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 is also co-editor of Benjamin’s Blind Spot: Walter Benjamin and the Premature Death of Aura for the Institute of Cultural Inquiry. 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.
Image courtesy the artist.