Antonio Martinez

Near the Egress

August 5 - 29, 2010

Near the Egress (2009) is an evocative 6.5-minute film by artist Antonio Martinez. Martinez shot and developed 16 rolls of black-and-white film from a single circus performance, then printed every frame as a unique 4" X 5" tintype. Each tintype was subsequently scanned and re-sequenced to produce a stop-motion video.

Martinez admits to a fascination with arena spectacles, and a longing to have witnessed a real circus when he was a young child. Near the Egress is a kind of surrogate memory for the artist, an eerie, ephemeral meditation on "a rhythmic yet entropic advancement toward one's uncertain exit (egress) and transformation."

Originally titled The Bygone Circus, Near the Egress debuted in 2008 at The Artist Project, Chicago, and has since been screened in more than 25 US and international exhibitions and festivals. Blue Sky will present both the film as well a set of Martinez's original framed tintypes used to create the piece.

Raised in Owassa, Oklahoma, Antonio Martinez is a photographic artist who teaches at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. He holds a BFA from Creighton University, Omaha, and MFA from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC. A recipient of a 2009 Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, Martinez is currently working on a photographic project of cage fighters in southern Illinois - a sport in which he also participates.