Dutch-born photographer Martien Mulder (b.1971) has made work in conversation with architecture for over two decades. Traveling to sites designed by Le Corbusier—such as Sainte Marie de la Tourette, a monastery near Lyon, France, and to Chandigarh, the first planned city in India—Mulder focuses on the elemental aspects of the built environment: a crevice in aged concrete, a cast shadow, a still life of light upon dark windows. She attends to the gap between knowledge and realization, investigating the “in-between space” and the power and effort of attention. “Complete attention,” the philosopher Simone Weil writes, “is like unconsciousness.”
The works in INTERVAL explicate the relationships between expectation and reality, or architectural referent and affective experience. Mulder invites the viewer to share her attunement to intervening time and space, and to the materials that fill that void. The resulting images hover between the figurative and abstract, creating an interval in themselves.
For the first time, Mulder has created unique prints on linen. The materiality of her often-architectonic subject matter juxtaposes the delicate media of ink printed on fabric. The series of smaller works in the exhibition are all framed by the artist in hand-crafted wooden frames that reference the Le Corbusier LC14 box—from the joinery to the oval-shaped hole in the back panel.
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MDFG presents INTERVAL in conjunction with the release of Mulder’s book of the same title, published by August Editions:
Mulder’s new book of images springs from the Japanese concept of ma, which can be described as a pause in time, an interval, or emptiness in space. Teaming up with Amsterdam-based creatives Stef Bakker and Carsten Klein, Mulder embarked on an extensive quest to reveal the ma in her own images, editing from an archive of 25 years of photography. The images in this book are studies of the in-between; some center on details photographed at such close quarters that they lose their context, while others show only the negative space, inactivity, or quiet nothingness. The viewing direction of the book is not dictated, nor is the beginning or the end, nor the pace: it can be opened to any page at any time, functioning as an object of contemplation.