Wolverhampton Art Gallery is delighted to host The Poetic Impossibility to Manage the Infinite, an exhibition by award winning artist Edgar Martins. It runs from Saturday 7 February to Saturday 2 May 2015. The display of photographic work is an artistic and comprehensive documentation of space exploration reflecting on its new politics and the impact of this kind of technological application on our individual and social consciousness.

In 2012, ESA, the European Space Agency, granted Edgar Martins’ exclusive and unparalleled access to their facilities, technology and partners; the first time such access has ever been granted to an artist. Since then, Martins travelled to 15 different locations across 3 continents, shooting in classified facilities.

With a focus on microcosms, Martins takes objects beyond their intended scientific use, discovering and revealing the spectrum of possibilities that they awaken. Images such as those of Sokol spacesuits create personal links, enhanced through a display of personal objects belonging to ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy.

Over many decades, the exploration of space has been intertwined with photography. Edgar Martins’ media complements his subject, allowing him to bring a critical and artistic perspective to technology through a recognisable pre-existing link.

The photographs were shot with a 10x8” large format camera, using long exposures, some up to an hour, and a manual flash. Through this, Martins creates an element of uncertainty to his work, contrasting with science and its need for precision.

Edgar Martins will be present at the launch of Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Space Programme on Friday 13 March at 6pm. He will be holding a discussion with ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy who has followed Edgar Martins’ project closely, contributing to his work and recent book.

Edgar Martins was born in Évora in 1977 and grew up in Macau. In 1996 he moved to the UK, where he completed a BA in Photography at the London College of Printing & Distributive Trades, as well as an MA in Photography and Fine Art at the Royal College of Art (London).

His work is represented internationally in several high-profile collections, such as those of the V&A (London), the National Media Museum (Bradford, UK), RIBA (London), the Dallas Museum of Art (USA); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian (Lisbon), Fundação EDP (Lisbon), Fondation Carmignac (Paris), among others.

Edgar Martins was the recipient of the inaugural New York Photography Award (Fine Art category) in May 2008 and was again a finalist in 2013. In 2009 he was also awarded the prestigious BES Photo Prize (Portugal), as well as a SONY World Photography Award (Landscape category). In 2010 Edgar Martins was nominated for the Prix Pictet 2009 and awarded 1st prize in the Fine Art— Abstract category of the 2010 International Photography Awards. Martins was selected to represent Macau (China) at the 54th Venice Biennale.