From ancient up to modern times, the Orient to the Occident, palms are revered as wondrous plants of strange beauty, with lush coconuts and dates dangling from their dreadlock fronds.
Jonathan Martin assembled an unlikely anthology of drawings consisting of the unspoken, phantasmal aspects of being a palm. To be exact, a palm in the brains of a sharp-witted, moony collector of comprehensive socio-cultural myths, philosophies, folk tales and superstitions.
His book is a sober celibration of the manifoldness of the arcane phenomenon called Arecaceae (or simply palm tree), a trip through Mesopotamia, ancient temples, hieroglyphs, the I Ching, Samarra, Egyptian dance and cryptic occultations at a palm's hands.
Martin finds jokes in flat depictions of belief, the unavailing, the mystical and the wryly, and is equally fond of screwy allusions. Informed by an unsentimental nostalgia for American heritage, outer space, ethnography and religion, Martin's book explores the mystery of a tree, by embedding it in a star map wherein he confronts the Evangel with pop culture, Zen with contemporary art and the Qur'an, and not to forget the fixed coordinate Neil Young (who you'll find in a tree trunk).
> Jonathan Martin - okmambo.com
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Times is an annual publication concerned with memory and representation. The first edition of Times, The Puzzling Almanac, is a pictorial atlas arranged according to a calendrical structure.
365 photographs from the early 19th to the early 20th century were assembled to a book, enabling the reader to embark on time travels through unlikely associations between scientific inventions, ancient discoveries and past current affairs. The blatant staging of the photographs that have become constituents of our collective memory, reveal the futility of objectifiable, transhistorical systems of measurement and documentation. We are always dealing with genealogical, indexicalized representations, or in less fancy words, with storytelling.
The cyclical notion of the calendar installs the photographs in the realm of the clockwork of the skies, an ongoing movement that allows brief glimpses of time, yet as soon as we have realized, they have already escaped our grasp and disappeared into something scientists have described as an ever-expanding, strange spiral.
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