Signed and numbered edition of 155 by Christina Martinelli
6 color screenprint on French 100lb cover, 2019
The basis of this print is the last stanza of W.H. Auden’s poem “September 1, 1939,” a poem which deeply resonates with me, translated into a drawn version of Semaphore flag signaling. Much of my recent work is interested in communicating language through abstract yet decipherable code, providing a covenant between the work and the viewer that time spent with an image can lead to decipherability. By presenting the words as images I am proposing that the viewer see the inherent musicality, and universality, of words and the written language. I have been working with semaphore for many reasons, one being it’s one-to-one relationship between symbol and letter, and another because of its insistence on being either received or repeated. As a print, painting, or other form of static image the message is there, repeating and being received, as long as the viewer is engaging with the work. I think of these messages as affirming flames, as links between people and worlds across unfathomable distances.
DEFENCELESS UN- / DER THE NIGHT / OUR WORLD IN / STUPOR LIES YET / DOTTED EVERY- / WHERE IRONIC / POINTS OF LIGHT / FLASH OUT WHER- / EVER THE JUST / EXCHANGE THEIR / MESSAGES MAY I / COMPOSED LIKE / THEM OF EROS AND / OF DUST BELEAG- / UERED BY THE / SAME NEGATION / AND DESPAIR, SHOW / AN AFFIRMING / FLAME W.H. AUDEN / SEPTEMBER 1 1939
A note on Semaphore: semaphore is a means of visual communication most commonly used by sailors on ships to communicate across a distance. Each signaler has two flags and the position of their arms holding the flags indicates a letter – in this way messages are spelled out letter by letter. Semaphore was a visual precursor to Morse code. I have adapted this language into a drawn language that I use to translate my own writing and the writing of others into images.
Christina Martinelli (b. 1986, New York City) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her BA from Bennington College. She has exhibited at Practice Gallery, New York; NYU’s 80WSE Gallery, New York; ConnerSmith, Washington, D.C.; Open Space, Baltimore, MD; and others, and has attended residencies at SÍM Residency, Reykjavik, Iceland; The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Nebraska City, NE; and The Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY. She is a current Scholar in the Advanced Study of Book Arts at Center for Book Arts in New York City.
Made in Brooklyn, NY. Standard 18"x24" size for easy and affordable framing or let us frame it in our hand made Vermont maple museum frame featuring walnut splines, archival UV blocking glazing and acid free mounting.
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