Holding One's Breath
Martine Linge has given her series of sculptures the title "Pust" (breath). These works are ambiguous forms that are often precariously balanced and installed in capricious ways. They remind one of the natural world and their presence in the gallery space often seems to evoke a sense of becoming - perhaps a state in which they seem to be slowly growing and filling the entire room - rather than being.
The material used to create these bio-forms is wood, usually untreated, which is often combined with more pliable felt. When looking at these sculptures, one is easily led to ponder about issues of representation. What do these pieces signify? We recognize the biological world of their origin, but are unable to accurately attach their appearance to anything previously encountered.
The title,"Pust" (breath), evokes the experience of air moving in and out of one's lungs. Air is the sculptural material we use when blowing up balloons, yet, balloons have a predetermined form. In Linge's sculptures, the form of breathing is sensed, imagined or experienced as it enters the world of light and real objects. Their shapes are formed in the process, the inside becomes the outside or the invisible becomes the visible. At the same time, they represent something that we do not recognise with mere eyes. Their form is based on air, which, in the action of breathing, can actually be touched but not seen, and, as objects, they are felt to share the space with our physical being.
Linge plays with the surfaces of her sculptures. She braids the mellow objects, creating forms based on the alternation of positive and negative surfaces, or she creates bulgy baroque-like forms of epoxy that give the impression of being small clouds transformed into vases or vessels. When hung on the wall, they seem to be on the verge of falling down due to their visual weight. This intricate balancing act is a feature that characterizes most of her works. It creates the particular tension that the viewer feels when looking at these sculptures, the particular tension that makes one hold one's breath for a moment.