In 1990, Kolkoz was one of the first collectives of artists to embrace new technologies related to video games through hacking.
This aura of avant-garde, combined with a sulphurous reputation, brought them to the attention of the French gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin,
whose young age they shared, before he imposed his stature as an art dealer internationally. It is on the momentum of this familiarity with computer processing that Murmurations builds its substance, Martinez & Lefort are taking up the thread of their personal creation in parallel with their work as artistic director and technological supervisor for large companies in the gaming industry.
“ We are, within this experiment, in what we call
“the dream of the machine"
This one will perform stains in perfect unconsciousness, produce shapes without knowing exactly what it is doing. By contemplating the result, we try to produce meaning from these images but there isn’t really any. This is where the process meets Surrealism, there is no intention or truth in our works, only questions. It is more about the observer who gives meaning through his own projections than the machine that produces it”.
For the series of works presented, the "basic material" of Martinez and Lefort is taken from 19th century paintings which undergo mixtures and alterations, making them unrecognizable even if, here, we recognize a representative of firefighter art and there, Delacroix. "We love this fusion of Neo-Classicism and Surrealism says the duo. The digitally distorted shapes result in a mesmerizing result. It is as if we had awakened old artists to subject them to psychedelic experiments”. The various paintings in Murmurations (particularly Inferno and The Gift) are characterized by a very formal, academic approach. The viewer initially has the impression of understanding these images, which are highly referenced, before changing their minds: when they look closer, nothing obvious remains. The more we look, the less we grasp what is happening. The image sends us back to the understanding we have of it, provoking a mirror effect, an irresistible introspection.
The Murmurations series is the first of a recently reactivated collaboration between the two artists, who forged their experience in contemporary art with the pioneering French collective Kolkoz.