MARTIN BRIEF

Documents of Freedom

ink on paper, 11” x 15”, 2019–2020
ink on paper, 11” x 15”,
2019–2020

These four works employ drawing and erasing as a response to the current political and cultural climate in America. Each one began as a transcription of one of the United States’ founding documents: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, The Bill of Rights and Amendments XI–XXVII. After completing each drawing I erased them, one letter at a time, by scratching and scraping the surface of the paper with an X-acto knife. Transcription and erasure are both meditative practices; the former, an act of veneration, the latter, a corrective. At its most basic level erasure is a way to eliminate a mistake. It can also be destructive, meant to remove something objectionable or an obstruction. In either case this process of removal creates a clearing. In a time characterized by rage filled, furious shouting these quiet drawings are an elegiac acknowledgement of America’s mistakes and become palimpsests for something new.


Amendments Amendments Amendments
Amendments detail Amendments detail Amendments detail
Constitution Constitution Constitution
Constitution in progress Constitution in progress Constitution in progress
Constitution in progress detail Constitution in progress detail Constitution in progress detail
Declaration Declaration Declaration
Declaration detail Declaration detail Declaration detail
Rights Rights Rights
Rights detail Rights detail Rights detail



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