,,plan B failed"
by Claudio Martinez
15-30 June 2023
In the space between the "if" of "itself" and the "if"-introduction of a hypothetical scenario, there lies a realm of uncertainty, speculation, and enigma. Claudio Martinez, in his project "Fallito Piano B," has envisioned this convergence of the personal pronoun "I" and the conditional "if" as a transformative journey. It is a sentimental and existential crossroads that intertwines literature, music, history, and politics, while delving into an intimate and refined introspective realm reminiscent of the captivating and ever-changing ambiance of certain musical notes (the author particularly associates it with David Sylvian's Darkest Dreaming). To this concoction, Martinez adds elements of irony and playfulness.
Within this visual immersion, photography becomes an analytical and psychoanalytical medium of representation. Its interpretation can be direct or multi-layered, employing symbols that invite deciphering. Thus, although the exercise is subjective, it serves as a conduit for conveying universal messages.
"I don't ever want to be alone, with all my darkest dreams, hold me close, the sky is breaking," sings David Sylvian. However, Martinez's dreams are not always shrouded in darkness. In his photographs, the sky comes alive with lightning and the passage of clouds. The photographer captures the actual sky, employing various techniques while venturing outdoors and pointing the camera upwards. The remaining enchantment transpires within the walls of his studio in Rome, upon a square wooden table measuring one meter and twenty by one meter and twenty. Here, he constructs miniature landscapes with mounds of sand, embellished with an assortment of improbable objects from diverse origins—a plastic Triceratops, a pencil sharpener, a miniature Fiat 500, a paper boat, and even a swirling cow that bears resemblance to a spaceship (which he stumbled upon in Crete at the age of 19 and has since been a constant companion throughout his many relocations).
"There is also a preference for playing and constructing his own toys," remarks Claudio Martinez. Employing a dreamlike language that pays tribute to surrealism and a simultaneously ambiguous color palette reminiscent of his background in the film industry, he chooses himself as the model and protagonist within each scene. By doing so, he transforms the two-dimensionality of the photograph into a narrative that presents a polyphonic perspective.
"Plan B Failed" alludes to numerous notions. It appears as a return to "Plan A," as if "Plan A" itself had been a failure, otherwise there would have been no need for a "Plan B." It is akin to the triumph of failure, a situation where one feels compelled to veer in a different direction, yet refuses to surrender. This notion serves as the premise for the creation of this new series. Within the statements of a defenseless mannequin, there resides an abundance of romance, irony, and even cynicism.