In this new exhibition TRANCELUCENSE Martin Eder explores the invisibility of dreams. The word game TRANCE-LUCENSE means for Martin Eder either disappearing or merging into a bodyless reality such as in dreams or in digital virtual worlds. In a series of portraits of sleeping or daydreaming people Eder plays with the translucence of our models of reality, virtual or analogue. Martin Eder, also trained as a hypnotist, finds his realms of poetic avatars, as known from fantasy comics and movies, as well as in fake-history series like Game of Thrones and in the virtual parallel universes of gaming and Cos-Play. He is questioning the thin fabric of which our history and contemporary realities are constructed, be it either analogue or digital. We are in a permanent state of hypnosis, „Permanosis“, as Eder calls it.
Martin Eder’s work reads as coded irony, a deeply melancholic interim stage in a cosmos at the intersection of Neue Sachlichkeit, a sharply cynical resistance to present-day culture as well as contemporary figurative painting and installation. Eder is concerned with metaphysical questions: a search for the comprehension of the basic structure and principles of reality. What constitutes the essence of man? Being is the one state in which all objects conform and differ at the same time. The counter-concept to being here is nothingness, since nothing can stand outside the very state of being. Hugh Allan describes it in his text for 2018 for the Martin Eder Catalogue for the solo exhibition PARASITES at Newport Street Gallery, London in 2018: “Chaos and order co-exist, and that dichotomy feels everpresent in the paintings of Martin Eder. Eder, who was brought up a Catholic in Bavaria, makes us aware of our relationship to shame and our moral, even religious, beliefs when looking at his paintings. Old meets young, good meets evil. Evil personified in the banal guise of a household cat, passive by nature, generally oversized, casting a godlike eye over proceedings – some even transfigure, taking on human features. Eder sees the cosmos in mythological as well as contemporary terms, creating images that are psychologically charged and archetypal, that touch a raw nerve in our psyche.
One is reminded of Jung’s writings on the collective unconscious, which the psychiatrist thought consisted of ‘mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents’. Jung continued, ‘In fact, the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms were organised through the projection of images.’ Eder’s paintings are populated with some of these chaotic forms, which are organised into recognisable, though unnerving, schemes – matriarchal and celestial young women acting out instructive, ritualistic or transgressive scenarios.