Step into Edgar Martins' Time Machine
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Step into Edgar Martins' Time Machine

Photo by Edgar Martins.

What drew you to these hydro-electric power stations?

My practice has been increasingly rooted in hard-to-access environments, as I am interested in the techniques of artistic expression these engagements can activate, and in the dialogue that these environments can provoke.

Many of these power stations were built between the 1950's and 1970's, a time of hopeful prospects of rapid economic growth and social change. Their tacit raison-d’être was to fuel the country’s expansion and propel it into a prosperous future.

Forty years on, no more than half a dozen people, including specialists and cleaning and security staff, run places which, in some cases, were intended to house up to 250 workers just a few decades ago. These people and their families were intended to live in real villages, hubs of population and urban development in a future which, today, has ultimately emerged as uninhabited.

In recovering a past of exciting technological innovation and optimistic belief in the future, these images become not just about the generation of power but also of dreams and technological utopias. Because the future announced there is here now; and now we know that nothing has happened in the way that the ideological narrative of the modern wanted us to believe that it would.