Martin Bladh /text/
Karolina Urbaniak /photography/
No Breath of Sound - The History of Drowning ’ is the pinnacle of a collaboration between Karolina Urbaniak and Martin Bladh. It’s the third and final part of a trilogy - including the series ‘Coup de grâce’ and ‘To Putrefaction’ - which explores the artist's personal obsession with beauty and death.
‘Not the physical person, but her very individual way of declassifying shape Karolina sees into disinformation, so that the focus being a step-change ahead of what she shoots into a body breathing helium and not oxygen. In a very real way Martin is the cryonic agent to transformation, the near-frozen body time-slipped into physical abstraction.’ – Jeremy Reed
Captured against the backdrop of south England’s seashore Urbaniak’s photographs transmute Bladh’s naked body into posthuman landscapes, making it the centre and the sole protagonist in a static theatre of death. Each photograph corresponds with a piece of text carefully chosen and juxtaposed by Bladh. The History of Drowning is a fragmented, romantic ode which combines the deaths of Dutch artist Jas Ban Ader with Ludwig ll of Bavaria, the executions of the early christian martyrs with the American Smiley Face Murders, and the disaster victims of Kaho Lak with the suicide lovers leap from the Yangtze River Bridge in China.