LB°24 Participants

Alain James Martin

The Future Belongs to Crowds, Alain James Martin. Luleåbiennalen 2013.

Alain James Martin (b. 1958, Canada), is an artist based in Canada.

As a painter I work within the concept or project based practice. The photo used in presentation, Crowd at Coney Island by the Hungarian-American photographer Weegee, is a well-known and often reproduced image. In fact, I am working with two pictures taken only moments apart. The photo comes from the summer of 1940 and depicts a crowd on the beach at Coney Island, New York. The idea for this work began with a phrase by author Don DeLillo in his novel MAU II (1991): The future belongs to the crowd. This powerful statement resonated with me from the first reading, and now, for this project poses the question: “which crowd?” Each crowd has a personality that can be recorded like the expression on the face of an individual, but the crowd can also be a faceless mass. Drawing necessitates a study of detail. For example, what is striking when examining this crowd from 70 years ago, is the nearly complete absence of consumer products. So if the future does indeed belong to the crowd, what can we learn from the crowd whose future we know?

Alain James Martin is an artist from Verdun Quebec in Canada. He is best known for his alternative project Galerie Pink, and he was also an active member of the artist run center Articule. One of the most famous exhibitions arranged by Alain James Martin in cooperation with Vincent Tinguely was Regard à Gauche/Looking Left in 2003.


The Future Belongs to Crowds, three pieces. Details based on the photograph Crowd at Coney Island, July 22, 1940 by Weegee (Usher Fellig), International Center of Photography