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Making "Mart"

The idea for "Mart" dates all the way back to 2009, around the same time "The New World" was conceived. While it was clear from the beginning that the pieces would present shelves full of merchandise, this early note provides a vague idea of the inspiration behind "Mart":

"An elderly lady looking a million dollars. She remembers her grand life through the haze of daily happy hours at the formal dining room. An empty chair next to her. Prosperity and destruction are served on gold-edged plates around here. As the sun sets, she’s taking her Cadillac to the supermarket."

At the time, however, the realization of this vision seemed all but intimidating to us. It took the learnings from the creation of "The New World", especially regarding typography, for the execution to become attainable. Work on "Mart" began in 2014 would and spread over three years. This includes the invention of the depicted brands, the packaging design and the composition of the final shelves. Innumerable iterations would be required for each of these steps, as they turned out to inform each other significantly.

The process we developed to bring "Mart" to life allowed us to work on a somewhat excessive level of detail (these are 125 megapixel images), exploiting the native resolution of the Durst Lambda, the photomechanical printer utilized to expose the images. The shelf system we established will allow us to show products of any size within the same format, while always presenting them accurately in their original size.

With three pieces released, we’re not done with "Mart" yet. There is literally more in store, and there are already hints as to what the next ones may be scattered on our website. At this time, however, we focus on the production and exhibition of the first three pieces - the sheer size of them prevents exhibiting, handling and shipping them from being an afterthought.

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