‘I saw right away that he was not there’
Edgar Martins, Anton’s Hand is Made of Guilt. No Muscle or Bone. He has a Gung-ho Finger and a Grief-stricken Thumb, The Moth House, 2024
English & Arabic
Essays by David Campany & Will Self
Anton’s hand is made of guilt. No muscle of bone. He has a Gung-ho Finger and a Grief-strckien Thumb. is a research-based documentary project, a novel, a journal, a lipogramme and an imaginary anthropological study in one.
It is a multifaceted body of work, which includes original photographs, archival photography and images researched from private Islamist, Libyan and dark web forums. It is also accompanied by album of probing soundscapes exploring the everyday experiences of a war correspondent as well as a book of drawings of war scenes (collector’s edition).
Developed in north Africa from 2019-2023, this part-documentary, part-speculative project is based on a poignant and very personal story and experience: the death and disappearance of Edgar Martins’ close friend, photojournalist Anton Hammerl, during the 2011 Libyan war. The book responds to Anton Hammerl’s disappearance/death through an examination of the geography, players and circumstances surrounding his demise as well as a reflection on the decisive but paradoxical role that photography has played in conflict zones.
Through a meta-representational approach that looks beyond the referent – which Martins terms ‘impossible document’ – this publication represents an ambitious attempt to develop a visual lexicon that can be used as a representational and pedagogic tool to interrogate and document modern conflict as well as the spectacle of photojournalism.
About the Author
Edgar Martins is visual artist woking across different media. His work is represented in several high-profile collections, such as those of the V&A, RIBA, the Dallas Museum of Art; MAST , MUDAS, Modern Art Centre Lisbon, MAAT, Fondation Carmignac, amongst others. He has published over 16 books which were met with critical acclaim and exhibited internationally. He was selected to represent Macau (China) at the 54th Venice Biennale.
About the Writers
David Campany is a curator, writer, and Managing Director of Programs at the International Center of Photography, New York. For his writing, he has received the ICP Infinity Award, the Kraszna-Krausz Book Award, the Alice Award, a Deutscher Fotobuchpreis, and the Royal Photographic Society award.
Will Self is an English writer, journalist, political commentator and broadcaster. He has written 11 novels, five collections of shorter fiction, three novellas and nine collections of non-fiction writing.