Lucia Nimcova has a deep appreciation of the slippages between photography as an event and its operation in private and official life—the ways in which moments in both spheres are captured, some emotionally and some seemingly neutrally, by the snapping of a shutter and final selection.
Born in 1977. Lives and works in Addis Ababa and Humenne. Nimcova studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
She has recently exhibited her works at WIELS, Brussels; Galeria Arsenal, Bialystok; The 8th Floor, New York; Krokus Gallery, Bratislava; Albumarte, Rome; BOZAR, Brussels and Centro Centro, Madrid. Lucia’s videos were recently shown at Das Kino, Salzburg; Cinema Spoutnik, Geneve; Cinema Nova, Brussels; Jihlava Documentary Film Festival; The Laughing Bell, London; CCA, Glasgow and Filmmuseum, Dusseldorf.
Mexico City, 2008
(HDV video, 04:09 min)
Martelinar - from Spanish word "martillo", hammer - is a surface-decorating technique invented by a mexican architect Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon. He built buildings from concrete, but afterwards he didn't like the look of it and asked local workers to make holes by hammer in the concrete surface to make it look more "humane". Martelinar became his signature style and buildings such as Museo Tamayo, Auditorio Nacional are the best examples. During the 80's Martelinar became so popular in Mexico that when the Mexican Embassy in Berlin was built they decided to use this technique, however, there were no workers in Europe who would be able to do it. Finally, they found some Polish workers who were willing to think about doing the job, but they didn't do it with hammers but instead used drills. So the result was a bit different.
"The video Martelinar, by the Amsterdam-based Slovak artist Lucija Nimcova (1977), was another pleasing work. Filmed in Mexico, with a lightly comic touch and at the same time threatening overtones it shows a number of men smashing a concrete floor in a room with hammers. As it turns out, this is not a laborious act of destruction or group therapy for aggression and hate, as may initially seem, but a unique method of treating concrete (the Spanish name for it martelinar comes from the word for hammer martillo), which was invented and introduced in the 1970s by the Mexicam architect Teodoro González de León (1926). The techinique itself presents a certain ambiguity: apparently destructive (therefore negative) means can achieve an aesthetic (therefore positive) effect, as intended by the architect." (Alise Tīfentāle)