Shot in sixteen different locations, across eight separate states, this work catalyses and reunites fresh experiences of a new form of American architecture by summoning a disquieting conjunction of realism and fiction. In a  study that goes beyond pure formal investigation and documentation Martins creates a poignant commentary on the financial ruin and bankruptcy that struck the lives of many thousands of people.

According to the author Peter D Osborne (who contributes an essay to the book), “This is not a House  plays on the borders between what Ranciére calls, ‘the logic of facts and the logic of fictions’; it is itself formed from that relationship, a product of another crisis in which the categories of Art Photography and Documentary Photography have not so much fallen apart as fallen into each other. Martins’ work is the bearer of the crisis it engages with, a crisis that is only in part economic. More immediately the manifest theme of This is not a House places it at a point where parallel themes converge, each governed by a fear of the loss of reality: the concern that digitalisation has undermined photographic realism and compromised any truth-telling facility in the medium and beyond; and the fear of Wall Street’s undermining of what is interestingly referred to as the real economy”.

This is the real context in which This Is not a House appears, the ruins of the house-economy.

Book published by Dewi Lewis Ltd.
Limited number of signed copies available through The Moth House.


May 2011
109 pages
1000 copies
Quarter binding cloth hardcover
Essays by Peter D. Osborne, Sacha Cradock


This is not a House

Edgar Martins

The US sub-prime mortgage crisis, which has its roots in the closing years of the twentieth century, became apparent in 2007 and exposed pervasive weaknesses as well as deep-rooted inequalities within financial industry regulation and the global financial system.      Read More >


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