b. 1963, Barcelona
Lives and works in Sydney
DANI MARTI was born 1963 Barcelona, Spain. Lives and works Sydney, Australia and Glasgow, Scotland. Marti works across video, installation and public art. His unorthodox woven and filmic works turns to wider notions of portraiture and sexuality in Modernism, Minimalism, and geometric abstraction.
Oscillating between hopefulness and failure, Dani Marti’s work is hinged to a representational paradox. For on the one hand it presupposes belief in the act of portrayal, and on the other hand it tacitly admits portraiture’s inevitable failure to accurately capture. His relation to his subject is consistently fixed: an obsessive, laborious, and often desire-driven attempt to represent something of his subject that is beyond appearances. Something of a deep-rooted lust between him and his subject, something of an essence, something, in other words, beyond surface. But it is surface—quite literally—that we as viewers are left with in Marti’s work, nothing objectively closer to ‘the real’ other than what one chooses to see and read into it. Marti’s work is thus an explicit reminder that viewer subjectivity is the only place where the portrait can truly be generated. His gestures toward it are merely our starting points.
“For Marti, both weaving and (video) taping, represent an act of bondage, a ritual which enables the artist to ‘possess’ the person that is portrayed. Aesthetics, pleasure, fantasy and security come into play reminding us of Foucault’s ideas about violence as an exercise of power that negatively affects freedom, and through which the dignity of the other is perceived under a new light. It’s a question of faith, of mutual consensus, but also and most importantly about portraiture as an impossible act.”
FREEMANTLE ARTS CENTRE
BLACK SUN - PROJECT NOTES-
FAC hosted Dani Marti’s first WA solo show as part of the 2016 Perth International Arts Festival. Including a generous offering of new and never before shown hand-woven canvases, audio and video works, Black Sun is both seductive and confronting. Marti uniquely combines video and textiles to create portraits which reflect upon encounters with family, lovers and strangers. His works are intense in their scrutiny, alive in their passion and ask poignant questions about sexuality, intimacy, the efficacy of relationships, encounters and the need to share in others’ stories.
EXHIBITION TEXT -
In the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery Marti will exhibit new sculptural wall pieces. The artist’s previous solo exhibition, RUN, RUN, RUN, was infused with high hues of colour, and sexuality by contrast Slow Show is presented to us in shades of black. The artist has had a long fascination with black - embedded in his Spanish heritage. Most recently, ‘Armour’ was his proposal for ‘Dark Heart’ at the Adelaide Biennial 2014, as a response to Goya’s black paintings. Marti states “ Black slows me down with each step I take towards it”.