Dani Marti.

* 1963 in Barcelona, ESP

2006 Master of Fine Arts, Glasgow School of Art, UK

2000 Master of Arts, majoring in sculpture and installation, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, AUS

1991–1992 Fine Arts Course, Art Students League, New York, NY

1990–1991 Diploma Fine Arts, Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney, AUS


Ausstellungen [Auswahl]:

2012 Mariposa (Butterfly), Breenspace, Sydney, AUS
2011 TOUCH; The portraiture of Dani Marti, Newcastle Art Gallery, AUS
2010 Bacon’s Dog,  Breenspace, Sydney, AUS
2009 Insideout, GoMA and Glasggay, Glasgow, UK


Bacon's Dog

Date: 2010
Length: 11:30 min.
Format: 16:9
Specifications: Colour, Sound, Two Channel
Courtesy BREENSPACE, Sydney and the artist



Ein nackter Mann liegt auf einem ungemachten Bett. Arme und Beine von sich gestreckt, verharrt sein Körper in einer ruhenden Position. Das Bild verschwindet in Dunkelheit und wird durch eine Nahaufnahme auf den Rumpf sowie den rechten Arm des Mannes abgelöst. Die anschließenden Sequenzen zeigen im Detail oder aus der Totalen Aufnahmen zweier nackter Männerkörper, die sich ihrem sexuellen Begehren hingeben oder erschöpft beieinander liegen. Alternierend wechseln die Szenen zwischen den Screens der Zweikanalarbeit oder werden parallel sichtbar. In den Innenraum eindringender Autolärm, eine tickende Uhr, Geräusche und Gedanken der Protagonisten fließen in die Szenerie ein. Das Video des spanischen Künstlers Dani Marti, ist die intime Momentaufnahme der ersten sexuellen Erfahrung Peter Fays, ein 65-jähriger Schriftsteller, Kurator und Kunstsammler aus Sydney. In seiner Darstellung legte Marti, der selbst in der Rolle des anderen Mannes auftritt, den Akzent auf die Performanz der Hände, die als Instrumente der körperlichen Fremderfahrung als auch der sexuellen Triebbefriedigung dienen. Sie fühlen, tasten und begreifen den Anderen und verhelfen zu einer neuen Selbsterfahrung. Bevor es zu körperlichen Intimitäten zwischen den beiden Männern kam, erfolgte die seelische Entblößung Peters. In E-Mails, welche Marti in dem Video „My Sad Captain“ (2010) verarbeitete, berichtete Peter rückhaltlos u.a. über seine Kindheit, Sehnsüchte und Wünsche. Beide Werke wurden simultan 2010 in Sydney uraufgeführt.

Sonja Schacht




► 1. Your work has been chosen among over 2000 festival entries to participate in VIDEONALE.14. In which context do you prefer to present your work, festival/cinema context or exhibition? And what kind of difference does the respective mode of presentation mean for you / your work?


I would be incline  to show my work in a gallery context  in order to control more  the viewing experience.
Bacon's Dog and My Sad Captain are conceived as an installation work,  both together or individually.  My Sad Captain is a video text work composed  from emails  exchanged with the subject prior, during and post filming,  over a period of 3 months. A raw and intimate confessional diary,  of someone that it is allowing himself to experience intimacy for the first time at the age of 63. It is important to create an intimate space where the viewer feels comfortable watching the work. I am bringing an intimate space into a public one.



► 2. Art can be seen as a mirror that registers and reflects life or as a tool that transforms it. Is there a particular theme, concept or problem your art addresses the most?


It  works in both ways.  it is a mirror that registers life but at the same time is a documentation of an exchange between subject, artist, and camera. In the case of BACON'S DOG the whole work/ experience was cathartic for Peter FAy,  the subject. He  experienced sexuality , intimacy for the first time;  through the process,  that lasted just over three months, he lost twenty kilograms. He experienced  lust, the need to posses someone , hatred,  jalousie, and a willingness to love and to destroy. All feelings and emotions that were quite alien to him up until then. He was very much confronted by the journey, he discovered  parts of himself that he had never allowed himself to recognise in the past. After we finished filming I encouraged him to go on line and to have lots of sex with different partners . Six months later,  he came across Robin, his current partner. As an artist I carefully composed scenarios then play out within the confines of domestic interiors, with individuals with whom I set up a relationship that can last between a few hours to months.  The terms of the transaction is intimacy and in some instances sex in exchange for access to their inner lives. I am interested in discussing the nature and the ethics of that exchange. The aim of the work is not to be didactic or transformative; It is an exchange, a construction , and as such it always conceals a degree of risk.



► 3. In which way is the video medium an excellent possibility to express your intended subjects, especially in contrast to other media you use? Or do you work exclusively with video?


I call them portraits as a starting point, as a reference, but these portraits go beyond the person being portrayed – the individuals are just vehicles for something else. It is a search for some kind of abstraction, or maybe you could call it emotion. The work becomes documentation of that exchange. Elements of abstraction will arise in the editing process, but then I always want to retain and convey that sense of directness and interaction. Each project is an experiment, a walk into the unknown. The structure of each portrait evolves through the dynamics of the interaction between the subject, the camera and myself. I often seek those moments and dynamics in which we have the strongest sense of self, whether through sex, introspection or family relations. At times the work perhaps parodies therapy as well as heightened moments of domesticity. I centre my work on the impossibility of portraiture – the construction and consumption of various aspects of the self and personhood. When somebody stands in front of the camera I am conscious that I depict, and also construct, the subject, capturing, possessing and consuming some sense of the self. Aspects of the subject become distorted but fixed at the same time. This subjectivity is central to the process of identity construction. Repeated narratives of self and identity often mask our anxieties.

I work in different mediums. I have been practising  since 1999 and it is only in 2005 that i started using the video/film as a medium. the other part of my practice  is driven by the simbiology of industrial-everyday materials,  craft practices, conceptualism and formalism. I create dynamic woven  constructions and sculptural installations that combine intellect and a  sensual minimalism immersed in a Baroque sensibility. There is a strong  inflection of portraiture in this series of works which are, in essence,  'swatches' of (fabric) which capture moods, intensities, and personalities. The works become representational not only of states of  feelings, but also of regimes of class and power, and the idiosyncrasies of  personal psychosexualities.
They are indeed to be  two separate mediums/languages, but at the same time they interact with each other, sometimes in an obvious way but other times in a more obscure fashion. I really like the polarity of going from abstraction, from a coded, individual language, to the narrative of the moving image. But I see similarities in that polarity – repetition, obsession, bondage, and energy. They work independently, and they conceal such different kinds of energy. Somehow I need both of them to survive creatively. Both mediums reveal that portraiture is impossible; it is always in translation. It is provisional.



► 4. If you have the chance to ask the visitors of the VIDEONALE.14 exhibition questions about your own work, what would be your question?


nothing. It's its  own experience now, its own construction, with its very own personal reading.
The viewer' subjectivity is the only place where the sense of portraiture can be generated.

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