MOMENTUM – DROPLET / PAINTING A DREAM

“Unexpectedly we are absorbed into the Paradise of Colors. The Rainbow invites Droplet to paint his dream…” Francesca Marti

DROPLET

 

In the recent work of Francesca Martí, the magical figure of Droplet exists as a care-free elf, a spritely symbol of liberty and passion. He is personified in Martí’s photographs and videos by Matthew Mitcham, the Australian Olympic gold medal diver who won the 10-metre platform event in Beijing in 2008 with the highest-scoring single dive in Olympic history.

Droplet appears in Francesca Martí’s works in a broad variety of techniques – photographs, digital prints, video projections on photographs, collages, paintings on canvas and large-scale video installations of the figure of Matthew Mitcham using his hands to spread swirls of paint over his surroundings. The Painting a Dream video shows Mitcham from above, projected onto a large, white box.  It seems as if the athlete’s body is emerging from the ground.  At the same time, there is a provocative element to the beauty inherent in Martí’s work. The human figure is seen to be altering his environment. The Droplet and Painting a Dream videos are accompanied by a soundtrack specially composed by Norman van Geerke, a musician from Suriname, now based in Palma and Ireland.

Francesca Martí’s work presents a contemporary fairy-tale in which the viewer’s eye is both tricked and mesmerized. The computer-manipulated photographs show Matthew Mitcham in miniature, an athlete posed in a natural setting of giant flowers, twigs and leaves. Along side these still-photographs, other images show the same scene, but this time without the human figure. Instead, the perfectly synchronized figure of Droplet appears and disappears in a video, wandering across the paper as a luminous projection. He emerges from the dark forest like a mystical creature surveying his territory. Two larger projections of this moving figure are framed by door-like structures, resembling portals in to another world.  In this way, Martí opens up her imagination, and shows us her visions of paradise.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Jonathan Turner

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En el último trabajo de Francesca Martí, la mágica figura de Droplet se materializa como un elfo sin preocupaciones, un símbolo del espíritu de pasión y libertad. Droplet está personalizado en fotografías y vídeos de Martí por Matthew Mitcham, el Oro Olímpico en salto de trampolín ganador en la plataforma de 10 metros en Beijing 2008 con la más alta puntuación en la historia de las Olimpiadas.

Droplet aparece en el trabajo de Francesca Martí mediante una amplia variedad de técnicas: fotografía, impresiones digitales, video proyecciones sobre fotografía, collages, pinturas sobre tela, y video instalaciones a gran escala que reproducen la figura de Matthew Mitcham usando sus manos para esparcir chorros de pintura a su alrededor. El vídeo de Mitcham será proyectado en una caja blanca.  En esta vídeo instalación parece que el cuerpo del atletaemerge de la tierra. Aun cuando la belleza es inherente al trabajo de Martí, existe al mismo tiempo, un elemento provocativo. La figura humana se manifiesta como un elemento alterador del ambiente que le rodea. Sus movimientos rítmicosson una metáfora del modo en el que nosotros intentamos cambiar el mundo a nuestro gusto, o de como nos camuflarnos para conseguir encajar mejor en él. La pintura Droplet y los vídeos de Painting a Dream están acompañados por una banda sonora especialmente compuesta por Norman van Geerke, un músico de Suriname, que vive entre Palma e Irlanda

Las obras de Francesca Martí es una fábula contemporánea, en la que el ojo del espectador es engañado y fascinado al mismo tiempo. Las fotografías manipuladas con el ordenador, enseñan a Matthew Mitcham en miniatura, un atleta colocado en un decorado natural de flores gigantes, ramitas y hojas. Junto con estas fotografías, otras imágenes muestran la misma escena , pero esta vez la sin la figura humana. La figura de Droplet, perfectamente sincronizada, aparece y desaparece video proyectada, deambulando sobre el papel como una proyección luminosa. Emerge de la oscura selva como una criatura mística vigilando su territorio. Dos proyecciones de esta figura, esta vez más grandes, están enmarcadas en estructuras a modo de grandes portales a través de los que adentrarnos en otros mundos. De esta manera, Martí abre su imaginación y nos enseña su visión del paraíso.                                                                                                                                     Jonathan Turner

Excerpt from Droplet (2008-2016), a 7:20 minute video exhibited in 2016 in video art festivals in Buenos Aires, Venice and Rome.


 

PAINTING A DREAM

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“In some works, Matt physically squeezes out of the paintings.” Francesca Marti

“I am in Alghero in Sardinia looking out to sea from the ramparts. Alghero has a Balearic atmosphere (but moved 500 kilometres to the east from its natural site), where every week, low-cost flights bring in a large number of inquisitive visitors from around the world, but where there still floats the strong perfume of the Sardinian hinterland. A picturesque and pleasurable metaphor for contemporaneity: strong natural identity confronted by a sense of globalism which permeates everything. It reminds me, although the similarity with the Balearic Isles is coincidental, of Francesca Martí and the video installation she realized for the exhibition MATT DIVE GOLD in Rome in July 2009, a group show in which I also participated. I had the opportunity to study her work from close by. Francesca reveals a strong artistic identity (the result of contamination and citation, as it rightly should be) and she is able to make use of the opportunities and complexities offered by globalization. I’m not an art critic, but for me, Francesca manages to be a true, authentic “spacciatore di identità”, a dealer of identities. She does this with remarkable elegance and mysterious simplicity. In reality, it’s the true (and possibly only) reason to be an artist today.”  Antonio Riello, artist, Italy, July 2010

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Images from Into the Box series 2013 Gallery Gerhardt Braun, Palma de Mallorca

“Fragments of bodies inhabit storerooms, galleries and museums. Fragments of skin inscribed with a story. It may be all we have left: the body. A body wherein lies our identity. Everything revolves around our body, which may or may not be divine, but is always human. The body is the first thing we notice, our calling card, the first impression. Thanks to the body we feel the endless range of sensations because the body is, undoubtedly, a limitless territory. The body is a volume on a plane, an object from which we can eliminate the soul and convert into matter, an object that is a reference to other concepts beyond the flesh itself. By eliminating the face, the gesture, the gaze, the body is merely an empty container.”

Introduction to EXIT Magazine #42  The body as an object May-July, 2011.