Quondam, large-scale installation in new art space in Mallorca

Francesca Martí. Quondam (2024),video, recycled satellite dish, polystyrene, micro-cement, scaffolding, mixed media. (Installation photos by Johan Danielson, Stockholm)

Francesca Martí’s Quondam installation is featured as part of a studio presentation at the Art & Design District in La Soledad neighborhood Palma de Mallorca, a new cultural complex established by Johann Nowak from DNA Galerie in Berlin.
Projected onto a large satellite dish retrieved from the roof of the building where it is now temporarily installed, Martí’s Quondam video features local residents talking about their personal histories and the changes over time they have seen happening in their neighborhood. In her own way, she is creating a personal biography of La Soledad. After all, quondam refers to what happened at an earlier time.

Quondam installation at the new Art & Design District in Palma, with scenes from Marti’s Quondam video (2024)
projected onto a satellite dish salvaged from the roof of the former garage.

The video is shown in a dramatic almost mythical context, because the large circular form of the recycled satellite dish onto which the Quondam video is projected, is being passed between two monumental figures. One of Martí’s Dreamer sculptures is seated high on scaffolding while he passes the satellite dish to the outstretched hands of a Believer sculpture standing on the floor below. It is as though we are witnessing a mighty, Herculean task, but at the same time, viewing a sequence of informal filmed moments.

In Francesca Martí’s Quondam video (2024), one of her motifs is a series of spinning hubcaps salvaged from the former garage in La Soledad where her new video installation can now be seen. These hubcaps were left behind in the building when the previous auto-mechanics business closed down. Martí saw several links between these discarded hubcaps and her own work. The shape of the hubcaps echo her circular satellite dishes, they symbolize the idea of travel (having themselves spun countless times when attached to the wheels of a car), children had sprayed them in a playful manner with brightly coloured graffiti, plus Martí was using recycled materials in a new way. In her recent works, the artist creates unexpected combinations of classical sculpting techniques and found objects, high-tech and low-tech materials, symbolism and expressionism.

Quondam – Speed (2024), car hubcaps, spray paint, found photographs in frames; dimensions variable. 

Martí’s Quondam – Speed installation at La Soledad features a group of the spray-painted hubcaps from her Quondam video, as well as four old framed photographs publicizing automotive paints, which the artist also found in the former garage. These commercial prints show different models of vintage cars, with technicians proudly demonstrating the effects of automotive lacquer, a material also used by Martí in many of her own sculptures.

Francesca Martí and Johann Nowak working on the Quondam installation at the Art & Design District in a former car-repair garage in La Soledad.

Marti’s presentation in La Soledad took place in late March at the same time as an open studio in the Art & Design District Palma by American artist Gary Hill, known for his foundational installations based on video, sound, language and a dialogue with technology.
Art & Design District Palma
Carrer de Siquier 31
Soledad Sur, Palma de Mallorca
For info: Nahil Fuente (34) 619 720642

Francesca Martí in mid-March, preparing her new Dreamer and Believer sculptures for her Quondam installation, at her studio in Soller (with Johan Danielson)
Model for the Quondam installation in Martí’s studio, and the artist being interviewed for IB3 News in Palma