Dani Marti

Language/Language group: Spanish, English
Instagram: @danimarti0

Dani Marti was born 1963 Barcelona, Spain. Lives and works in Cessnock, Australia and Barcelona. Marti works across video, installation and public art. His unorthodox woven and film works turn to wider notions of portraiture and sexuality in modernism, minimalism, and geometric abstraction. Since 1998, Marti has held over 40 solo exhibitions,  and most recently he exhibited at Cinco Relatos con un Punto de Vista, 2020, MUSAC, Leon, Spain; Friendship as a Way of Life, 2020, UNSW Galleries, Sydney; The Public Body .02, 2017, Artspace, Sydney; Black Sun, 2016, Perth International Art Festival; Mutacan con las mujeres, 2015, Centro Cultural Mutacana 100, Chile; La Vida es Esto, 2015, Domus Artium Salamanca, Spain; Adelaide Biennial, 2014, Gallery of South Australia.

The first major monograph of his work was published by Hatje Cantz in 2012.

Original Action


My action brings together two works, Songs of Surrender (2004-21) and Still life under the Stars (2021) that explore the interior and exterior landscapes of the human body and its relationship to illness, mutation, deterioration and fear.

Songs of Surrender revisits a visual diary I started in August 2004 where over five months I documented myself at the start of each day as I injected a new drug that had just been added to my ‘chemical cocktail’ treatment for my HIV condition. This was an anxious time as it was the last option left for me to control the viral levels in my body. The act of self-documenting allowed me to distance myself from my experiences, but at the same time it became more tangible, as if the disease could almost be touched at the end of my fingertips.

All these images have been sitting in my hard drive since then, dormant; not re-visited nor edited. It is only after the events of last year that I decided to look at them again. This also triggered the creation Still life under the Stars, a series of videos and plastic sculptures that have been melted and transformed through a process of heat and pressure. Together, these works are reminders of the vulnerability of the body and mental health, and its capacity for strength through it all. A journey. 


My father was a doctor. I remember at very early age (maybe around seven, nine or eleven) looking at his laparoscopy slide collection. Endless close-ups of diseased livers and ulcerous stomachs. The inner body under the spot light. Mesmerising.

Dark caves, gentle valleys in endless reds, stalactites in shades of milky yellows.

Dani Marti, Still Life – Pink, 2021
Sound: Richard Chartier using excerpts from ‘Variable Dimensions’ 2020 (LINE, US)


Visual diary part 2 (August)


2020 - what has happened? 😱

Maybe the positioning of the planets will reveal the answer: Mars - Jupiter -Saturn - Pluto in Capricorn…

Maybe not.

Dani Marti
Still Life – yellow/white, 2021

Sound: Richard Chartier using excerpts from ‘Variable Dimensions’ 2020 (LINE, US)


Visual diary part 2 (November)


11 December, 11am, 2020, mother dies in Barcelona.

Cycling with salty eyes in the Hunter Valley, Australia.

The screaming of cicadas deafening my senses. I stopped, and recorded their call. They resurface every 17 years.

Upon receiving the invitation to be part the 52 ACTIONS, I started working on 11 landscapes of new endless valleys and shadows.

Heat and violence underlying every act of creation and transformation.

Denial. Anger, Acceptance.

Creating new lush, unspoken landscapes to dream in.

Dani Marti
Still Life – Green, 2021

Sound: Richard Chartier using excerpts from ‘Variable Dimensions’ 2020 (LINE, US)


Visual diary part 3 (December)

Take Action


Embrace it and hold the bull by the horns, at least give it a go and create some distance between yourself and IT.

Use the camera or a smart phone.
Create a visual diary
Your diary, a safe space.

Set aside a period you want to cover, anywhere from one month to four months.

  • Document your face and surrender to the lens. No pretending. No posing. No likes. It’s ok to feel vulnerable.

  • Document one of your first sights in the morning. Your bedroom, the view from the window, a person, a street or landscape.

  • Document something else. It’s up to you to decide.

Take a maximum of 10 images per day.
Save them in a folder named ‘I AM ENOUGH’.
Keep them all in a safe folder/hard drive.
Put them aside, don’t edit them, don’t look at them.
Revisit them in five years’ time or more.