Dani Marti: Insideout
Pathos in the portayal of homosexuality in art
Spanish-born, Glasgow-based artist Marti has created new sound, video and sculptural installations which explore issues of gay men’s health, sexuality and disclosure as part of the Glasgay! festival.
We may automatically sympathise with its subject matter, but it is difficult to evaluate this show – is it art, documentary or political activism? Ending up outcast in a basement rather than the plush interiors of GoMA (for which it was first comissioned) frames the work very differently.
Video pieces portray gay men – mostly Glaswegian, mostly older – talking De Profundis about their experiences, relationships, sex, and HIV status, while the camera hovers over the bodily landscapes, careful not to appear voyeuristic and aiming merely to film those who agreed to talk while lying comfortably in bed and at ease in their own skin. We see sexual intimacy and emotional expression, but mostly we hear about people’s lives.
There is pathos here, as Marti implicates himself in each filming. He also discloses his own life, being HIV positive, his unconditional love for his mother, and tells of the first time he saw his father’s cock.
As viewers move further down the basement, the challenge to endure becomes more demanding – partly because of what you will find there, but mostly because of the damp smell, the cold, the dark and the loneliness. This setting had a much more profound effect than cosy GoMA ever could.
4 Parnie Street, Glasgow, until Sat 10 Oct