Combining fine art materials and processes with consumer-ephemera, Marten constructs narratives that are both otherworldly and familiar. Using art as a channel, for connection and critical thought, Marten parses out the formation of cultural identity via social pressures such as, what we purchase, consume, and digest — whether they be material goods or ideas. Through the creation of art experiences and collectible works of art, the artist invites audiences to celebrate the spirit of sacred individuality that makes us human and ties us together.
Frances Wasn’t a Saint
Performance, Photography, 2018 - 2020
Frances Wasn’t a Saint is a series of dynamic still images deriving from extensive isolated performances enacted by the artist. An ongoing inquiry into identity and the societal and power structures that we allow to shape it. “Although we cannot touch her, Frances references the real: an ambiguous, ancestral female figure who once lived and is talking to me and through me now. In conversation with this “ghost,” I allow her to take form in my body through performance. My performances extend from the referent while quoting from our culture’s hyperrealities including fairy-tales, grand narrative ideologies, biblical myths, social constructions, and manufactured desire.”
Marten arranges an altar-like table settng with an ordinary cup, light bulb, cigarettes, an apple, candy, cakes and 30 pounds of white powdery substances spilling into a theatrical scene where she can enter with her body. Similar to how one enters the theatre of a cathedral, where the stage is set for the faithful to enter and commune, via bodily consumption, with spirits of the dead. There she contemplates new ways of conjuring, forming a mulltifaceted self-portrait where she and a lost grandmother merge, questioning where one ends and the other begins.
this generation and that generation
on this body and that body
your soul and my soul
In the end identity is projected onto the culturally formed Saint figure, a new icon emerges. The bishop’s role is erased. We commune with the sacred dead to glimpse the possibility of eternal life.