Mallorcan artist Francesca Martí (Sóller, Mallorca 1957) has created the installation Echoes specifically for the Aljub in Es Baluard, joining together different disciplines such as painting, photography, video, performance and music. Inspired by the Greek and Roman myth of the nymph Echo, Martí recreates her interpretation of this myth through the video “portraits” of Echo, Zeus, Hera, Ameinius and Cephissus and also a golden photograph of Narcissus.
Echo, a nymph whom the muses taught to play music, was devoted to distracting Zeus’ wife, Hera, with stories, whilst her husband courted other beautiful nymphs. Hera, alerted by suspicion, uncovered the stratagem and, as punishment for Echo, took away her voice, leaving her with only the power to vainly repeat the words proffered by others. Echo then falls in love with Narcissus (the vain young son of the god Cephissus and the blue nymph Leiriope), whom she follows when he goes out hunting without being able to speak to him. When Narcissus realises this, he questions the invisible Echo about it, but all she can do is repeat his words. Exasperated, Narcissus tells her to leave him alone, and Echo, hurt, starts to fade away until only her voice is left. The fable continues with the arrival of Ameinius, a youth who was also in love with Narcissus and whom he also rejected. In a gesture of contempt he gave Ameinius his sword, which he used to stab himself in the doorway of Narcissus’ home, demanding the vengeance of the Gods. Shortly afterwards, Narcissus becomes enamoured of the reflection of his own image in the water of a pond until being consumed by love.
Francesca Martí, reflects on the idea of the echo, of the reflection as a faithful copy of a real image, showing human figures in narrow spaces delimited by the golden frames of the large-format torn canvases, with gaps and fissures. The stylized bodies are projected on natural scale onto the canvases, coming out of the incisions with subtle movements, diffusing in this way the limits between what is real and what is imaginary.
Production: Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma and sponsored by Epson Europe