In these latest art works, InBetween World and Self Portrait, I offer my perspective on being human in the world today and the haunted subconscious feelings of isolation, despair, the fears of being inhabited by a foreign body (Covid)—amongst political and social disunity, Brexit and Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.
Art certainly has a place, as history shows us, to declare the times and visions of peoples, things and the world in all its forms. I take inspiration from artists who explored the idea of what it means to be human in a world out of control—Joseph Beuys’ social-political concepts, Francis Bacon's grotesque figure observations, and Rembrandt's self-portraits.
In an exhibition where my work was shown, entitled, Codes of Culture in Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 2006), a collection of artists' works from across the globe were presented. "A globalization debate is taking place”, wrote the curator Nina Colosi. How this affects art and artists is interesting. As the 'modern' approach was unsettled from its 'definites' is it that technology is relocating the person in time and space forcing the artist to re-read how 'things' are in a global sense. Asking questions like, ‘does this image mean the same in South America as in Europe or can they be pulled apart?'
Baudrillard constantly poses this question, and the idea of the hyper-real, of the simulacrum (imitation), invades all contemporary art practice. The creation of a new reality (a virtual reality) poses the question of how is this attached, determined by a technology and led by multi-nationals and industry?
In a sense, digital technology ironically could be said to fit the postmodern theory of collectivism, bringing together the previous highbrow culture and low elements of pop culture. Absorbing in one art form of image and content in one swoop of a button. Here, our sense of study and understanding of history is exploded into a sort of irrelevant/anything goes scenario.
Has there been a shift or are we amongst a change in values and understanding? For the fine artist a sense of striving of 'where and what is consciousness' prevails. How do we contribute to a contemporary view of what it might be at our time in history?  - Marty St. James
 Marty St. James, 2008, Render Visible, Osbourne, R. (ed), Philosophy in Art, London, Zidane Press, p. 102, 103
Marty St. James' Being in Time Performance Art (2020)
is a personal, humorous memoir about St. James' complex life and experiences from youth in UK, to his studies at the Cardiff College of Art in the 70s, and through his emergence as one of the leading performance artists in the 'golden age' of performance art. A world traveler, St. James art works have been included in international museum exhibitions and collections, gallery and art festivals. Being in Time Performance Art is both an entertaining life journey and one of the most informative books on the history of performance art and its noted artists--essential reading for art historians, teachers, students and those curious about Performance Art.
Marty St. James
Fine artist Marty St. James works in a range of contemporary media including performance art, photography, digital video and drawings. His exhibitions, collections and screenings have been included in the Tate (London), Pompidou Centre (Paris), Museum of Photography (Tokyo), National Centre for Contemporary Art (Moscow), Chelsea Art Museum (New York City), Tigre Museum (Buenos Aires), Redtory (Beijing), Blink Gallery (Hong Kong) and AIP Gallery (Guangzhou).. He lives and works in London and France. Marty St James is the Emeritus Professor of Fine art at the University of Hertfordshire.