Follow Us on Twitter

Daria Martin: Tonight the World - The Curve (Barbican)

Exhibition preview

FROM January 31 to April 7, 2019, Barbican Art Gallery is presenting London-based artist and filmmaker Daria Martin’s first solo commission for a major London public gallery.

The exhibition, on display in The Curve, is part of the Barbican’s 2019 season, Life Rewired, which explores what it means to be human when technology is changing everything.

Combining film and computer gaming technology, Martin creates an atmospheric environment, in which visitors can explore the vivid and unconscious memories of artist Susi Stiassni, Martin’s grandmother, who fled from the Holocaust. Martin draws on an extensive archive of her grandmother’s dream diaries amounting to over 10,000 pages.

These forensically recorded accounts were created over a 35 year period, initially for the purposes of psychoanalysis. Stiassni’s dreams frequently return to the curious and traumatic history of her childhood home, a modernist villa, still standing today in the city of Brno located in then Czechoslovakia.

Entering the exhibition, visitors encounter a film created using computer gaming technology which journeys through a rendering of the villa in Brno as it was when Stiassni lived there. A second film, shot with actors, reveals a reimagining of five of Stiassni’s dreams set within the modernist house.

Martin envisages that the installation will become simultaneously a portrait of her ancestor, a self-portrait and an exploration of intergenerational trauma, migration, loss, and resilience.

Daria Martin said: “I was intrigued to discover that The Curve was originally designed as a liminal space: a sound buffer to wrap around the back of the Concert Hall. My exhibition explores another sort of ‘back room’– a lost dream diary archive. The installation plays with the dramatic sweep of the grand, semi-circular curved wall – and in particular the way that it enables a cinematic journey of successive ‘reveals’ – but also with the space’s more eccentric insides.”

Daria Martin is an internationally exhibited artist living in London, and Professor of Art at The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. Martin’s films aim to create a continuity between disparate media such as painting and performance, between people and objects, and between internal and social worlds.