Daria Martin, Professor of Fine Art at the Ruskin, is exhibiting her first solo commission for a major London public gallery, in The Curve at the Barbican Centre, London, and her first exhibition since winning the prestigious Jarman Award in 2018.
"Using both film and computer gaming technology, Martin explores the vivid writings of her grandmother, artist Susi Stiassni who, aged 16, fled with her family from the former Czechoslovakia under the imminent threat of the Nazi occupation in 1938. Martin draws on an extensive archive of her grandmother’s dream diaries. These forensically recorded accounts were created over a 35 year period, initially for the purposes of psychoanalysis and were left to Martin’s family after Stiassni’s death in 2005. The dreams frequently return to the traumatic history of her childhood home, a Czech modernist villa, seized by the Nazis after the family left and still standing today in the city of Brno. Although Stiassni never returned to Brno after fleeing to the United States, she often revisited the family home while dreaming.
"Entering the exhibition, visitors encounter a film created in collaboration with game designers in Brno. The videogame ‘play through’ journeys through a virtual rendering of Stiassni’s childhood home, engaging with glimpses of the diary archive and objects connected to the dreams.
Daria Martin, 'Tonight the World', 2019 (anamorphic 16mm film transferred to HD, 13.5 minutes)
© Daria Martin, courtesy Maureen Paley, London
"Martin has augmented the gallery’s architecture with a bulging wall designed as an extension of the house and punctuated with a selection of diary pages, as well as objects which unite the virtual and the physical. The exhibition ends with the 16mm anamorphic film Tonight the World (2019), shot on location inside the villa itself. Martin has reimagined the narrative of five dreams which reflect on recurring themes of anxiety and intrusion. Four actresses play Stiassni interchangeably in situations that overlap the time of the dream with the time of the dreamer. Martin envisages that the installation will become simultaneously a portrait of her ancestor, a self-portrait and an exploration of intergenerational trauma, loss, and resilience." (Text courtesty The Barbican Centre)
The exhibition is part of the Barbican’s 2019 season, Life Rewired, which explores what it means to be human when technology is changing everything.
Ghislaine Leung, Flags (2019) and Children (2019). Commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Andy Keate.
Gil, who is course tutor on the Ruskin's MFA, presents a new body of work, the first in the Chisenhale's Commission Series 2019.
"Working with sound, light, scale and temperature this exhibition builds on Leung’s ongoing enquiry into withdrawal and dependency. Taking active cancellation in sound as an initial structure, Leung’s new body of work considers moves from closed systems to complex commons.
"A new sound work explores the spatial possibilities of active sound cancellation, a method used in the design of noise-cancelling headphones in order to eliminate unwanted environmental sounds. In bringing sound cancellation into an open system, sound here is not isolated in fidelity, but is instead altered in volume and intensity dependant on the audience’s position in the gallery space. The exhibition also includes a series of architectural adjustments made to the gallery space, alongside sculptures and a moving image work, highlighting acts of dependency through the circulation of self-contained and shared energy.
Ghislaine Leung, 'Constitution'' 2019 (installation views). Photos: Mark Blower, courtesy Chisenale Gallery
"In this new commission Leung looks to what is at stake in forms of cancellation, exploring the interdependencies, complicities and reliances of how this act is not only produced, but constituted." (Text courtesy Chisenhale Gallery)