Daria Martin triology
Casco is pleased to present a one-day screening of four 16mm films by Daria Martin, including the triology: 'In the Palace' (2000), 'Birds' (2001), 'Close Up Gallery' (2003); and her recent film 'Soft Materials' (2004).
Martin’s triology seductively employs the futuristic utopian aesthetics of first European avant garde movements. Accompanied by a thundery soundtrack and dramatic lighting, In the Palace tracks a tableaux of static costumed actors situated within a structure based on the form of Giacomitti’s wooden cage-like sculputre, In the Palace at 4am (1932). In Birds the camera similarly moves around a group of actors poised between colourful DIY props and assembledges that evoke early modernist theatre, such as Oskar Schlemmer’s Bauhaus. Close Up Gallery sees the exchanges between a young woman and a magician who performs a series of card tricks before a see-through circular three tiered revolving table, creating multi-layered kinetic patterns that mimic abstract painting.
Soft Materials was shot in the Artficial Intelligence Lab at the Unviersity of Zurich where scientists research ‘embodied artficial intelligence’, a cutting edge area of AI that produces robots which, rather than being programmed from the head down by a computer brain, instead learn to function through the experience of their physical bodies. Martin’s film sets up interactions two performers that have been trained in body awareness, and a series of robots, their movements evolving into a kind of ballet mechanique. While exploring the forefront of new technnology, Soft Materials simultaneously refers back to early futurism and the modernist fascination with the relationship between the human and the mechanical, as well as more recent avant garde performance.
Daria Martin (b.1973 USA) lives and works in London. In 2005 she was shortlisted for the Becks Futures award at the ICA, London, and had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Zurich, The Showroom, London and Künstlerhaus Stuttgardt. She is currently showing her new film Man and Mask (2005) at The Collective Gallery, Edinburgh.