3 Jun 2013

Daria Martin

25 May – 28 July 2013
One of the Things that Makes Me Doubt

Daria Martin, Birds 2001, 16mm film, 7 minutes 30 seconds, Copyright the artist. Courtesy Maureen Paley, London.

An exhibition of works by American born, British based artist Daria Martin opens at ACCA on May 25.

Working between theatre, design and art, Martin's hypnotic 16 mm films create a magical, mystical, mythical world, activating the spaces of dream and the unconscious.
The artist describes her works as “daydream machines”.

“Subjects such as robots, an archive of dream diaries and close-up card magic, are explored within isolated spaces such as the wings of a theatre, a military academy, or a scaled up modernist sculpture,” she says. “These protective yet fragmented settings, full of seams and shadows, stand in for the capacities of the film medium itself, a permeable container that consumes and recycles the world at large.”

In this exhibition, created especially for and with ACCA, Martin presents her largest ever survey of films together with her grandmothers diary notes, drawings and paintings. Significant works including Birds (2001), Wintergarden (2005-11), and Harpstrings and Lava (2007) are presented in stages, all leading to the final encompassing film: One of the Things that Makes Me Doubt.

One of the Things that Makes Me Doubt is a new work that brings together new footage, outtakes from ten of Martin’s earlier works, and fresh interviews with actors who feature in previous works, all gently revealing parts of themselves while discussing their filmic personae, the nature of artistic labour and Martin’s fictions.

The film is inspired by the dream paintings and diary notes of Martin’s grandmother, Susi Martin, a Czech Jew whose family fled the Second World War leaving her on her own at the age of 13 in a boarding school in England. Her paintings and diary items were created whilst undergoing Jungian Psychoanalysis, in part to help with a deep depression and trauma from her experiences during the war years.

Juliana Engberg, ACCA’s Artistic Director and curator of the exhibition, says: "Daria Martin, whose distinctive aesthetic, delivered in 16 mm film, deals with the body’s senses as well as the extra-sensory zones of memory, dream and the unconscious. Martin employs tableaux, linking her films to other depictions from art history, such as the paintings of the Symbolists and Surrealists, as well as the costumes and attitudes of the Bauhaus theatre.

“Daria's films take the viewer into a kind of sombulant state. Hypnotic in pace and curious in their stories which use symbolism and myth as foundational elements, they present as dreams in a continuous exploration of character and experience."

Daria Martin was born in San Francisco but has been based in London since 2002. She has had solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam (2006), the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Kunsthalle Zurich (both 2005), and the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2009), which toured to the New Museum, New York and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Martin has had works shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern, London, and the Pompidou Centre, Paris. She is a senior lecturer at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at the University of Oxford.

Daria Martin: One of the Things that Makes Me Doubt. May 25 – July 28.

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Gallery hours: 10am – 5pm including weekends and public holidays. Wednesdays open late till 8pm. Mondays by appointment.

Tel: 03 9697 9999. Admission: Free.

ACCA is supported by the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy, an initiative of the Australian, State and Territory Governments.

MEDIA INFORMATION: Katrina Hall on 0421 153 046 or email