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Daria Martin: Sensorium Tests

February 15, 2012

Daria Martin’s first survey exhibition in a UK public gallery presents a selection of short 16mm films made over the last 10 years, including the premier of an ambitious new work, Sensorium Tests. Throughout this period, Martin has pursued a sustained enquiry into numerous pressing issues relating to film, art and culture, including enchantment, voyeurs and artificial intelligence.

The exhibition includes the following films: Closeup Gallery (2003), in which a magician and his assistant engage in a strange game where cards dance, as if equivalent with inner worlds; Soft Materials (2004) where intimate relationships between man and machine are nurtured in an artificial intelligence laboratory; Harpstrings and Lava (2007) a dark narrative that animates dream images through clashing textures and structures; and the new film Sensorium Tests (2012), which revolves around a recently recognized neurological condition called ‘mirror-touch synaesthesia’.

People affected with mirror touch synaesthesia experience a physical sense of touch on their own bodies when they see other people, or sometimes even objects, being touched. Using staged scenarios based on a real life experiment into this condition, the film explores how sensations might be created and shared between people and objects.

Encountering art has always produced varying degrees of engagement and interaction, whether triggering personal memories, associations or feelings, or more recently in literal, physical responses to immersive, participatory installations. In some ways, Martin’s work turns these distinctions on their head, using mirror-touch synaesthesia to render virtual or remote activities indistinguishable from literal actions.

Daria Martin: Sensorium Tests
20 January – 8 April 2012
MK Gallery

Reviewed by Amy Budd, MK Gallery. Continue reading the review of this show HERE
Images above from Daria Martin’s Soft Materials. 16mm film, 2004.

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