AT THE THRESHOLD

In 2015 we worked with artist and film-maker Daria Martin on a new film around the subject of mirror-touch synaesthesia…


In 2015 we worked with artist and film-maker Daria Martin on a new film around the subject of mirror-touch synaesthesia. Synaesthesia is the mixing of the senses normally thought of as separate: 'seeing music' or 'tasting words'.

The film was commissioned for the Istanbul Biennale and is now at the Maureen Paley gallery in East London.

Press Release:

DARIA MARTIN At The Threshold 30 January – 13 March 2016 private view: Saturday 30 January 6.30 – 8.30 pm 
Maureen Paley is pleased to present the latest film by Daria Martin in her second solo exhibition at the gallery. At The Threshold (2015) is the second of three short films inspired by Martin’s research into a form of heightened physical sensitivity called mirror-touch synaesthesia. Following Sensorium Test (2012), which was set in a scientific laboratory, At The Threshold borrows from 1950’s film genre of melodrama to frame a domestic drama involving a synaesthetic boy and his mother, whose enmeshed relationship is shaken by a third party. 

 While synaesthesia has inspired artists, composers and writers for centuries, mirror-touch synaesthesia is a recent discovery that offers new perspectives on the relationship between the social and the visual. People with mirror-touch feel a palpable sensation of touch on their own bodies when they see another person, or even an object, being touched. Some synaesthetes also experience mirror-pain, mirror-movement, mirror-breathing or even mirror-emotion – extending the sharing of senses to a blurring between self and other. Martin aims to capture some of these feelings and ideas in the structure, dialogue and images that form At The Threshold, as well as through its articulation in the medium of 16mm film. 

At The Threshold was written by Martin in collaboration with playwright Simon Stephens and theatre director Joseph Alford, using thirteen interviews with mirror-touch synaesthetes as inspiration. Martin has edited a volume, Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia: Thresholds of Empathy With Art, (with contributions by Rabih Mroué, Giuliana Bruno, Brian Massumi, and others), that will be published by Oxford University Press in June 2016. Recent solo publications include Sensorium Tests (published by MK Gallery, 2012) and Daria Martin (published by Kunsthalle Zürich / Kunstverein in Hamburg by jrp ringier, 2006). The concluding chapter of the film trilogy, Theatre of the Tender, will be completed this year. 

Previous solo exhibitions include One of the Things That Makes Me Doubt, ACCA: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia; Sensorium Tests, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK, 2012; Three M Commission: Minotaur, touring exhibition at MCA Chicago, New Museum, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, 2009 – 2010; BP British Art Displays 1500 – 2008, Tate Britain, London, UK, 2008; S.M.A.K., Ghent, Belgium, 2007; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2006; Daria Martin, Kunsthalle Zürich, Switzerland and Soft Materials, The Showroom, London, UK, 2005. 

Recent group exhibitions include 14th Istanbul Biennial SALTWATER: A Theory of Thought Forms, Istanbul, Turkey, 2015; Exercises in Empathy, Site Gallery, Sheffield, UK, 2015; Hiller/Martin: Provisional Realities (Daria Martin and Susan Hiller), California College of the Arts, Wattis Institute, San Francisco, USA, How the Tangible Shapes the Mind, Kunstverein Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany and 10th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China, 2014; Man-Space-Machines: The Theatre Experiments of the Bauhaus, Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Dessau. Germany, 2013; In the Holocene, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 2012; Animism, Generali Foundation, Vienna, Austria, Blockbuster: Cinema for Exhibitions, curated by Jens Hoffman, Masin, Museo de Arte de Sinaola, Sinaola, Mexico, touring to Macro, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Mexico and Danser Sa Vie, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, 2011; A Nude Man’s City, Museum of Modern Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil, 2010; Manifesta 7, Trentino, South Tyrol, Italy, 2008 and Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London, UK, and PERFORMA07, New York, USA, 2007 and Choreographic Turn, (Daria Martin and Peter Welz), MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, US, 2006. 

Daria Martin’s films are held in the following public collections: Tate Gallery and The Arts Council Collection, London, UK, The New Museum and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA, Kadist Foundation, Paris, France & Ringier, Zurich, Switzerland.