Daria Martin

Daria Martin. At the Threshold, 2014-2015 16mm film 17.5 minutes © Daria Martin, courtesy Maureen Paley, London / Hove

I’ve always enjoyed film because of the way it can make
objects as well as people very present and viscerally
accessible. And, in a way, they can render images that almost
touch you physically and emotionally, and so mirror-touch
seemed like a model for this, or an inspiration to make images
that were more palpable somehow.
– Daria Martin in an interview with Studio International, jan 2019

In the 16mm film, At the Threshold, Daria Martin tells the story of a mother and her son, and the strong relationship between the two of them. However, their intimate household is disrupted by the arrival of the boy's stepmother who comes to visit him on his birthday.
The film is a [Douglas] Sirk-inspired melodrama provoked by the question: ‘Can a mother experience too much empathy for her child?’ It is the second of three short films created by Daria Martin inspired by her research into a form of heightened physical sensitivity called mirror-touch synaesthesia. 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.

2014-2015 – 16mm film, 17:30 min
Courtesy the artist and Maureen Paley

Daria Martin
°1973, San Francisco, Verenigde Staten

Daria Martin is an artist and filmmaker whose practice touches upon subjects such as dreams, feminism, sensation, mythology, and mirror-touch synesthesia. Her films are created organically, often taking on a collaborative process between the selected actors, choreographers and musicians she chooses to work with. Her work has been exhibited world-wide in solo exhibitions including the Barbican Centre, London; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Site Gallery, Sheffield; VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art, Ireland;

Schering Stiftung, Berlin, Germany; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne. She has received multiple awards, including the Jarman Award (2018) and Welcome Trust Arts Award (2016, 2010, 2008). Daria Martin lives and works in London since 2002, and is represented by Maureen Paley, London.

Cast: Anamaria Marinca, Carolina Valdes, Myles Westman
Written by: Joseph Alford, Daria Martin, Simon Stephens / Director of Photography: Emma Dalesman / Editor: Amy Hounsell / Sound Editor: Franziska Treutler / Composer: Zeena Parkins / Production: P.G. Film Ltd. / Producer: Marcus Werner Hed / Production Manager: Isabella Palmer / Production Designer: Billur Turan / 1st Assistant Director: Jacques Simon / First Assistant Camera: Joni Juttilainen / Second Assistant Camera: Joe Martin / Grip: Tom North / Gaffer: Grzegorz Krzeszowiec / Sparks: Ionut Apetroae, Neil Hawkins / Sound Mixer: Jake Whitelee / Boom Operator: Juliet Plumtre / Art Assistants: Julien McConnell, Jimmy Wheeldon, Orlando Diver, William Wyld / Myles’ drawings: Flo Brooks / Carpenter: Robin Shepherd / Stills Photographer: Thierry Bal / Make-up Artists: Sophie Singh, Hannah Barnett / Runners: Caroline Sharp, Francesca Costa / Percussion: William Winant performing on the Lou Harrison Gamelan
Thanks to: Michael Banissy, Torsten Blume, Christian Hiller and the Wood Workshop, at the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, Caryl Churchill, Elinor Cleghorn, Cinelab London, Denise Marques and Doug Ledin at Fotokem, Sallyanne McFadden, Massimiliano Mollona, Nicholas Oliviere, Panavision, Mark Barker, Oliver Evans, Andrew Miller, and Zach Furniss at Maureen Paley, London, The Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Daniel Jaramillo at Soundnode, Fiona Torrance, Jamie Ward, Waterloo Film Studios
Special thanks to: Those anonymous synaesthetes whose stories inspired our script
Funded by: The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation, The Leverhulme Trust, The Wellcome Trust