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Daria Martin: Minotaur

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PRODUCT: Daria Martin: Minotaur
SIZE: 6" high x 8" wide
MATERIALS: Softcover
As part of its participation in the 3M Consortium Project with the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the MCA has commissioned a work by the London-based American artist Daria Martin. Her elusive enigmatic films combine the intense ritualistic performativity with a rigorous yet detached photographic approach. Her 16mm film, Minotaur, will run approximately 10 minutes and pays tribute to the work of dancer Anna Halprin, one of the key pioneers of postmodern dance and movement along with Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, and Yvonne Rainer. Halprin's life and work has had a profound influence on Martin in the implicit sensuality of the protagonists in her films and in their demonstration of a heightened awareness of the body and its relationship to other objects and the surrounding space. This film is centered on a Halprin dance based on the sculpture, Minotaur by Auguste Rodin from 1886 (also known as Faun and Nymph), a work possessing intensely erotic content (it depicts the part-man/part-bull figure from Greek mythology with a naked young female figure in its grasp.) Martin's Minotaur extends her interweaving of highly conceptualized and choreographed physical movement; complexly layered stagecraft provoking unconventional formal relationships; direct allusions to modernist art history; and editing and cinematographic techniques evoking a broad range of the histories of both mainstream and experimental filmmaking.

According to Martin: "Minotaur will combine three spaces of artistic production: the two-dimensional images of Rodin's Minotaur sculpture in various books; the three-dimensional sculpture itself; and the four-dimensional dance choreographed by Anna Halprin based on the sculpture. It will also feature three spaces of context: Anna Halprin's face looking at the books; the dancer's souvenirs, objects and photographs (skeleton, clay objects, photographs of bodies); and the natural surroundings beyond Halprin's dance studio, including trees, burnt out trunks, etc. These six spaces will be connected through formally inventive edits and physically inventive transitions."

Daria Martin was born in 1973 in San Francisco, and lives and works in London. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions at the Kunstverein in Hamburg and the Kunsthalle Zurich (both 2005) and was featured in such important group exhibitions as The Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2006) and "The Uncertain States of America" at the Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway (2005).  This project is curated by Dominic Molon, Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. It is the first solo U.S. museum exhibition for Daria Martin.

Includes selected material by the artist that provides an expanded cultural context for the film, as well as an interview between Daria Martin and the subject of the film, dance pioneer Anna Halprin, and individual reflections on the film by Martin and Halprin.

88 pages, including 50 pages of color illustrations, MCA Chicago, 2009. The exhibition Daria Martin: Minotaur was presented at the MCA October 3, 2009-February 7, 2010. Learn more.

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