Jump to content

Daria Martin


MCA Chicago



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 London-based American artist Daria Martin. Her elusive enigmatic films combine the intense ritualistic performativity with a rigorous yet detached photographic approach. Her 16 mm film, Minotaur, runs 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.

The accompanying catalogue 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.

Table of Contents

6 Foreword
8 Seeing through the labyrinth and the beast: Daria Martin's Minotaur by Dominic Molon
62 Anna Halprin discusses the choreography of Minotaur
64 Daria Martin discusses the filming of Minotaur
66 Daria Martin and Anna Halprin in conversation
74 Timeline \80 Acknowledgments
81 Index of images
82 Daria Martin: Selected biography and bibliography