Man and Mask

Dir: Daria Martin

United Kingdom (UK)


5 mins


Part of: A Movie

This short film reflects on the present state of cinema as celluloid. Resisting the advances of digitised media, Man and Mask celebrates, in a playful way, the medium of film itself: its material magic. This new film continues Daria Martin’s investigations into the aspirations and limitations of modern ideals. By drawing a parallel between celluloid film and masks made with ‘primitive’ means, the film draws attention to two mediums on the edge of becoming outmoded, yet with undeniable and enduring appeal. Man and Mask asks questions, in an entertaining way, about film’s qualities: its physicality, its trickery, its paradoxical opacity and transparency. The work oscillates between artifice and acting, using masks in a literal sense – ‘masking’ and unmasking, layering and stripping away.

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About the artist

Born 1973, San Francisco, California, lives and works in London. Following a degree in Humanities at Yale (1995), Martin attended UCLA in Los Angeles (2000) for an MA, practising initially as a painter. She began working with film as an exploration of its sculptural possibilities in relation to video. Her first film In The Palace (2000) was directly inspired by the Giacometti sculpture The Palace at 4am, and forms the first part of a trilogy which also includes Birds (2001) and Closeup Gallery (2003), the latter completed during her residency at Delfina Studio Trust, London. Her most recent film Soft Materials (2004), commissioned by the Showroom Gallery, was shot in the Artificial Intelligence Lab at the University of Zurich, where scientists research ’embodied artificial intelligence’. She has exhibited at Hotel, London, Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York and Kunsthalle, Zurich. Her work has been included in 100 Artists See God, ICA, The Moderns, Castello di Rivoli Museum of Contemporary Art, Turin, and Art Now Lightbox, Tate Britain. She is currently making a film about the Olympic sport Pentathlon, entitled Modern Pentathlon and has recently been nominated for Becks Futures 2005.

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