Daria Martin’s “Tonight the World”
              Brian Karl
              We dream in the dark. Repressed memories, daily conflicts, ghosts, and other spirits surge while, unconscious, we sleep, eyes closed. Dreams haunt our waking lives too, though usually with faint traces. Most people remember little of their dreams, and share even less with others. Likewise, audiences have grown accustomed to watching the products of culture industries’ dream factories in closed-off places where little daylight shines: isolated screening rooms in cinemas, art galleries, and museums, in which chosen imagery and objects are foregrounded while much else gets elided. In “Tonight the World,” Daria Martin teases out fragmentary dreamwork with thoughtful and accomplished layering of history and impressions that both make possible and deny fuller interpretation. The exhibition’s darkened setting lends it the atmosphere of an interior dreamscape, while its overall ambit parallels the unconscious’s processing via dreams’ disjunctive, transformational, and ineffable logics. Martin’s exhibition elaborates conscious attempts by her grandmother, the artist Susi Stiassni, to capture in writing her own dreamwork’s traces. Stiassni kept a dream diary that accumulated over decades to 20,000 typewritten pages, from which Martin has culled five episodes exploring her anxiety about intruders. The central, large-scale projection of a short live-action film from which the exhibition takes …

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