Visual Arts

Exhibition: Subjects & Objects @ VISUAL Carlow


Frank Kafka’s 1922 short story, A Hunger Artist, provides the departure point for American filmmaker Daria Martin’s latest film, also titled A Hunger Artist. In Kafka’s story an artist performs public fasts, which are fashionable at the time, but feeling under-loved and under-appreciated he tries to extend the length of time he subjects himself to these performances against his managers wishes. After fasting falls out of fashion he finds himself working in a circus; and in the end he neither desires food nor attention, becoming ignored. Eventually he dies and is replaced by a panther, who is gazed upon and admired by his audience. The meaning behind Kafka’s story has been mused over ever since, with some interpretations pointing to a religious motif and others to that of a struggling artist.

Martin’s film gets it’s world premiere in VISUAL Carlow, and is shown alongside a trio of other works in an exhibition titled Subjects & Objects. Martin’s other films are part of her recent trilogy The Synaesthesia Trilogy (Theatre of the Tender [2016], At The Threshold [2015] and Sensorium Tests [2012]) which looks at the phenomenon of mirror-touch synaesthesia – a condition where individuals experience the same sensory sensation as others. The works, all shot on 16mm film, are the result of the artist’s research into this heightened form of sensory feeling.

Subjects & Objects continues in VISUAL Carlow until September 3rd, with full details available online here, and you can listen to Daria Martin in conversation with Declan Long below.

is the Arts Editor for The Thin Air. He's also a coffee fiend, architecture enthusiast and general messer.