Socialist Worker

Tonight the World—creating a sense of dread using dream diaries and film

by Mary Brodbin
Issue No. 2640

A Still from Tonight the World

A Still from Tonight the World


Using film and computer game techniques, Daria Martin brings to life the story of her grandmother, Susi Stiassni who fled the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia with her family in 1938, when she was just 16 years old.

From 1970 Stiassni kept dream diaries for use in psychoanalysis. They amount to 10,000 dreams across 35 years and were left to her family on her death. One recurring dream involved the family house they had fled from in Brno.

The house still stands today and is preserved as a heritage site. It plays a major part in this exhibition. Entering the gallery you view the house recreated as a “play-through” of a video game. We are walked through the rooms, up and down stairs, clicking open drawers to reveal documents, some of which are pages from Stiassni’s diaries or inventories of furniture.

A gold locket comes into vision with empty ovals where photos once were. It is a bleak and ominous tracing of steps, recreated as a videogame but in shades of grey.

A second film features specific dreams from the diaries, all filmed at the Brno villa. Children play hide and seek in the garden but the person looking for them despairs of finding them. A destitute woman picking berries in a forest is confronted by armed hunters. The menacing atmosphere during a family meal. All these scenes are brought to the screen.

There are no direct references to the Nazi threat in Martin’s artwork but the sinister and bleak images chillingly evoke the sense of loss, fear and the need to flee.

The Curve, Barbican Centre, London. Until 7 April. Free

The King’s Last Day—The Execution of Charles

Fans of regicide should dash to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery for a tantalising taste of what a right royal decapitation would look like.

At the centre of this display is the intriguing and gory painting of the Execution of Charles I by an unknown Dutch artist.

This painting, probably based on eye-witness

accounts and contemporary engravings, records the execution of Charles I. He was killed on 30 January 1649 at Whitehall, after a long and bitter civil war.

Prints, paintings and miniatures from the collection also feature.

Scottish National Portrait Gallery.Until Friday 1 May. Free

Early Korean Cinema

The Korean Cultural Centre UK and the British Film Institute have collaborated for the first time to present a season of films that were produced under the brutal Japanese occupation of Korea.

It was once assumed that all pre-1945 Korean cinema had vanished from existence. But in the 2000s a series of archival discoveries revealed a horde of material from the colonial period.

Film festival 7 to 28 February at BFI Southbank. Go to bfi.org.uk/southbank

Mandela—The official exhibition

This is an interactive exhibition covering 750 square metres.

It features previously unseen film, photos and a display of over 150 historical artefacts and personal effects on loan from the Mandela family, museums and archives worldwide.

26 Leake Street, London SE1 7NN From 8 February. For tickets, go to bit.ly/mANDELA

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Article information

Reviews
Tue 5 Feb 2019, 13:52 GMT
Issue No. 2640
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