Tonight the World, Daria Martin’s new installation, co-commissioned with Barbican, London, combines computer gaming technology and film to explore the unconscious memories of her grandmother, Bay Area-based artist Susi Stiassni. As a teenager, Stiassni and her family fled then Czechoslovakia from the imminent Nazi occupation, eventually settling in Marin County, where Martin was born and raised.
An immersive and atmospheric environment, Tonight the World stages a series of intimate encounters with an extensive archive of Stiassni’s dream diaries. Created over a thirty-seven-year period, these meticulously recorded accounts—originally chronicled for the purposes of Jungian psychoanalysis—amount to over 20,000 diary pages. Stiassni’s dreams frequently return to the disquieting history of her childhood home, a modernist villa built for the prominent Jewish textile industrialist family in the city of Brno in 1927. The Gestapo seized the villa following the family’s departure in 1938, after which it was occupied by various Czech governments. The Villa Stiassni remains a National Heritage site in Brno today.