Selfie Automaton

Romanian Participation at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia Venice / Italy / 2016

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The Romanian Pavilion at Biennale Architettura 2016 showcases Selfie Automaton, an automated puppet show that talks about social mechanisms and the role of the individual in their functioning. The exhibition consists of a set of closed scenarios built into automata as a common core, and leaving a missing role – the one for the visitor.


Uncanny and entertaining objects, automata are used as a pretext and a way of communicating, between the authors and the public of the Biennale.


The mechanisms are animating puppets: caricatures of characters and fantastic animals are assambled in predefined scenes, parts of a show in which the visitor becomes an essential  part for for their functioning. Placed on stage,  he becomes dynamo and actor, in various spatial relations – from distant observer to being part of it or on opposite sides.


Even though constructed with the necessary joints that would allow them the “freedom of movement”, the wooden puppets are unstrung and literally nailed into a mechanism that allows them nothing but one predefined repetitive movement. And the visitor is no exception. Seated as part of the automaton, he is given one choice only: to make it work, by his own repetitive action.


Handles and pedals make the various shows possible, when provided with human power. An apparent system of gearwheels transmit the motion to cyclical scenes: a bicycle is moving a circle dance, a cooking pot generates a “grand buffet”, a crank awakens a commission or a never ending fight, a turning handle moves a golden fish, a golden hen, or a flying bird - prisoner outside its cage.


 “Selfie Automaton” reflects on the characters and actions embodied by the puppets that are nothing but dispersed parts of our own and can be combined or split, in search of a self-portrait, be it of an architect or of anyone else.


What remains, still, is the question of predefined patterns. Whether they really exist, whether we are part of them, their victims or their generators.


Team


Exhibition concept: Tiberiu Bucșa, Gál Orsolya, Stathis Markopoulos, Adrian Aramă


Puppet design and construction: Stathis Markopoulos, Gál Orsolya, Tiberiu Bucșa, Andrei Durloi, Perényi Flóra, Oana Matei


Automata design and construction:  Stathis Markopoulos, Kostis Zamaiakis


Painting: Adrian Aramă


Visuals: Ana Botezatu


Photography: Dacian Groza


Design: Raymond Bobar


Website: Dan Burzo


Carpentry: Yannis Tsioutas, Aggelos Romantzis


Fantastic animals: Alexis Papachatzis


Courtains: Elmaloglou family


Metal works: Anastasios Kotsiopoulos


Tapestry works: Victoria Berbecar (Giardini), Creș Ana and Titieni Arefta (RCI)


Collaborators: Jácint Virág, András Vernes, Árpád Debreczeni, Konstantis Mizaras, Konstantina Mandrali


Print: Fabrik


Comissioner: Attila Kim


Representative of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Romanian Cultural Institute: Cristian Alexandru Damian


Venues: Giardini della Biennale, Sestiere Castello, 30122 Venezia


New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research, Campo Santa Fosca, Palazzo Correr, Cannaregio 2214, 30121

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    The Romanian Pavilion at Biennale Architettura 2016 showcases Selfie Automaton, an automated puppet show that talks about social mechanisms and the role of the individual in their functioning. The exhibition consists of a set of closed scenarios built into automata as a common core, and leaving a missing role – the one for the visitor. Uncanny and entertaining objects, automata are used as a pretext and a way of communicating, between the authors and the public of the Biennale. The...

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