I called into Tate Liverpool during a day out in Liverpool last week. I hadn’t been for a while so there was plenty of new exhibits to see.
Something different seemed to be going on in the ground floor gallery so I thought I’d have a look. And it certainly was different. It was
a “multi-dimensional work featuring two humanoid robots and a robot dog”
by half-Belgian, half-American artist Cécile B. Evans, currently based in London, who .
No paintings or sculptures on display but instead the room was filled with video screens and in the middle of it all two robots, plus a robot dog, whizzing around and performing a three act play
Interviewed in the Guardian
“In its simplest form,” says Evans, “it’s an automated play about a collaboration between machines and humans against external forces that affect their wellbeing … There’s a coup, there’s an incident at a pool party, and then everyone dies.”
Human characters were represented by three digitised pole dancers – the Users – and a beauty blogger with hands but no arms.
The work took the form of a three act play
“about a collaboration between machines and humans against external forces that affect their wellbeing … There’s a coup, there’s an incident at a pool party, and then everyone dies.” (Guardian)
It ran for 18 minutes and then the robots repositioned and the play re-run.
It wasn’t exactly a straightforward play – the dialogue was rather abstract but it seemed to be about the loss of liberty in society – there’s a character called Liberty in the play – very appropriate given what is happening in the world at the moment with all the worrying Populist and Nationalist developments. For me, another theme was how society is becoming more and more automated with humans becoming ever more dependent on machines. Perhaps these two trends are linked?
It was an interesting work that makes you think and entertaining too – watching the robots whizz around. Worth seeing again if I get the chance