Corina Șuteu – Minister of Culture
The Venice Biennale is and will be a privileged space for creative thinking, in its most elaborate forms. Building an architectural project for the Biennale is not only a milestone for the capacity to formulate an innovative, out of the ordinary concept, but also a responsibility for placing creative identity as national identity in a global perspective. This is the message that artists engaged in projects constantly generate and put into practice.
Attila Kim – Commissioner
The title and hence the theme of this year’s Biennale – Reporting From the Front – defines an ongoing action and places the architect in focus, by entrusting one’s role as a messenger, therefore assuming, in addition to the objectivity and professionalism in addressing and solving local challenges, also the subjectivity of reporting in a global framework. Therefore, every story, every action and every chosen viewpoint implies the presence of the announcer-architect and inevitably turns our sight towards ourselves as active actors of these local scenes. The way of relating to ourselves defines our positioning and relationship with the global professional context and determines building bridges which can turn specific experiences into a universal know-how.
Selfie Automaton talks about mechanisms and the role of the individual in their making and functioning.
The exhibition has been assembled from three directions – architecture, puppetry and art – around a common core: automata. Uncanny and entertaining objects, automata are used as a pretext and a way of communicating, between the authors and the public of the Biennale.
Millions of things that surround us, objects, generally perceived as inanimate, become, under certain circumstances, “alive” and we treat them as such, developing a relation with them.
It is impossible, within an arm’s length, to take a group selfie that is representative enough for architects in Romania – in case we would want to hang one in an exhibition relevant for national representation. Taking a selfie needs a little bit of self-love. We do narcissistically love ourselves, that’s not the issue, but individually or in small groups, by no means for something we might share all together. Moreover, we want to look special, while selfies have this curious effect of making us look more or less the same. So – paradoxically – random clichés might be more relevant for our architectural milieu than any staging of collective self-promotion.