matryoshkas

2008

This is the first robot project I ever did, while a student at Concordia University.
It started as an ancient memory or a slightly traumatized joke. In the summer of 2007 I was lucky enough to be at a Literary Seminar in St. Petersburg. I couldn’t help but try to tune in to a blackly humorous materialism, or cynicism, or ironic gloom in the air. The whole thing was heightened by the constant summer daylight of the white nights.

Being brought up with leftist-Latin-American utopic notions about Cold-war Communism, the heaps of still-cheap soviet-era souvenirs had an entirely different meaning for me. They were cynical confections connected to the tired propaganda of my childhood… it crystallized that eternal sense of watching things unfold from the edge of the world.

So, in a way this whole project became a caricature, appropriating and spitting out something ambivalent, a memory of politics.
The first doll, turned on the lathe, was supposed to evoke a carefully-crafted kitsch object. The second doll was, vacuum-cast plastic, motorized, supposed to evoke a cheap, mass-produced toy. The third, seven feet tall, was supposed to be the cross of a WW2 plane and a toy a gigantic bully baby had beaten badly.

I gave away the wooden doll to a friend, the plastic doll lives on my fridge waiting to be re-built, and the metal matryoshka was stolen off my back porch. Probably to be sold for scrap.

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