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Ana Rewakowicz 
inflatable installations

12.04. - 02.06.2013

Project Description / Artist statement

Over the last ten years I have been working with inflatable objects exploring relations between temporal, portable architecture, the body and the environment. In contrast to the stable mass of monumental sculpture and architecture, my costumes and structures are air-filled, mobile and concerned with places and people that activate them. Incorporating materials such as rubber latex, polyvinyl, polyurethane, reversible metallic foil, fabrics, biodegradable polymers, fans and solar panels, I harness technology to build intimate yet paradoxically public experiences, and fashion them based on function. A belief in new technologies as an opportunity for social transformation that had inspired the architectural groups from the 60’s (Archigram (UK), Utopie (France), Haus-Rucker-Co, Coop Himmelb(l)au (Austria) still motivates me. As early as the ’60s, these architectural groups were addressing the question of global vision and the relation between environment and technology, issues that remain central to the discussion

about climate change at the present time. I am deeply concerned with the integrity of materials, processes and ideas, and I make objects that set a platform for social exchange and reflect on growing environmental complexities in the increased intensity of globalization.

My most recent focus in my works involves the idea of interconnectedness between nature, humans and environment. The Cloud (2011 – please refer to visual material) explored this concept through the creation of an interactive ‘stage’, on which people were given ‘power’ to become, in metaphorical sense, weather makers and create rain. In my new project, for which research and creation I am applying, people will be able to breathe and receive a breath back, poetically speaking. The project entitled LSS (Life Support System) continues to emphasize a mutually beneficial relation between nature and humans and it focuses on food sourcing. With the rapid increase of the world’s population and climatic changes, providing food to everyone has become a source of future anxiety. In response to this crisis my project attempts to combine inflatables with hydroponics (an ancient system of growing plants without soil that can be environmentally economical) and involves a self-sustaining modular system for plant cultivation. Similarly to The Cloud, the goal of this project is to set a platform for participation and thus creation of different awareness.

Life Support System installation comprises of multiple, differently sized spheres (a definite number will be determined through the research), in which selected plants are inserted. Water is pumped and then drained creating a circular system for delivery of nutritional solution. Each sphere has two intakes and one release output. One intake (a fan) supplies constant air at low pressure to keep the sphere, another is provided for visitors/participants to breathe into, feeding the plants with Co2, and a third one – a release valve lets air go (higher in oxygen) back into the exhibition space. In my installation the well-being of the plants is depending on participants ‘donation’ of Co2. In return the plants will produce oxygen and food beneficial to human health.

The practical DIY research concentrates on creating a sustainable system of water, air and energy circulation. In my research I look into various kinds of pumps and their technical aspects, as well as different kinds of one-way valves necessary for pushing and releasing air. A support of electronic needs such as fans used for inflation, pumps and lighting are carried out with minimal energy consumption. On all the technical features of the piece I am working in close consultation with engineer Pierre Jutras, with whom I have already worked on a number of projects, including previously mentioned The Cloud. In my art practice it is important to me to make my projects functional as much as possible, although functionality is not my objective. My goal is to induce different understanding and awareness through the creation of various platforms of interaction. It is the intention to fabricate meaningful habitation that is the driving force behind my ideas. I am aware that my artworks cannot provide all the answers to such complexities as living in the face of dwindling resources, environmental catastrophe, and social displacement but I believe in the power of imagination of art. I am equally inspired by the visionary works of Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, as well as modern inventors like Buckminster Fuller, who fused an imaginative sensibility with technical invention. I see my art practice as a bridge-building process between these two realms.

Ana Rewakowicz wishes to thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Canada Councilfor the Arts for their financial support.

Artist talk


works by Ana Rewakowicz >>>

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