The work Robota MML is the shooting of a film, a remix of other films and cultural references that leads to an encounter.
The first time the term “robot” was coined was in a science fiction play called R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) written by Karel Capek in 1920 and premièred in New York in 1922. The word "Robot" was devised by the author's brother from the Czech word “robota”, which means “work”. R.U.R. takes place in a factory where they build robots to free human beings from work. And in Robota MML, Itziar Barrio relocates the characters in this work to a context that is sensitive to class consciousness and biopower. Another reference for Robota MML is the work The Raft of the Medusa, painted by Théodore Géricault in 1819 and Luis Buñuel’s inspiration when he wrote The Exterminating Angel. In his painting, Géricault portrays survivors on a raft adrift in the middle of the ocean. While senior officials were most concerned about saving themselves first, they suffered from dehydration and resorted to cannibalism to survive. “All these references converge with contemporary gestures such as body-building and the use of burning objects in recent music videos,” explains Itziar Barrio. “Robota MML addresses in an interrelated manner such issues as robotics, labour production mechanisms, and the deconstruction of cinematic apparatus. Using bodies, technology and smoke, we will construct a narrative over the course of two weeks in Nave 11, articulated through a process of execution, collaboration and meetings with the agents involved”, the artist sums up.
Itziar Barrio will work with a film crew and different collaborators, including the engineer and doctor in robotics Javier F Gorostiza (DART), screenwriter Sonia Martí and María Jerez as acting and stage director.
During the final days, the process will be opened to the public thereby forming the piece Robota MML.
Multimedia artist Itziar Barrio has been living and working in New York for more than a decade. Her exhibitions transcend the label of any specific discipline and rather cover performance art, cinema, photography, installation pieces and the plastic arts. She has presented her work in such international spaces as PARTICIPANT INC (New York), MACBA (Barcelona), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade, Abrons Arts Center (New York) or the Havana Biennial, among others. In 2018, she put on her first major retrospective in Azkuna Zentroa (Bilbao) under the title By all means, curated by Johanna Burton (the director of the Keith Haring Foundation and Curator of Education and Public Engagement of the New Museum in New York). Art critic Ángela Molina described this exhibition as “an art of feeling, of bonds and symptoms that operate within a social order marked by class division and the imperative of capital”.
Idea and direction: Itziar Barrio
Stage director: María Jerez
Scriptwriter: Sonia Martí Gallego and Itziar Barrio
Engineer: Javier F. Gorostiza
Performers: Ainhoa Hernández, Cuqui Jerez, Anto Rodríguez, Pepe Serrano, Cary Rosa Varona and Javier Vaquero Ollero
With the collaboration of: La Dalia Negra collective
Bodybuiding counselling: José Cano
Director of photography: Sara Gallego
Second camera: Jorge Sirvent
Sound: Raúl Gómez
Costumes: Pablo Pelocodo
Stills photographer: Álvaro Hormiga
Lighting: Víctor Colmenero
Sound design: Itziar Barrio and Víctor Colmenero
Graphic design: Jaume Marco
Production: Carolina Olivares and Tatiana Tarragó (CO Producciones)
“Sin tristesse”, poem by Mariano Mayer