Lara Favaretto at the Sydney Biennale

August 16, 2008

My favorite machine art work at Cockatoo island for the Sydney Biennale.

Lara Favaretto
Plotone, 2005
Courtesy the artist and Galleria Franco Noero, Turin; with the support of Amici Sostenitori del Castello di Rivoli, Turin

Twistle 2003
air tank, pressure regulator, distributor, timer, electrovalve, plastic cables and whistle

Lara Favaretto uses sculpture, photography, film and installation to create artworks that produce a sense of magical fantasy and urgency, forming an immediate bond with the viewer through a sense of play. Favaretto calls her works ‘macchine del divertimento’ (fun machines). They are mechanisms whose purpose is to be radically non-productive and non-functional. For the Biennale of Sydney, Favaretto has created a new version of Plotone. A ‘platoon’ of compressed air-tanks, they appear to breathe as timer-released air blows from them periodically, setting in action a chorus of party whistles. It is a festive, alternative chant to the military marching songs of soldiers. ‘An army betrayed or defeated is standing still,’ says Favaretto, ‘compelled to remain in their confined position, like civilian soldiers frustrated in waiting, in a silence interrupted only by single breaths: inhaled through the movement of their red and silver playful tongues.’