Mind controlling infrastructure; buildings that mourn bad weather and staircases that become ‘machines for endless exercise’ are among the dystopic-sounding features of No Stop, Statue, Machine, a film collaboration between design and architecture collective Post Works and artist Edwin Burdis.
The film, which will be screened tomorrow, is a visual and aural response to Pablo Bronstein: Sketches for Regency Living, which saw the Buenos Aires-born artist work across the entire ICA building with sketches, architectural interventions and choreographed art and ballet performances.
No Stop, Statue, Machine takes its title from radical architecture group Archizoom’s 1966 piece No Stop, which saw architect Andrea Branzi conceive a radical vision of a limitless future city. ‘Machine’ references the model at the centre of the film’s resemblance to a pinball machine, informing the soundtrack’s inclusion of The Who’s Pinball Wizard.
The film explores themes of architecture, the city and performance, presenting a landscape where familiar aspects of the city are rendered abstract and anthropomorphic.
Matthew Butcher, co-founder of Post Works, says, ‘We wanted to work in film as we were frustrated with drawings and illustrations in that you couldn’t draw emotion out of the work. I think that’s the problem with architecture – you can get emotion from the space but not from the drawings.
‘Making the film with sound and movement means you can animate the inanimate: you feel for the characters, as they’re all stuck in certain beliefs.’
These ‘characters’ are, in fact, faces created from the buildings – with London icons such as the Hayward building anthropomorphised into dwellers of the film’s city space.
The city model was originally created by Post Works for the Gopher Hole gallery in East London. ‘It’s a really visceral thing, the film of the mirrored model with Edwin’s sound piece over the top’, says Butcher.
‘It’s a journey through the different components of what makes a city with the buildings, infrastructure and the performance of it constantly reflected into an almost psychedelic city.’
No Stop, Statue, Machine will be shown at 6.30pm and 7.15pm on 28 July at the ICA, The Mall, London SW1Y