On 8 March, our current Artist in Residence Tim Shaw RA (member of the Royal Academy) will present his work project entitled "The Birth of Breakdown Clown". It is a figure that speaks, that possesses awareness and asks us questions about the understanding of law in a global world, at the interface between humans and machines as a somewhat unsettling sculpture on the move.Next to the performance itself and the explanation from the artist, voices from art history and cultural science will be heard.
The Birth of Breakdown Clown artist statesment:
"Breakdown Clown is a figure that plays an imaginary powerful role in society similar to that of a priest, shaman or therapist.
An outsider that community has invited to its door. People confide in the clown; looking for signs, seeking wisdom and advice. The ‘over friendly’ clown has become dysfunctional and its powers of empathy and perception have become entangled. It responds inappropriately with answers that contain uncomfortable truths mixed with verbal madness. The clown trawls the boundaries of the human condition bringing to the fore, the absurdities of life and testing the limits of what we perceive as acceptable and lawful.
Breakdown Clown expresses views on everything from sex, religion, war, the meaning of existence, death, the afterlife and ponders upon what your next door neighbor might be doing in your garden right now. It asks, ‘does law have a smell, a colour and can we be touched by the law?’ It ponders upon, what goes on in the ‘dark pools’ of high finance and upon issues pertinent to us today, in particular, the conflict of religious ideologies. It asks, in a world of freedom of expression, do we retain the right not to be insulted? The project also reflects upon the digital age, examining how quickly we have become accustomed to and reliant upon digital tech- nology, and asks how this has affected our behavior and perception.
The Birth of Breakdown Clown is an experimental project that consists of a seven-foot robotic figure programmed with artificial intelligence allowing for audience interaction."
– Tim Shaw
For more information about the opening:
Max Weber lecture room and Georg Simmel atelier of the K