Pierre Castignola 2013 - 2019

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The Dictator

Performative installation

My time in Madrid made me think a lot about our own current way of life. If you think about it we live according to the sun, it’s natural, our time variates around it. It’s like that for everybody. But Madrid made me realise it because that interaction locals have with sunlight is so much more amplified. Their schedule is based around sunlight and temperature. The most obvious and powerful example is of course the «siesta». This break in the middle of the day to avoid the daily peak of temperature.

It felt to me like the entire city was living alongside this sunlight. It governs every timing and movement of the city. For two hours everyday, the sun is burning the colourful walls of the city making the atmosphere warm and suffocating. People escape, seek shade, stay home and don’t move until the timing is right and that curfew over. As if our own movements and schedules were not in our control anymore but dictated by a higher authority, the sun.

The Dictator was presented during the exhibition Here And Out in Dimad Matadero from the 2nd of February until the 18th 2018 in the context of the Madrid Design Festival.

For more information:

http://www.mataderomadrid.org/ficha/9074/here-and-out.html

http://madriddesignfestival.com/actividad/here-and-out/

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/madrid-design-festival-2018-fraser-picks/index.html

The Witness

The Witness is an installation exploring the relationship between the city, its inhabitants and the sun. A moveable landmark displaying our circadian rhythm in the context of the cityscape.

It came to my attention that the gradient of activity in the city is not synchronised anymore with the rhythm of our body. The most active period of our clock occurs when the city is the most  deserted. This strange distortion is due to one and only one factor. The sun. Whom I qualify as a dictator.

The Witness, a performative installation, aims to highlight the importance of the correlation body-city. Since the health of a city is depending of the well-being of its inhabitants. The installation, displayed first in the exact centre of the circle, makes of visualisation of the human body in the city.

The Witness acts as a sun dial for our body, it translates the effects of the sun on the city by indicating the state of our body. The performer moves the installation around the circle to be displayed at some specific spots to highlight the disrupted schedule of the circle. Following a precise ritual, he sets up the device carefully and precisely, always in the same order of manipulation.