the electric house
For Selby's exhibition at SHIFT, he uses the Buster Keaton short film that the exhibition takes as its title in order to explore the function of the gallery space and its domestic context. He will be constructing a new installation work combining elements of kinetic sculpture, drawing and film.
âThe Electric House', made in 1922 (for the second time after Keaton broke his leg during its original production) was screened a year before Le Corbusier's text âVers Une Architecture' rang out the modernist mantra âthe house as a machine for living in'. With his typical sense of both technological and humorous invention, Keaton re-engineers a house into an electrified environment of gadgets and objects. At a time when domestic electricity was barely in a third of homes, his meticulously constructed stage set emphasised the potential for a dislocation between user and object. The elaborate and ingenious nature of his inventions act as a method to test both Keaton's capabilities as a comic as well as question the viewer's relationship to materiality (and the modernist prerogative).
Within Selby's own work, he constructs mechanical and technological devices, as prototyped parodies, to critique physical interaction and observation. It is this uncomfortable, awkward yet often humorous relationship between body, space and technological object that he will explore in the exhibition.
Watch âThe Electric House' (1922 / 22min):
Part 1 manifesto-art.tumblr.com/post/7544490501
Part 2 manifesto-art.tumblr.com/post/7544583966