The Lithuanian Pavilion will open with an exhibition of selected works by Julijonas Urbonas, introducing to what he calls “gravitational design”. This new approach exploits today’s unprecedented means of manipulating bodily perceptions of gravity to create experiences that push the whole body and imagination to its extremes. Working between amusement park design, space medicine, choreography, sci-fi and robotics, Urbonas has been developing unique means of negotiating gravity: from a killer roller coaster to a hotel that provides dreams in which you levitate. In these projects artist coins the term of gravitational design.
The second stage of the exhibition will present Urbonas’ most recent project “Airtime” – a hybrid of a participatory kinetic sculpture, a gut-oriented architecture, an anti-gravitational machine and an amusement ride. It lurks beneath a floor, waiting to be detected by the intimate presence of the public. The floor moves rhythmically in such a way that the one who stands on it would experience episodic sensations of weightlessness. Supported by a custom built hydraulic lift installed underneath, it oscillates one foot vertically – slowly upwards, and abruptly downwards, thereby providing the public with episodic sensations of weightlessness. Although it takes just a fraction of a second, the sensation is so effective that it would quite likely be followed by euphoric screams or at least the sudden demand for air.
“Airtime” will be accompanied by series of performances and other events featuring artists Sophie Jung, Jacopo Milliani and Juste Jonulyte, among others.
Lithuanian Pavilion „Airtime“ – XX1 Triennale of Milano 2016
Artist: Julijonas Urbonas
Curator: Justė Kostikovaitė
Commissioner: Vilnius Academy of Arts
Supported by the Lithuanian Council for Culture
Project patron: Hotel Zara Milano
STAGE I 2 April – 20 June
Exhibition of the selected works by Julijonas Urbonas.
Intro to the field of gravitational design.
Press preview – 31 March, Opening – 1 April
STAGE II 25 June – 12 September
Kinetic installation „Airtime“.
Designers: Gailė Pranckūnaitė and Marek Voida
Image: a prototype of the kinetic floor „Airtime“, photographers: Aistė Valiūtė and Daumantas Plechavičius