Bababa International

Bababa International, Repair (installation view, The 29th Biennial of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana) 2012, timber, dimensions variable. Image courtesy the artists


Profile: Bababa International

Bababa International are a Sydney based contemporary art collective whose creative projects engage audiences to actively participate in the art making process. For some time now, Bababa International have been concerned with the failures of public space, and are constantly bemused by the vigorous pursuit to change public space into an impressionistic and galvanised domain. Past projects include: operating a temporary soap factory in a gallery space to accompany the rooftop shower that they set up nearby for their project; running a kitchen out of a gallery and for no currency other than curiosity a visitor could purchase handmade curry, with free delivery to anywhere in Sydney; and setting up a mani pedi salon in Hong Kong for Indonesian workers.

Bababa are quick to point out that although their works have involved a high level of physicality and some extent of endurance, they are not performance works. Instead, the projects pursued by the collective all aim to create experiences for an audience that they would not encounter ordinarily, events that go beyond stunts and challenge people to engage and interact with the work to give it meaning.

While their practice was born out of the complexities and contradiction of the built environment, recent activities incorporate a wide group of collaborators working to articulate the common ground shared between cities. Indeed, their ongoing actions rethink distinctions between online and ‘real world’ design, encouraging an understanding of the shifting experiences and narratives that are informed by, and inform, public space.

Bababa International consists of artists, architects and illustrators who are now spread across the world. Their CV reads as a long list of 12 members, including their website administrator (based in Mumbai), and a server maintenance technician (living in Kiev). They have been shown in solo exhibitions both in Australia and overseas, Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, as well as in the Ljubljana Biennale of Graphic Arts, Slovenia.

Bababa International是一个澳洲的当代艺术团体,他们透过合作计画让观众主动参予创作的过程。Bababa International对於公共空间的崩坏感到忧心,并对於试图将公共空间改建成空洞无趣纯装饰性的冰冷平台的行为感到费解

Bababa 如此形容这次的展览作品:在你前方是一个长廊。从你所站的地方望去,只见空间向前延伸转弯上探下弯构成一个迷宫,当你踏进入口,发现有个巨大的物体抵挡了你的去路,不管是出自好奇的一戳烦躁的一脚抑或只是单纯的无聊的一摸,它微颤了一下,再用力一点的推了把它稍稍移动挪出足够的空间够你向前进,你一点一点边推边前进,物体在墙面上刮出了痕迹,是你给弄的还是另有他人?突然房间丶孔洞丶不明物体从上方出现由右向左移动。整个穿越通道的经验就像是掉入爱丽丝的兔子动一般被掉入一个支离的状态中,而透过穿梭的动作使用了空间而使破碎的空间有了意义。

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