AUTOTOMY is a subaquatic sculptural project made in collaboration with Hydra Dive Center in Greece. The work can be experienced in Vlychos Beach on Hydra Island during the summer 2016.
Autotomy (from the Greek auto”self” and tome “severing”) is defined as the reflex separation of a part from the body. This spontaneous division occurs with certain animals when facing an imminent threat. This automatic release, letting go a part of oneself to the attacker in order to flee, allows the animal greater chance of survival.
Our disarticulated wood installation depicts a sunken village on stilts fragmenting itself. Seemingly organic, the village breaks away from it holding pillars in an attempt to change position, to migrate even. The attacker in this scenario is climate change. Waters are rising indeed and rain patterns will evolve drastically, so we like to explore with this project the idea of a flexible habitat able to stretch, to bounce back into shape and shift its orientation easily as if gravity was no issue.
This collaboration with Hydra Dive Center enables us for the first time to leave the work longer than the amount of air in our tanks allowed us to. We want to use this opportunity to build a narrative making the overall shape of the installation change. During the summer we will displace the structure like a breathing organism expanding and retracting aiming to find its most resilient shape.
A special thanks to Gabriel Nessim Schloser for his wonderful help during the installation of the work.