rad hourani robots art project

ROBOTS - 2019

Cloth figures are faceless, uncanny, and anonymous. Their angular anatomy and human-likeness are reminiscent of primitive representations of humans, or, rather, of the android human-like robots that are soon to populate the earth. In either case, the robots are shaped in the likeness of their maker. In creating robots, Rad Hourani redefines humanity and identity, as in to reach consciousness, creating his limitless reality rather than letting himself be created by society. The robots challenge us to question ourselves as to whether we are individually programmed or living according to our own free will.

Through color symbolism, the viewer may be tempted to attribute fabricated traits to the figures; the yellow one is playful. The purple one is a girl. The black one is mysterious. These thoughts are the fruit of our own programming: the robots are identical blank slates, devoid of any real signifiers, reflections of our own robotic state. We are therefore marionettes to societal constructs, letting these control every will and decision we could make beyond our comprehension or reach. As we begin to understand this and as our perception shifts in favor of the robots, we begin to ponder whether these blank beings, unprogrammed after all as they are filled with foam and not wires, capable of being modeled into any identity, may be more liberated and superior to our own pre-set psyche.

Scaled to Rad Hourani’s height, the robots relate the viewer to their own humanity, facing them as equals. Their offspring, half-sized replicas of the full-size figures, nest in their arms, wrapped around themselves and each other in a pastiche of a human child’s stuffed toy, as if to probe the viewer into questioning the legitimacy of having children, little robots that bear their likeness, that they will get to program in their turn. Above the maker, larger than the artist, it embodies the soul and essence of its kin. These cloth sculptures contextualize our own humanity in relation to the Other, the familiarity of their plush bodies contrasting with the dooming reality of artificial intelligence.



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ROBOT ME 03 + 1/2 ROBOT ME 03 – 2019

VELVET - SATIN SILK - POLYFILL    50.8 x 15.24 x 198.12 CM ( 20” x 6” x 78” )   EDITION 1/1

ROBOT ME 04 + 1/2 ROBOT ME 06 – 2019

SATIN SILK - POLYFILL   50.8 x 15.24 x 198.12 CM ( 20” x 6” x 78” )   EDITION 1/1

ROBOT ME 05 + 1/2 ROBOT ME 04 – 2019

SATIN SILK - POLYFILL    50.8 x 15.24 x 198.12 CM ( 20” x 6” x 78” )   EDITION 1/1

ROBOT ME 01 + 1/2 ROBOT ME 05 – 2019

SATIN SILK - POLYFILL    58.42 x 15.24 x 203.2 CM ( 23” x 6” x 80” )   EDITION 1/1

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