Weeble - Drawings, Animation, Performance, Video Art

The ‘techne’ of art uses our bodily organism to transform its transient structure with limited possibilities.

Concept: Venelin Shurelov

Performance: Ana Vilenica and Ivan Pravdić

‘Weeble’ is an attempt for the creation of a dynamic object, a kinetic sculpture, which turns into an environment for artistic activity. It links a constructive invention to a performance, which follows the constraints and the possibilities of the situation containing the body of the performer. During the work process, the object transforms itself from a torture device into a harmless toy.

Weeble, Nevalyashka, Roly-Poly, Vanka-Vstanka, Daruma are different names from across the world for a popular children’s toy, whose main characteristic is that it never falls. Usually it is a small antropomorphic figure, with a spherical lower part and a low center of mass. These traits allow it to always return to a vertical position when wobbled. The legend about the origins of this toy links it to the founder of Zen Buddhism, Bodhidharma. He spent nine years in motionless meditation in front of a wall and has become a symbol of patience, endurance and tenacity.

The children’s toy illustrates the proverb ‘fall down seven times, stand up on the eighth’.

The trajectory, passing through Bodhidharma (who had become the occasion for the crafting of an object capable of embodying his qualities), was my initial point of departure. I then restored the human element, while retaining the most important features of the object-toy.

The hybrid-body formed this way became a post-modern object; a cultural and visual bastard; a performance for outsiders; a punk gig taking place in the surroundings of an oblivious village in the Strandzha Mountain.

Performed and filmed: Symposium ‘Via Pontica’, Yasna Polyana village, Bulgaria, September 2002