Diller + Scofidio (American, founded 1979)
Elizabeth Diller (American, born 1954)
Ricardo Scofidio (American, born 1935)

Automarionette, c. 1987

Ink on sepia Mylar
60.9 x 30.4 cm (24 x 12 in.)
Gift of Celia and David Hilliard in honor of Stanley Tigerman and Eva Maddox, 2008.67

Automarionette

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Founded by Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio, Diller + Scofidio (now Diller Scofidio + Renfro), is a practice known for exploring the experimental and performative aspects of architecture and technology. This early drawing documents their interest in manipulations of the human body, depicting their design for a suspended apparatus or prosthetic that controls the position of the body with a counterweight system. A modified version of Automarionette was produced as part of a set design for the performance piece The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate (A Delay in Glass), inspired by artist Marcel Duchamp's work The Large Glass. This performance was created with an experimental theater company for the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Duchamp Centennial in 1987. Although documenting a highly conceptual project, the lush sepia tones and fine rendering technique used in this drawing recalls the red chalk sketches created by early modern European artists as preparatory studies for paintings.

— Entry, Art Institute of Chicago Pocketguide, 2009, p. 15.