Marcel·lí Antúnez Roca (Moià, Barcelona, Spain 1959)
Is internationally known for his mechatronic performances and robotic installations. Since the 1980s, Antúnez’s work has reflected a strong interest in the human condition: the fears and desires of human beings, first as part of La Fura dels Baus’ tribal performances and later through a series of solo works that present complex systems and often become uncategorizable hybrids. From the 1990s, the incorporation and perversion of technical and scientific elements and his interpretation through singular prototypes provided Antúnez’s work with a new cosmogony about topics such as emotions, identity, eschatology or death. These concepts acquire a crude and ironic dimension, which provokes spontaneous reactions in the audience.
From the early 90s, he started combining elements such as Parazitebots (Body control robots), Sistematurgy (computer systems dramaturgy) and Dreskeleton (body interface in the shape of an exoskeleton dress). There is a use of biological materials in robotics in “Joan l’home de carn” (1992); telematic control of an alien body by the audience in the performance “Epizoo” (1994); expansion of body movement with dreskeletons used in the performances “Afasia” (1998) and Pol (2002); involuntary choreography with parazitebots in “Réquiem” (1999) and microbiologic transformations in “Rinodigestió” (1987) and Agar (1999). In the mid-90s, his performance “Epizoo” (1994) caused quite a stir on the international art scene. For the first time, the performer’s corporal actions were controlled by the audience. This work intended to communicate a paradox where inert virtuality and physical vulnerability coexist. Since then, Antúnez has produced “Transpermia” (2004), a mechatronic conference that presents the Dedal project and his micro-performances in zero gravity conditions and the Transpermia theory; “Protomembrana” (2006), a mechatronic lesson for a dreskeleton, an interactive audiovisual environment and different dynamic interfaces part of the wider project “Membrana”, which also include the performance the large-scale performance “Hipermembrana” (2007) and the installation “Metamembrana”, still in production.
Antúnez was founding member, artistic coordinator, musician and performer in La Fura dels Baus (1979-1989). He participated in their macro performances “Accions” (1984), “Suz/o/Suz” (1985) and “Tier Mon” (1988). He was also part of the group “Los Rinos”, from its foundation in 1985 to its disbandment in 1992. Since the 1990s, he has developed his solo career. Antúnez’s work has been seen in Madrid (Fundación Telefónica), Milan (P.A.C.), Nantes (Lieu Unique), London (I.C.A.), SOU Kapelica (Ljubljana), Sao Paulo (FILE), Moscow (DOM Cultural Center), Tokio (DAF), Osnabrück, Germany (EMAF), Helsinki (Muu Media Festival), Montreal (Noveaux Cinéma, Noveaux Médias), Rotterdam (DEAF), Munich (Spiel.Art), Linz (Ars Electronica), Seoul, South Korea (Seoul Performing Arts Centre) and Lisbon (ZDB).
His work has been featured in the following publications: “Il Corpo Postorganico” by Teresa Macri, published by Costa&Nolan Milano; “Body Art and Performance” by Lea Vergine, published by Skira London, “Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca: Performances, Objetos y Dibujos” by Claudia Giannetti, published by MECAD Barcelona and the catalogue “Epiphany”, published by Fundación Telefónica Madrid.
Antúnez has also been granted the following awards and honours: First Prize in the Etrange Festival in Paris (1994), Best New Media in Noveaux Cinéma, Noveaux Médias in Montreal (1999), Max New Theatre Award in Spain in 2001 and FAD Barcelona Award in 2001. He was granted an Honorary Mention in Prix Ars Electronica 2003 and won the Ciutat de Barcelona Award in the multimedia category in 2004.