This isn’t happening #2, 2017, timber, vintage gramophone motor, pulley belt, magnets, screws, bearings, glue, paper, polymer clay, plastic, fabric, paint.
David Lawrey and Jaki Middleton’s This isn’t happening (2017) is a series of three automaton-based works, powered by hand-cranked vintage gramophone motors. Each work depicts a lone woman in a domestic space repeatedly struggling: to find something lost, to erase an error, to fall asleep. By requiring the visitors’ engagement to activate the work, the artists’ obligate the viewer to assume an all-powerful, god-like complicity in the scene, whereby the viewer literally compels the woman’s repetitive action. The dreamlike scenes depicted in the works convey a universally recognizable feeling of anxiety and despair; one that for the artists, is magnified by the current sociopolitical landscape.