Reflective ‘roly-polys’ facilitate internal, personal and collective observation in the urban space.

Since the limitations imposed by the Corona pandemic have led to a demand to expand personal territory, the project intends to be installed  in a major plaza which during normal times offers passers-by opportunities for rest and/or play. Coronatime has created the urgency for additional zones for internal reflection and release of tension through a familiar game. A passerby who crosses the square will be able to touch, push and even hit the padded figure like objects. Issues such as limitations, vaccinations, mortality, contagion graphs, lockdowns have impacted our design of a project: an installation of multiple figures integrating humor and playfulness. The installation involves passers-by in the cityscape: all can participate, actively or passively. The work creates a kind of community and includes isolated individuals, as well. The single person who comes to the “figures” will meet the self and others more than once, giving the feeling that the viewer is not alone.The choice of material arose from the realization and the need to see ourselves and “the other”as is, without masks. The reflective surfaces mirror us back to ourselves, enabling a kind of internal accounting, observing how we behave to others in our environs. The installation strives to find equilibrium between watching out for oneself and concern for others. The “roly-poly” figure allows people to release their tension, since it springs back. The soft, protective sponge upholsters the “figures”; these are objects that rise up again even after a beating, as they return to their nutural balance. The project is a site-specific installation comprising up to 15 art-objects/sculptures  formed like the roly-poly toy known variously as the “tumbler” or “wobbly man.”  The objects made of sponge and covered with reflective synthetic material, are human-sized (approx. 170-180 cm tall). Spread around a central plaza, the “roly-polys” are “socially-distanced” from each other according to regulations under the pandemic.Passers-by are invited to stop, look at themselves and at others. As the reflections are distorted in the mirror-like surfaces, viewers may experience embarrassment or amusement, may vent their anger and frustration, “let off steam,” or play.

75m of 30GI sponge,
1.5cm thick100m vinyl mirror fabric, 120cm wide
15 zippers
150kg sea sand
cutting & gluing  the sections
sewing & fitting the cover
sand filling
anchoring to the ground

Vardi Bobrow and Danielle Feldhaker
Vardi Bobrow and Danielle Feldhaker
Location of project
IL, Tel Aviv
Month/Year of project
05 / 2021
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