As Guinea Pigs (La vida es una tombola) (2007)

This 6-room structure has 5 rooms that attack each sense. The 6th room is purely for experimental purposes. Conceptually and structurally designed by Paola Torres, the Olfatory, the Taste, and the Tactile room where designed in collaboration of Rossana Mercado. The Visual, the Auditive & the test-room (made by Paola Torres) are of reactive nature; the first two react to movement, and the third one to presence.

Full Description

A 6 rooms structure that hyper-stimulates/attacks senses (inspired in the “Tombola”; in Peru there is a game in which covered guinea pigs are introduced under a recipient, hidden, into a space surrounded by various rooms and then is confused and moved around, thus, when uncovered, they want to escape and are forced to choose a room… According to where it got into the person playing that had that room number in it’s ticket wins something). The idea is to expose the visitor of the gallery to a set of experiments, for the therapist/curator to analyze. The gallery is turned into a testing site, and the visitors, are the main test subjects.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2007
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Tuesday May 1st, 2012
  • Work Credits:
    • Rossana Mercado, Developed the content of 3 rooms
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Artist Statement

"Just as a voyage, the spectator is initiated as an observer, but at the end of its trip through the gallery it will interact and be a part our oeuvre, or the so called “experiment” of our alter-ego, “The Therapist” (the imaginary curator of the show). Stultifera Navis is divided in two parts: In Situ and In Vitro. The fist part is defined as the “open space” in which the “patients” roam free within the canvas space, contextualized by the observer to serve as experienced vision of the specimen (the artists) but, just as in the lab space, it can only be seen from the outside, since the particularity of this space lays in the fact that is all controlled by the Therapist (the curator of the show), alter-ego/fusion of Paola Torres and Rossana Mercado, who controls all the show with the exception of those small spaces within the frames of the paintings. In the other hand, In Vitro is the completely quantified, qualified, ciphered, experimental environment. In here the Scientist/Therapist controls the interaction/action parameters. The observer is not only the spectator here, but the specimen this time. Starting from applying the inductive method so characteristically used in science, the Therapist intends to analyze the different strategies of survival/living of the newfound specimens; we look for the reaction of people for our own research. It was all really a trap. "

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