Automata Archives 2016-17

Automata and Track 16 Gallery present:


A Performance-Installation

An uncanny tableaux vivant exploring domestic themes, cave painting, sharing of narratives and attempts at communicating through art. It’s an installation of trapped fairy tale creatures, a lost family, and recordings of chaos and history.

Automata and Track 16 are excited to present the celebrated Argentine art collective Mondongo. Just coming off considerable exposure during the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time LA-LA series, Mondongo is back in Los Angeles this winter with a performance/installation at Automata in Chinatown on January 20th and 21st, followed by an exhibition of a new series of plasticine works opening at Track 16 on February 10th. On January 22, Mondongo will present an artist talk at CalArts, as a presentation of the CalArts Center for New Performance.

At Automata, the artists will present a site-specific installation and performance that can be viewed through the storefront windows, with additional installation elements inside Automata’s gallery space. The performance and installation are looped through out the evening, so audiences can view it at any time.

Performance schedule at Automata

Saturday, January 20, 2018 7-10 PM
Sunday, January 21, 2018 6-8 PM

Note: The installation-performance can be viewed through Automata's Chung King Court windows and by entering the gallery. Viewers can enter and exit at any time during the evening stated hours.

This event is free; no reservations necessary.

Additional Residency Events

Artist Talk at CalArts,
24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia CA 91355
The CalArts Center for New Performance will present an Artist Talk with Mondongo at Noon on January 22, 2018 in the Mod Lobby, at the CalArts campus in Valencia. This event is free and open to the public.

Exhibition at Track 16 Gallery, 1206 Maple Ave, #1005
Reception on Saturday, February 10th from 7-10 pm
February 10th to March 31st, 2018

For information about Mondongo's residency events, contact

About Mondongo

Juliana Laffitte and Manuel Mendanha are the duo that make up Mondongo, which blends ephemeral performances with intricate, sculptural paintings. The Buenos-Aires-based collective formed in 1999 and continues to explode with punk creativity.

Mondongo’s work translates the dark side of fairy tales and the subconscious, whether through a chilling Pinocchio mask made of geometrically shaped mirrors, or work featuring Little Red Riding Hood with lurking Big Bad Wolf close behind. Writer, artist, and early documenter of Mondongo’s work, Cecilia Pavón wrote a statement for “What are we gonna say after HELLO?” In it she relates, “one way of the other, every piece created by Mondongo is about mourning, an inexhaustible feeling anchored in childhood and playing.” This play is executed with technical virtuosity, frequently using a variety of unusual materials, such as thread, toast, meat, or nails. One favorite material for the collective is plasticine. When the pieces are viewed at a distance, the images are rendered exquisitely, yet on closer examination the illusion breaks up into thousands of built out plasticine bits, layered, artists’ hands visible.

Lafitte’s parents were evangelists and “during her childhood, she had witnessed several exorcisms and seen many unbelievable things that she could never forget. Early life experience seems to inform the dark spectacle that permeates the mood of the work. The performance pieces bleed into the public space, luring the passerby to witness a display of the unconscious, drawing on surrealism and ritual. Mondongo’s performances are reminiscent of a masque, the European courtly entertainment of the 16th century, which includes mute performers in carefully constructed, architecturally ornate spaces. Figures inhabit spaces manipulated by light and sound. In one performance, many undulating arms and hands thrust into the cramped space, making silent demands of the masked performer—begging for a piece of cake or shredding the gossamer dress with scissors. The performance evokes a frequent theme in the work of the collective: desire and consumption.

There is redemption in this process. Pavón describes the exchange between viewer and work as healing and shamanistic. She explains that the art is “understood as a ceremony, where information is transformed into an unknown energy capable of making people connect with their pain, even if they don’t realize it.”

Friday, January 26, 2018

Southland Ensemble: 2017-2018 Season Program 3