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Autotomy  |  Courtesy of Forlane 6 Studio
Autotomy  |  Courtesy of Forlane 6 Studio
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Explore The First Underwater Artwork At Vlychos Beach, Hydra

Picture of Ethel Dilouambaka
Updated: 23 December 2016
Set up in collaboration with the Hydra Dive Center in Greece, Autotomy is an underwater sculptural artwork made by artist Hortense Le Calvez and Mathieu Goussin of Forlane 6 Studio. The installation at Vlychos Beach on Hydra was on display until September 2016.

Autotomy (from the Greek auto-, meaning self, and –tome, ‘severing’) refers to the reflex separation of a part from the body. This self-defense mechanism occurs with certain animals when a threat is imminent. This automatic self-amputation of an appendage allows the animal greater chance of survival.

Autotomy  |  Courtesy of forlane 6 Studio
Autotomy |   Courtesy of forlane 6 Studio

The disarticulated installation, which is made of wood, represents a sunken village on stilts in the process of disintegration. Breaking away from its supporting pillars, it is attempting to change position to face its predator – in this instance, climate change. With the current rise of sea levels and the various climatic fluctuations now starting to be visible, Forlane 6 Studio wanted to explore the idea of a flexible habitat, able to bounce back and change orientation without limitation from gravity.

The studio’s intent is to construct a narrative about the structural exhibition’s ability to evolve, and Forlane 6 Studio will be displacing the installation in the image of a breathing organism, retracting and expanding, in the search for its optimal and most resilient shape. The final work will be compiled into a video project.

Sunken Village, part of the Autotomy Exhibition |  Photo courtesy of forlane 6 Studio
Sunken Village, part of the Autotomy Exhibition |   Photo courtesy of forlane 6 Studio

Forlane 6 Studio is the artistic duo of partners Hortense Le Calvez and Mathieu Goussin. Le Calvez is a French visual artist and a scuba diving instructor. Goussin is a merchant navy officer and engineer. They now live and work on their retro sailing boat, Forlane 6, anchored in Poros Island, Greece. Their mission is to investigate various phenomena imposed by the subaquatic space through sculptures and art installations.

Visit the underwated Autotomy Exhibition at Vlychos Beach, Hydra |  Photo courtesy of forlane 6 Studio
Visit the underwated Autotomy Exhibition at Vlychos Beach, Hydra |   Photo courtesy of forlane 6 Studio