LOLO & SOSAKU
PHOTO, VIDEO & TEXT BY SOFIA ALAZRAKI
Art by LOLO Y SOSAKU
For ROWDY MAGAZINE
LINK TO ARTICLE
Barcelona, September 2019
“We understand Origin here as from where and for what a thing is what it is. What something is and how it is, is what we call its essence (Wasen). The origin of something is the source of its essence. ” Heidegger.
Lolo and Sosaku are an Argentine-Japanese duo, parents of their sculptures and mechanisms that transit between sound and form. They began their career ten years ago designing objects to generate sounds: sound being the end and the object being its medium. Over time they turned their attention to the object itself. From there, their path will be a constant pivot between the sound and vision. Their works are monumental, totemic, they oscillate between the organic and the inorganic, the real and the surreal, using basic mechanic knowledge and technical systems as a language to enter a dreamlike, phantasmagoric, strange and inexplicable world.
Their works are a mix of robotic engineering and architecture of mystical monuments, somewhere in between the mechanical and the magical. They use technology to shape the unknown. They refer to their works as "they", assigning them identity and status of being alive, not calling them a "thing". They endow them with subjectivity and autonomy, liberated and independent. They seem to represent a connection with a superior force, a kind of link with a world that exceeds the limitations of logic.
Their studio in Hospitalet De Llobregat changes radically every season. A few months ago there were awkwardly moving "pets" between metal plates, totemic steel sculptures, cables and tools. These stripped-up works roamed the room with complete independence, coming and going with an erratic, confused and tender step. Their presence generated a series of sounds like metallic stumbles combined with other hazy noises of other works. They are machines created by but not for men: paradoxically coexisting with their creators, but not at their service, they were gifted with a sense of emancipation. For their exhibition at Macba they created thirty versions of a pet, all different from one another; Although they establish a production method for the work, it does not isolate it from the effects of chance, as they cannot predict each pet's behavior or how they will sound all together.
There is a certain connection with the Dadaist sense of humor, in which chance is part of the essence; the presentation of Paul Valéry's "ambiguous objects"; the poems of Tristán Tzara or the sounds of John Cage, touched by the industrial dystopian look of Futurism. They create these beings endowed with artificial intelligence, unpredictable behaviors, as if they were characters in a novel between Mary Shelley, Aldous Houxley and Lil Miquela; they work carefully to improve their systems, making batteries last longer, giving them the possibility to adopt personalized rhythms and steps, different subjective personalities. The vision of Lolo and Sosaku combine esotericism and cynicism, black humor, complicity and sweetness.
Months later their workshop doesn't feel the same: it smells different and it sounds different. More canvases than one could count hang on the walls and lie on the floor, as if a painter had spent a whole life there painting compulsively without resting for one day.
Between paintings, racks, unclear wooden structures, cables and warm colors; organic and soft sounds resonate in the background. Sounds like wood and paper. They are the new painting machines, that devoutly draw paintings that refer to abstract expressionism, with a new meaning now in 2020. Each work paints a different picture, everything is unrepeatable, everything happens once. Each machine paints uncontrollably, randomly; Although artists control how the object/machine will look once it is in motion and the colors or materials they will provide for painting, they cannot predict exactly how the resulting work will look. They are surprised by it, which once again redefines and assumes a new role of the subject. The Goth industrial sounds we heard months ago, are now replaced by the hymns of an LSD piano. The dream component of the work is in the autonomy, the subject entity, its esoteric and supernatural reminiscence in which the viewer does not ask for explanations, only enters this fantasy world: a painting factory.
It is difficult to catalog Lolo and Sosaku's work in a clear discipline, since the relationship with the viewer varies constantly according to the format: the experience transcends the medium. In Heidegger's words "the limit is not the point at which a thing ends, but that from which a thing begins its essence." The experimental spirit as the central axis gives rise to the multiplicity of media, oscillating between installation, performance, sound, video, drawing and painting. They use resources between analog and digital, a manual task with mechanical systems.
They developed their own genuine language, an intimate connection with a reality displaced from everyday life. They are born and grow like an Deleuzian eternal rhizome in which exploration is the greatest ritual value. Any media is a potential starting point for an exponential multiplication of creativity. In their curious nature they dive into metaphysical, rhetorical, engineering and mechanical issues. The experimental is a pivot that functions as a central axis in the work, being part of its origin: experimentation as a cause and as an effect.