De la tierra
22 Oct / Dec 18th
Extended to Jun18th
Only by invitation
La Veloz, L´Hospitalet, Barcelona
Texts by Maike Moncayo, Marta Echavez and Vera Renau
“De la tierra” (“Of the earth”) is an artistic project by Lolo & Sosaku, that imagines a potential space-time, a place where machines and the earth have forged a new alliance that puts an end to human supremacy. The project was born from an installation presented in Shanghai in 2017that, on this occasion, makes a landing in La Veloz, an abandoned factory in L'Hospitalet. Composed of rhomboid-shaped machines and furrows which spring from this inhospitable terrain, “De la Tierra” portrays an ecology that is characterized by a new language and interdependence between materialities. A language that is perceived in the rise and fall of the metallic rhombuses and their collision with the earth, in the reiteration that accentuates the object condition of these structures and that seems to point to an indecipherable code for the human. And it is this dialogue between the sculptural objects with their environment and with the viewer which is the link that unites the works of Lolo & Sosaku. Machine objects looking for friction, touch, and tension. In “De la Tierra” the machinic subjectivity is based on a hidden excess, which is far removed from any anthropomorphism. In this way, the project shows a reality in which machines are no longer at the service of
human beings but instead coexist with us in full autonomy.
If one looks, the vast plain of gray concrete opens up. There is water spilling through space, outlining grooves like the ones you have in the palm of your hand. A drop falls, repeatedly, coupled with the click of the machine closing. It seems to rise, as you rise, with unusual slowness. You might believe that the machines that inhabit this place have been put in place by man long ago, but what happens here seems more like a miracle. You go through the space wanting to touch the metallic rhombuses, which are refracted in a geometric choreography that shines. But no matter how hard you try, you can't touch them, they radiate in such a way that something holds you back. You sense that their movements whisper words that you will never be able to understand because they come from a place where time has fallen apart. Your breathing slows down. The metallic reflection on the water pulls you down. The machines seem to float on the silver surface of the water, but your feeling is that they really come from deep under the surface. Not from the center of the earth, but from an orbiting hole in another space-time fold. A ray of light bounces off the top of the machine, reflecting off the water and passing through your iris like a thread that pushes you. Although the place is abandoned, you feel the presence of something supernatural. You imagine that if your body crossed that rhombus, like when you dive into the water, you would disappear without a trace. Without a doubt, the machine is a sacred topography, a rhomboid map to reach another dimension. You are stunned. Where have you been all this time?
About the building La Veloz
55 years ago, in October 1967, the company Figueras & Cía applied for a building permit for the construction of an industrial warehouse on Ribera de los Frailes street, about 60 meters from l'Avinguda del Carrilet at the City Council of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat. The building was designed by the architect Jordi Figueras Anmella, who a few years earlier had planned the headquarters of the company Ivanow S.A., in the working-class neighborhood of La Sagrera in the neighboring city of Barcelona. The construction was carried out by the company of Juan Torrella Cascante and ended in 1971. It was an industrial site in full expansion, recently urbanized and opened to road traffic, which would end up forming the industrial estate known as Carretera del Medio during the Franco regime. In the 1980s, the building was bought by Juan Suñé López. Thus, it went from being a warehouse for cereals, tapiocas, and flour, to becoming the headquarters of a new company dedicated to the wholesale trade of sawdust and cleaning products such as detergents, brooms, and brushes, toilet paper or garbage bags, among others. The main activity carried out there was the storage, packaging, and sale of these products, not their manufacture. Until its recent closure, the Suñé family was in charge of La Veloç. Serradures, sepiolites industrials i domèstiques, that reads the sign on the exterior access door today. The offices of the building still show traces of this family business’ past. The warehouse was acquired by the L’Hospitalet City Council in 2017.
The building consists of a ground floor and two upper floors, raised in front of an access patio or hall. The architectural typology of the popular industrial building typical of the development period is determined by its functionality and is fundamentally characterized by exposing the materials used for its construction. In this case, around a kind of central cloister, the various spaces for storage are distributed, illuminated by natural light that shines through large metal windows located on each of the floors, which you can access by a staircase attached to one of the sides of the cloister. The pillars are made of reinforced concrete with armor and formwork, the masonry is made of brick and the gabled roof is made of fiber cement. Through the top floor, you can access a roof terrace. Parts of the hoist are preserved in the building, the machine that operated as the central axis for the distribution of products between the storage spaces. Likewise, parts of the hopper, a device used for packaging sawdust, are preserved. This material still covers nooks and crannies in the environment. On the walls and the pavement, there are signs of obvious use: cracks, scratches, or chipping probably caused by the machinery used for the transport and packaging of the stored items, traces of the industrial archeology of the city.
*We appreciate the collaboration of the Center d'Estudis de L'Hospitalet and the Municipal Archive of L'Hospitalet for the consultation of data on the history of La Veloz.
Curated by: Lolo & Sosaku and Maike Moncayo
Technical design: Kike Blanco
Production: Leonardo Della Pietra
Texts: Marta Echaves, Maike Moncayo, Vera Renau
Photographs: Aleix Plademunt
Graphic design: Lorena G. Ortiz
Video: Lolo & Sosaku + Michell Rivas Canal SVC
Performances: Laia Estruch, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros
Plant growth collaboration: Jeanette Ramirez Morillo
Lightning consultants: Cube
Original lighting restoration: Borja Casanovas
Site: La Veloz