Sukke, involved estrangement

One of the most interesting aspects when encountering the works that Sukke is presenting on Aura is their point of view. I’ll explain myself: depending on which angle of the image we’re witnessing, whether acknowledged or ignored in doing so, fantastic and perverse scenes. We may feel like intruders or guests, but we’re most of all seduced by the posthuman, surreal and marvelous spaces, to the extent that it is almost unavoidable to think about the images of Alice.

#ugivemeacurse03 by Sukke

I want to start with A curse, the image in which two feline robots are caught in a suspicious attitude, red-handed. It is difficult to establish what they are doing, but only one of them looks back at us, and that acknowledgement of being a witness, of somebody gazing at us, also turns us, the beholders, into its uncovered subjects.

Besides, the suspicion, with which the robotic cat to the right looks at us, produces an analogous effect on the character: an estrangement. It is the same estrangement that separates the poetic from the prosaic language for the Russian formalists, and it is due to that estrangement that one could theoretically find the recognizable effect of a language shaped through art: literature. And even though Sukke’s pictures are not composed of acoustic images, but visual ones, the idea of estrangement may serve as a disconcerting reflection — in the visual and mental senses — of the image looking at us. From these points of view, where there are at least two — the cat’s and ours — we seem to be intruders somehow.

On the two other pieces, in contrast, where there is no trace of anybody in the image being aware of the beholding gaze, we partake in two scenes that are related to one another in a more or less thematic way. In both images, as different as their moods may be, there is a certain ceremoniousness that grants weight and gravitas to the situations we are witnessing. While Feast offers, in the poses of its characters, a certain distension (the figures are to a certain degree feminine: sitting, reclined, even in unflattering poses, as if exhausted and consumed, or exhausted for consuming, others look curious in the background) it is indisputable that what has happened in the present of the image suggests that a sacrificial feast has been carried out. But I will yet delve deeper into that.

MOMO by Sukke

I want to give my attention to Momo. The detail and care put into the look of this robotic cat is not only the technique and technology in the elaboration of this image; that, truly, would be secondary. What really is meticulous is her (im)personality. Her look: earrings, piercings, chains, loops, belts, extensions and the crown: her dowry. Her apparent makeup, like jelly — is that makeup? Are her eyelashes not the same material that hangs like a serpent’s tongue or a frog’s leg from her snout? — the plasticity of her skin, her plastic skin, malleable by the artist’s design, is what turns out to be the most shocking of this image. Because we know by the textures, by the mechanical arms, that it is an inanimate object, but what makes us doubt is, like I already said, the seeming personality that her arrangement expresses, that is where the estrangement emerges from.

However, the most complex piece out of the three, Feast, takes place, judging by the flowers, their dimensions, the jade plant at the back, the palm leaves here and there, the blue fence a paw emerges from, and other psychedelic elements, in a magic garden, and this is a kind of picnic: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by Manet, but mixed with a certain perverted artificial paradise, on a table covered by a checkered cloth. More characters, all of them halfway between women and animals, gathered around like guests around a couple of their own species: the one laying, her reddened and illuminated belly traversed by something that looks like a metaphysical sword. Between these animal-women there is a kind of servant from whom some palms also sprout, in the lower right corner of the image. And just facing this figure, hidden in the flower, there is a floating jacket, which looks like the top part of a bullfighter’s sequin suit; a phantom that establishes a relationship in this Feast where art and sacrifice are not mimetic.

The feast by Sukke

Evidently, the center of power of this scene is on the body that is laid on the table, the farther away the characters are from it, they make offerings, they seem to find themselves in a more precarious situation, while the figures closer to the table look like they are resting, or digesting, satisfied, gagged or entertained, they are closer to Matisse’s Luxe, calme et volupté, perhaps.

We see, then, that the distortion of the images, that estrangement, could serve as a principle for questioning and observing. Sukke turns us into participants, and knowingly or not, we are entrapped by the gravitas of his pieces.

Finir

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