138 (Historia natural) (138 [Natural History])

José Luis Alexanco

Madrid, Spain, 1942 - 2021

Luis de Pablo

Bilbao, Spain, 1930 - Madrid, Spain, 2021
  • Date: 
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    Unique work
  • Media description: 
    16 mm film, also transferred to video (Digital Betacam and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    41 min. 48 sec.
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Artist José Luis Alexanco and composer Luis de Pablo conceived of this film towards the end of a rich period of collaboration that had given rise to essential works such as Soledad interrumpida (Interrupted Solitude, 1971), a visual-sound spectacle whose installation and documentation from the different screenings form part of the Museum’s collection. These two artists were also the organisers and intellectual ideologues of the event known as the Pamplona Encounters, which took place in 1972.
An allegorical interpretation of Philosophy in the Bedroom by Marquis de Sade, 138 (Historia Natural) (138 [Natural History]) is in reality a derivative work in which the artists continue investigating with elements and patterns present in Soledad interrumpida, such as the inflatable sculptures designed by Alexanco for this piece, or the strategy named at the time “alea factor”. Divided into five ten-minute parts, it has a symmetrical and mathematical structure that allows it be shown in the order established in the original copy or at random, through some means of computer command. In the film the experimentations of ALEA, an electroacoustical musical laboratory directed by Luis de Pablo, blend with those of the Computing Centre at the University of Madrid, of which Alexanco was one of the main promoters and representatives.

Lola Hinojosa