5 Questions with OSGEMEOS
Music is central to the mixed-media practice of Brazilian twin brothers OSGEMEOS. The colourful pair are opening Silence of the Music this week at New York’s Lehmann Maupin, which will explore the dream experience, and New York of the 1970s and 80s.
Can you tell me a bit about the work that will be shown in Silence of the Music?
There is a lot to say about Silence of the Music—everything in the show is new. We have been working for more than a year on the show and it includes installations, paintings and sculptures with movement and music. As the gallery is a very traditional space, we divided the exhibition into five different rooms. Every room has a different feeling and different artworks, but they all share some connection. The paintings are mixed media, with a different universe and history, such as pieces that take you back to ‘old NYC’ [of the 70s and 80s]; a very similar time and atmosphere to the place we grew up in São Paulo, Brazil. We are also presenting some kinetic sculptures that play music to create a unique and ludic landscape. We want to encourage everyone to use their imagination—some pieces take you to a different dimension and reality that is very far away from here. Music is very present in all the new works. For this exhibition, we want you to have a physical experience with the music and to transform the music into paint, so that the paint becomes the melody.
What was behind the decision to have thematic rooms in the gallery space?
Our work is like a dream where many things happen at the same time in different ways. The desired sensation is to be inside a dream where you can open and close doors into a new space. Each room is connected to a larger story. You can spend time in one room and when you go to the other room you refresh the imagination. It gives you the freedom to go with your own imagination, feelings and sentiments, and not be scared by these emotions.
You also create very large-scale works for outdoor settings. Does the process change to a large degree when you’re creating pieces for a more formal gallery space, and do you have a preferred way of working?
Working outside is different because it is a direct interaction with the public and the city. Any person walking by can be surprised by the work we do outside. We hope to inspire a special creativity within people and remove them from their everyday routine or way of thinking, even if it’s for a small amount of time. This interaction is very spontaneous and at the same time can be transformative. When we work inside a gallery or museum, the atmosphere is controlled by how we transform the space. This allows us to open a door into our world where the public can immerse themselves. It is two different worlds, but we like to be free to walk in both of them. We can share what we believe with everyone.
How do the two of you work together as a pair? Does each piece of work come from both of you, or do you have certain areas that you might work individually on a little more?
We come from the same world–since before birth–and enter everything together. We continue to discover everything together and have the same mission in this world; we write the same story in the same book.
How do your Brazilian roots influence the work?
In Brazil it is very natural to improvise, so we use improvisation a lot in our work. We also take a lot of influences from the culture and the way we grow and live. Brazil is full of contrasting situations. You have some very violent circumstances and at the same time the most beautiful and creative atmospheres. We try to find ways to change this aspect and give the people more hope and dreams. Brazil is a very creative place where people don’t need much to create amazing things. We grew up in a simple neighbourhood where we played a lot in the streets and created our own way to play. We used to jump inside factories and use everything we could find as our toys to create something new. At the same time we painted walls wherever we could find them.
Family is very important. Love. Share the love and the good vibes and energy. We filter everything that is bad and replace it with a good energy and spirit. We are just instruments with our mission… to share our story and our love.
‘Silence of the Music’ shows from 8 September until 22 October at Lehmann Maupin, 536 W. 22nd St., NY