In Conversation: The Subliminal Avatars of Lolita Eno

Lolita Eno is an artist and photographer bringing Internet avatars to the non-digitalised realm, toying with the idea that our reality can be filled with agencies that break away from what’s deemed natural. As seen in a recent project in collaboration with Paris-based STUDIO magazine, Lolita crafts agencies loaded with subliminal, sexual energy — in a way chaotic, in a way centric.

These in-between, or hybrid beings, explore the concept of human and nature in terms of subcultures dwelling on the Internet, where things can get as dark and twisted as we want, where fantasy meets reality and elevates our experience in the 3D world.

Thinking about how we noticeably or not transform on a daily basis and the way it reflects through our bodies, similar to the way Lolita portrays metamorphosis through the creation of trans species, we dive into discussing what enlightens her and informs her work.

In Conversation: The Subliminal Avatars of Lolita Eno

Hey Lolita, super cool to feature you on TITLE! Let’s start from the very beginning. How was it that you became Lolita Eno?

Hi Alejandra, thank you very much for sitting down with me.

I suppose I have been plotting my path for this all my life, since little I’ve been making in one way or another non-digitised avatars of myself.

But if we start from the moment I have a specific purpose, I would say it started two and a half years ago, when I did my first project as Lolita Eno for King Kong Magazine with the help of my friends Stephanie Yepes and Sofia Alazrraki. The project, called Fursona, embraced all the issues that I have been obsessed with since I was 21, 22 years old to this day.

Taking the world of the deep internet, 4chan, to an aesthetically sensitive plane, like decontextualising all those orgies that I had seen in Second Life and bringing them to an organic, sublime and industrial space — and ultimately, to the fashion space. My practice as a photographer-slash-artist is born from the internet, 3D, Second Life, forums…

I’ve always been obsessed with technology, cybersex, impossible fantasies (on this non-digital level), repressions and the idea of finding yourself through a virtual agent or your own avatar. And I wanted to bring all this digital baggage to a moment, a photo, so I could work with a team and share those experiences. The world of 3D can be very lonely and it depressed me a little.

This mix is where Lolita Eno comes from.

In Conversation: The Subliminal Avatars of Lolita Eno

How would you define your work? And how does your work define you?

It’s primitive what it expresses.

Sensual mythological beings: a mix between ancient Greece, 4chan and classic photography techniques (things happen in situ) creates images taken from real moments to something totally unreal (digital postproduction), and it allows us to enter the world of the internet, when it was the wild West, alluding to all these outcast subcultures in a minimalist, orderly space, one that’s finally accepted, in which the chaos is organised and defined by colour palettes.

My creativity has always defined me, I don’t know where I would begin to answer this question but I have always considered myself an avatar of myself, depending on the situation I am in. I dissociate as if I were in a simulation of my own video game, it happens to me constantly, that’s why sometimes I can look like things I don’t understand, sometimes like an NPC on autopilot.

Art has always defined me, music above all. The more you investigate and learn, the more curious you are about things, and I suppose that what you invest time in helps define who you are. An intense love for nature also defines my habits and the type of content I consume.

My work defines the people I surround myself with, the people I learn from. I would say that at this moment in my life my work dictates who I am completely — there is no separation.

We are real agents experiencing our most primitive human desires within the fantasy that virtuality allows us to.

Your work is seemingly about generating a trans-species, something between animal and human. Do these productions celebrate nature? And do they praise human agency, too?

We celebrate it in the 5th dimension, when we’re able to see what we want to see, designed specifically for each of us — it will be then when my pieces will become real for whoever wants to.
Hybridity is something that mythologically has been used to express admirable characteristics of nature, and give that power to humans — the divine and the satanic are always hybrids of some animal: angels are part birds, Satan is a goat…
It has always been in our culture in one form or another, and has always had a major intention.

It’s not about praising nature, it’s about bringing these myths to life once again, from a primitively sensual and attractive point, a form of identity that many people feel emotionally hybrid, even out of morbidity, I like that it leads you to question your moral limits.

At the same time, I do try to praise the beauty of nature to create these neo-mythological beings that are part of an internet subculture, because the truth is that nothing lies more in my heart than God, and I call God those moments in nature, sublime.

I’m not trying to praise anything, just confront yourself a little with your own limits, romanticise and change the context of what I know as natural — if this word makes sense in the Anthropocene era.

In Conversation: The Subliminal Avatars of Lolita Eno

Would you say your work is about transformation? Conscious or unconscious?

For me, every day there’s a small transformation within you and that’s what leads you to the places where you end up. You are always in the middle of two paths, all the time, even when you have already chosen one, the next one is waiting for you. Life is a constant transformation and I know that well since I am a Scorpio.

My work is me — I am in constant change, constantly deciding and I love to express these changes through the skin, like chameleons, depending on how you feel, your personal life unfolds along with your professional life. For me, there is no division, and if it was, there wouldn’t be Lolita.

I’m aware that you’ve worked on some exciting fashion-related projects. Can you tell us about the one that’s been the most significant?

I have been lucky enough to work with many brands that I love including Elena Velez and Alexander Wang, but the one I love the most is Didu, because of the strong connection I feel with her and her talent.

Didu’s brand feels to me among one of the most talented ones right now. And the campaign I did for her was the fashion project that I am the proudest of, it represents us both very well: tough, it’s strong but also sensitive.

What informs your work, beliefs and aesthetics?

A lot influences me, especially the people I’m surrounded with. I’m very lucky to have incredible friends with whom I share a lot and also work with. Friends I’m thinking of are Steohania Yepes, Emma Stern, Cristina Stolhe, Anna Himma, Sofia Alazrraki, Malena de la Torre, among others.
The work of artists like John Raffman has taught me a lot, especially during my initiation into this Net journey.

Aesthetically speaking, let’s say I have fallen deeply in love with the work of Vanessa Beecroft, Emma Stern, Donna Huanca and Isabel Alburquerque.

With each of them I feel very connected, for example, with Isabel Alburquerque’s work I feel that we have a very similar energy, and sex, transformation and mythology are very present themes in our daily lives.

With Emma Stern, apart from our beautiful friendship, I share this whole Geek world of the avatar and the sexy, the digital work transferred to a canvas or in my case to a photo. It seems to me that we come from the same womb.

Towards Vanessa Beecroft and Donna Huanca I feel an aesthetic admiration and an order that makes me breathe into my chaotic, intellectual references.
Vanessa is very strong and very fragile and very minimalist and very raw which brings me close to a subliminal experience that can be at the same time very human and relaxed. Donna Huanca is also an artist whom I admire a lot for her loyalty to her roots and her detached minimalism.

Where are you now, on a physical, emotional and mental level?

Right now I am in Madrid, but planning to change continents again, my body is here but my mind is not in Spain (it never really has been).

Mentally and emotionally I am very sexual, not in my personal life, but in my imagination, I have several projects going on now.