“I would like the person looking at my work to question himself about what he sees and his own point of view, rather than asking himself what the research is, which in my opinion is not the most important thing”
AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?
LK: I was born in Pescara in 1988 and I started to engage with art through dance when I was about 16 years old. For me it was the first experience of perceiving my body in space, of composition, of form, of the relationship between signifier and signified, and of the relationship with the audience. Then I gradually shifted the same tensions to objects.
AT: When did it become serious?
LK: It became serious during the Academy of Fine Arts where I lived with friends who later became fellow artists. We were completely immersed in making and thinking, it was an engaging period, and I started to devote a lot of time to it. At the same time, I could also say that it became significant when I started asking myself the question what art is. Perhaps I could sum it up by saying that it became more serious because of the combination of both answers given above.
AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?
LK: So many. I immediately think of Lucia Zappacosta, who was the first curator to believe in me, or I could mention the professors who were fundamental to me such as Sergio Sarra or Bruna Esposito. But perhaps the most important people today are my partner Elisa Mossa (also an artist with whom I curate projects) and my fellow travellers with whom I collaborate within the Senzabagno association: Lucia Cantò, Simone Camerlengo, Gioele Pomante, Eliano Serafini, Gianluca Ragni, Giovanni Paolo Fedele,Francesco Alberico, Letizia Scarpello and Matteo Fato.
AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?
LK: I often start working by following intuitions about a form or that a material suggests to me, I rarely start from a theoretical reflection to which I want to give voice. Sometimes I also give myself rules, or play games that set processes in motion. For me, making a work is a game and an experiment. I physically need to act on matter, a primitive need to shape the space around me and the things that make it up.
Lorenzo Kamerlengo, Arginare il mare, 2021
AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?
LK: First of all, it is a practice that accompanies me and that I need, so the objective is already achieved in the very act of working; with respect to the public, on the other hand, I would like that through my work a person can see a side of himself that he did not imagine he had. I would like the person looking at my work to question himself about what he sees and his own point of view, rather than asking himself what the research is, which in my opinion is not the most important thing.
AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?
LK: I don’t have any favourite materials, but I do like to work manually and when I can, I try to avoid relying on craftsmen as much as possible to make my works.
AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?
LK: I usually always start with a defined image that I more or less want to achieve, and at the same time I enjoy all the variations or cues that the work suggests to me along the way, choosing each time whether or not to follow a new direction and change the result. While working I’m feeling good, it always recharges my energy to spend an afternoon in the studio.
AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?
LK: Lately, I have been working with modular blocks that give me the possibility of working infinitely, and when I have an exhibition, based on the space I can occupy I choose a number and compose them without too much hierarchy, it is an interesting process for me that plays at forcing the perimeters of the idea of ‘finished’.
Disegno Infinito (Saint), 2021
AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?
LK: I don’t really know, Dante said that ideas rained down on him from heaven because it was God who sent them, and he acted as an instrument. I don’t think ideas ever belong to us, I find much more satisfaction in the practice of doing.
AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?
LK: Certainly Roman Signer, Francys Alys, Michael Heizer, Erwin Wurm, Urs Fischer, Oliver Laric, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali and many others are important to me, each for a different reason. In the same way, I have been inspired by so many artists of my generation with whom I have been confronted, but there would really be too many to mention, and finally my fellow travellers at Senzabagno with whom I have a daily confrontation. Everything I see, in any case, for better or for worse works inside me, in fact lately I try to see as little as possible.
AT: How important is the role of social media for you?
LK: I don’t particularly use social media, so not much for me.
AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?
LK: From my point of view, it is an unstimulating environment culturally and also work-wise, apart from a few lucky occasions. We often stop at the facade of things and many people move more to feed their egos than out of real interest in the projects they work on. I rarely meet strong personalities who show a convincing stance in things, most artists and curators remain somewhat vague in every situation for fear of closing this or that door and this destroys any form of effective communication, unity and mutual growth. The artists I admire, especially up until the 1980s, all had a declared political position and strong views on the world, which is very different from the claims of rights by certain minorities that many people adhere to today, I am talking about regardless of a right to claim, I am talking about having an image of what the world could be like and trying to make it real. Even though we are in liquid modernity, it is still the solid institutions that last.
Death, Lorenzo Kamerlengo, 2019
AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art? What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?
LK: When you see one of your works or a work you have contributed to being installed in space, lit up properly, and presented to the public, it is always a beautiful emotion. Sometimes interesting comparisons arise from the works (many times absurdly from the very people who are exposing themselves to you for criticism) sometimes you find yourself travelling to follow projects and this also brings you to meet new people and places. It is also very nice when someone invests in you in the practical and when vice versa you invest in someone practically, with work and with money, for a project you believe in.
AT: What do you do besides art?
LK: I am a high school art teacher, I do pole-dancing, I like to study a lot (I have three degrees and I’m enrolling for my fourth), I play the video game “Tekken 7” quite seriously with a group of friends with whom I engage in almost daily, and I like dogs.
AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?
LK: I am very inspired by the Burri Foundation in Città di Castello, where Alberto Burri himself designed a space where his works can be enjoyed after his death. When I think of a long-term goal, I think of looking for a large personal and permanent exhibition space, where I could install my works and move them around and look at them, occasionally even inviting some artist friends to bring their things. On weekends the space could be open to the public until late to have a beer, chat and eat arrosticini. A dream.
Disegno Infinito (COD.B30B1), 2021
Lorenzo Kamerlengo constructs a discourse through the relationship between various visual forms visual forms: installations, sculpture, video, printmaking, drawing, plastic and meta-spatial works. His work stems from a reflection on the social and subjective condition of the individual in contemporary contemporaneity, on his inability to fully identify himself in a context, on his self-perception, the relationship with history in the construction of an identity. The artist's sculptures and installations are often incomplete forms, fragments, the result of constructions and deconstructions, bodies, objects, relationships that need to be defined. The weight, the effort and the scarcity of information: Weight is the relationship between the thing and its centre of gravity. Acquiring weight or working by attributing weight means bringing out and building around the pivot of things. Effort is the tension to the mythical. In effort the thing present in the here-and-now acquires eternal character. Effort is ecstasy. Scarcity of information is a primitivist attitude. Scarcity of information means looking at the world again. It means sensing the possibility within the 'already done', it means trying, it means exploring, it means repeating the whole path already taken with variations, it means trying again.