Contratiempos: Runo Lagomarsino

In the video-interview with Angelique Campens, the artist talks about his work Contratiempos (2009-10), in which he takes as a starting point the Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo.

Born in 1977, Runo Lagomarsino now divides his living and working time between Malmö and Sao Paulo. He produces work in a number of different media, including video, drawing, sculptural objects, and photography. His practice explores the ways in which the political and social environments of today have evolved and developed as a consquence of the various discursive and historical processes which define the representations and metaphors from which we read and subsequently re-read both history and society. From this starting point, Lagomarsino tries to develop an aesthetic language in his work, where precise images and poetic gestures become central.

For Contratiempos (2009-10), which translates literally from the Spanish as 'Against-Times', but also—ambiguously — as 'Setbacks' or 'Counter-Rhythms'. Lagomarsino takes as a starting point the Parque Ibirapuera in São Paulo, which was constructed by Oscar Niemeyer and Roberto Burle Marx in 1954. Inside the park, there are various buildings that serve a range of different purposes, including a number of museums. These buildings are connected by a covered pathway, the Marquise do Parque do Ibirapuera. The pathway functions as a place beneath which different groups of people such as skateboarders, cyclists and runners tend to gather, as well as many others who simply use it as a meeting point.

While walking around the 28, 000 square meters of the Marquise, the artist noticed a resemblance between the concrete floor—that had started to crack over years of use— and the maps of South America. The work unfolded as a result of the act of walking and taking photographs, and from the use of a slide projector. The slide projection shows 13 photographs of particular cracks that seem to refer to the maps of South America, along with three postcards which reproduce the covers of books displayed in Niemeyer's library. This library is housed in Casa das Canoas in Rio de Janeiro, the house that the architect himself built between 1951 and 1953 to serve as his own residence. The covers read: Affiches Républicaines de la Guerre d´Espagne; Guerre et Revolution en Espagne, and Kremis.

Lagomarsino is also interested in how Burle Marx and Oscar Niemeyer represent the epitome of modernist utopia and the modernist high ideal of Brazilian architecture, that is to say, the Modernist belief that architecture could induce a better way of living. He also explores how we look back nowadays at this period of time. Furthermore, the artist tries to imagine or to think visually about the ways in which we read South America today, and the process by which a map of today is constituted.
Angelique Campens

In 2007-2008, Runo Lagomarsino participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York and he holds an MFA Degree from the Art Academy of Malmö, Sweden, from 2003.
Recent Exhibitions include: The Moderna Exhibition 2010, Moderna Museet, Stoccolma; The Travelling Show, Coleccion Jumex, Città del Messico (2010); All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Social at the Berardo Collection, Museu Colecção Berardo, Lisbona; Report on Probability, Kunsthalle Basilea, Basilea; Read Thread, Tanas, Berlino; Free as Air and Water, Cooper Union, New York; Panorama da Arte Brasiliera, Museu De Arte Moderna, San Paolo (2009); Ours: Democracy in the Age of Branding, New School, Parsons, New York; 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Sud Corea (2008).

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