We sat down with photographer Lorenza Brancadoro, who joined the LIGHTSTAGE team in July, to learn more about her influencers and her young artist talk for Hong Kong Contemporary Art (HOCA) Foundation this July.
1. What have you been up to recently?
On July 12th, 2016 I was honoured to be the artist selected by HOCA as part of their bi-monthly event ART-IT at Bibo. After a short introduction about my self and my recent projects, I had the opportunity to collaborate with my audience for my on-going project Identities.
2. Share more about the ART-IT event at Bibo. What is its impact for you as an artist?
It was an equally overwhelming and inspiring experience, particularly considering it was my first artist talk. I had the chance to present myself as an artist and to work surrounded by incredible pieces by contemporary artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Banksy, Daniel Arsham, Jeff Koons and Takashi Murakami. Despite the novel environment it was indeed comfortable and enjoyable to showcase some of my past work as an introduction and guide to what and who made me the artist that I am today.
3. What is HOCA and how did you get involved?
HOCA organises ART-IT to promote young artists and new graduates, to showcase their ideas and artworks. Lauren Every-Wortman, curator at HOCA, contacted me after seeing my graduation exhibition Expectations Kills Art. She told me she was impressed by my ideas of labelling and categorisation as a form of limitation for people and Art alike. Three weeks after our initial meeting, I had my talk at Bibo. I was asked to engage with the audience and immediately recognised it as a great opportunity for me to expand on my Identities series. To my delight, the audience at Bibo was incredibly supportive and enthusiastic toward collaborating with me and was intrigued by the project.
4. Elaborate more on your ideas of labeling and categorization as a form of limitation.
The common process of labeling ideas renders absolutes of concepts that can not be stripped down to any singular definition. Classification in this sense becomes a form of hierarchical apartheid, a means of perpetuating ignorance and promoting boundaries, gaps between people and reality. As an individual first and foremost, I feel obliged to expose these preconceptions, the ideologies that oppress me. As an artist I feel compelled to pursue an antithesis. A way to exploit the gaps in the system. The process becomes a constant confrontation.
My biggest inspiration is Diane Arbus. Her approach on photography as well as her ability to communicate with her subjects and become part of their lives. In terms of the practice, I look up to Dada artists, who fought against the common perception of what art is and should be.
6. Can you tell us a little more about Identities?
I started Identities in 2013. It started as a class assignment fuelled by my desire to collaborate with my subjects. I was, and still am, intrigued by the idea that each photographer shoots the same person completely differently and how this impacts the perception of the subject. I wanted my subjects to show me how they would edit my print to make it their own. To show me who they are/were/will be, where they are from or where they are going, what makes them happy or sad, or just indifferent. Each person has a different past and different experiences that make them who they are. How have labels affected them?
I definitely can. I participated myself in 2013 to the first series of this project. If I would do it not, my print would look completely different. I do believe that part of us defines us forever, but Identity is dynamic.