Based in Malmö and São Paulo, Runo Lagomarsino uses text, photographs, slides, video and found objects – among them matches, maps and natural resources like the sun – to create his conceptual but poetic work. Though Lagomarsino was born and raised in Sweden (with a few years in Spain), his parents arrived there having been exiled from Argentina in 1976. Lagomarsino’s Italian grandfather, meanwhile, had taken the reverse route to Argentina following the First World War. This transatlantic family history plays an important role in Lagomarsino’s artistic practice – works like Full Spectrum Dominance (2008), Horizon (Southern Sun Drawing) (2010) and Trans Atlantic (2010–11) – which is further shaped by an interest in historical, political, social and, last but not least, colonial issues.
Trans Atlantic consists of blank sheets of paper that have literally travelled across the Atlantic Ocean. During their journey (accompanied by a solitary sailor) the sheets were exposed to, yellowed and burned by the sun. If, on the one hand, a seemingly arbitrary combination of duration, weather and geography created the works and their minimal, geometric randomness, it’s a particular combination of human and personal histories that produces some more specific associations – with colonial history, with the slave trade (and other historic trading routes) and with the journeys undertaken by the artist and his family.
Lagomarsino’s poetic and political sensibility brings to mind the Brazilian artists Hélio Oiticica and Cildo Meireles, but coming from a younger generation, with dual roots and languages, and being brought up within the context of the Swedish welfare state, he manages to observe and investigate history and its mistakes, and today’s political and social structures, from multiple perspectives.
This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue.