Runo Lagomarsino

In his installations, sculptures, pictures and films, Runo Lagomarsino strives to present alternative perspectives on historical, political and cultural power relationships. His works often take a starting point in the colonial heritage of contemporary Latin America: the effects of violence and dominance revealed in the drawing of national boundaries on a map, in the iconography of a wallpaper pattern, or in the documentation of a football match.

On a profound level, Lagomarsino’s oeuvre belongs to a critical, post-colonial project. Nevertheless, he does not primarily seek to tell other stories, or to reveal hidden truths or construct new historical narratives from the perspective of the colonial subjects. Instead, his constellations of objects are aimed at telling the same stories in different ways, at uncovering conflicting dependencies and complex political events without reducing their inevitable ambiguity. Thus, Las Casas Is Not a Home can be described as a large, spatial montage of found images, altered maps, collages, texts, drawings and objects, where a multitude of narratives intersect, offer resistance to and enhance each other.

The title of the work is a play on words: “Las Casas” means not only “homes” in Spanish but also refers to the Spanish Dominican priest Bartolomé de las Casas, who was one of the first to oppose the colonial violence in the 1500s. A home that is not a home, since its origin is fragmented by antagonism and polemics. This contradictory tension also characterises each part of the installation, for instance, the photographs of 19- century wallpaper that Lagomarsino found in a restaurant outside Basel, with motifs from a novel written during the Enlightenment by the French author Marmontel about the destruction of the Inca culture and the religious fanaticism of the colonial masters. Lagomarsino’s intention is to problematise, to show how apparently innocent illustrations and objects are fraught with political power lines and should be subjected to continuous reinterpretation and struggle.

Runo Lagomarsino

Born 1977 in Malmö
Lives and works in Malmö and São Paulo [BR]


2008 Whitney Independent Study Program, New York [US]
2003 Konsthögskolan i Malmö/Malmö Art Academy, Malmö
2001 Konsthögskolan Valand/Valand School of Fine Arts, Göteborg/Gothenburg

Selected solo exhibitions

2010 Horizon (Southern Sun Drawing), Elastic, Zoma Maco, Mexico City [MX]
2010 LAS Casa is Not a Home, Elastic, Malmö
2007 Those who control the past command the future – those who command the future conquer the past, Index Overgaden, Köpenhamn/Copenhagen [DK]

Selected group exhibitions:
2009 Report on Probability, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel [CH]
2009 Panorama de Arte Brasileira, Museu De Arte Moderna, São Paulo [BR]
2008 Annual Report: A Year in Exhibitions, The 7th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju [KR]

Selected bibliography

Quinn Latimer, ”Report on Probability”, Frieze, oktober/October 2009.
Thomas Millroth, ”Svindlande resa längs väggen”, Sydsvenska Dagbladet, februari/February 2010.
Gigiotto Del Vechio, Mousse Magazine #24, 2010.

More about this exhibition