February 27nd, Lars Morell opened a solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo, Paris. KUNSTforum asked him some questions about his art and what inspires him.
What are you currently working on?
I just opened the solo exhibition ‘Porta`s Decription’, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, which opened on February 27th. It’s been a great experience to work with the curator Marc Bembekoff.
Can you describe your work process from idea to work?
These days it usually starts with research in material on ancient scientific discoveries, cabinets of curiosities and illusion shows. Based on quotes and through digging up hidden facts, I create works that range from photography and sculpture to painting. In some instances I choose to interact with the exhibition venue and think of it as a theatre stage where the works are presented in one or several acts.
What are your main influences when creating a work of art?
Working with these themes I’m influenced by early illusionists like the Eugène Robert-Houdins and Buatier de Kolta. Giambattista della Porta played a central role in the show at Palais de Tokyo. When it comes to artists I am inspired by artists like Urs Fisher and Marcus Schönwald. In general terms, I always find myself linked to the matter of a concept, concepts that change according to my changing interests along the way of life.
Can you name a writer or book, fiction or theory that has inspired your works?
I’m interested in the point where the overt visual language of the timeperiod I refer to meets the analytical approach of contemporary art. A lot of my source material refers to the beginning of something new, such as the Lumière Brothers’ first photographic trick, spirit photography and various early stage illusions, what were considered at the time revolutionary new inventions. So I time-travel back to those events, to when they were genuinely new and unexplainable. I’m exploring the visual world of those times and rework them into pieces that generate new ideas. In the work of the Italian polymath Giambattista della Porta I found inspiration in the similarity between the artist and the magicians’ processes.
Can you name an artist/artwork or exhibition that has inspired you?
The current installation of Mike Kelly’s work at Palais de Tokyo is awesome.
Why is art important?
Art has the potential to be important, but only if you decide to pay attention to it. Art makes what I do every day fun.