Interview: Lorenzo Li Greci
Luca Curci talks with Lorenzo Li Greci during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2021 at THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space.
Lorenzo Li Greci was born in 1984 in Italy where he obtained the master’s degree in Science at the faculty of Biotechnology for Industry and Scientific Research. He is a former Erasmus student who has moved to Finland in 2015 to work as a researcher at Turku BioScience and to study molecular life sciences. At the same time, Lorenzo has also joined an artistic path in the search for new colors and materials to draw with, sometimes they can be alive: like living microorganisms on Petri dishes, some other time they can be fluorescent. He wants to explore artistic languages also through scientific grammar. He currently works as a researcher in the genetic unit at MetGen Oy, a biorefinery company in the city of Kaarina, Finland, specializing in the green and circular economy.
Luca Curci – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
Lorenzo Li Greci – My background is in biotechnology which is a multidisciplinary field at the intersection with biology and engineering. I have always been fascinated by nature and by biology, so I decided soon that science shall have been my way. When I moved to Finland, my life has changed completely, and I discovered that drawing and developing artistic skills or techniques can help to express and to describe those changes in my life.
LC – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
LLG – It started as an experiment to define/looking for the boundaries between art and science and to explore the elements in common.
LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
LLG – Not at the moment. In the future, I would like to focus more on bioart. I am more interested in multidisciplinary approaches that art and science may share, or be interconnected with.
LC – Do you use art to express something in particular? Is it like your medium of expression?
LLG – Inevitably yes, and not the only one. I would like to point out that science and art could represent a way of communication and a way of interactions between humans and non-humans, among them and with their environments.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
LLG – Yes, they do gladly.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
LLG – First, it may represent a tribute toward everyone who has been involved in the research fields for lignin production and biorefinery industrial processes so far and in the future. Second, it may suggest the use of recycled materials which is a fundamental topic for eco-sustainability in contemporary societies based on collaborations. Third, not least, this work has been created with a collaboration between me and MetGen Oy, the company which has provided the materials and which is hosting me.
LC – Can you explain something about the artworks you have in our exhibition?
LLG – It is a lignin-made partial unfinished (‘incompiuto’) portrait on recycled paper. I used figurative art to try to glimpse a hypothetical thinking look of a generic person, to try to catch a human emotion with natural/biomaterials. Also, I would like to see contemporary society being built upon collaboration between men and focused on eco-sustainability.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
LLG – Yes, I did.
LC – What is your idea about ITSLIQUID GROUP?
LLG – I like the ITSLIQUID team and their professionalism.