Born in 1994, Portugal. Lives and works in London.
Lami’s work looks into technology and energy, evoking the dependency on our devices and social media to connect with each other. His sculptures and installations investigate the hardware of our technological evolution while his paintings take apart the content of softwares that are supposed to improve our life.
"In my work, I combine history and mythology in contrast with the technological and cultural evolution of our time. I have always been drawn towards sci-fi and fantasy worlds that reimagine reality under different paradigms. I love technology, but I also hate it. The promise of a perfect relationship given by the amenities of each new device that comes to the market gives me hope that maybe that’s the one that is going to change my life. It never is."
When machines stop working, or when a better version comes along and they get replaced, they become objects. Objects can be sculptures. A machine becomes an object when we stop believing it has the power of giving us the best it can give. Their myth doesn’t live beyond their function, or so it seems. I see in the materials I use not just their physical attributes, I see the nature where they came from and nature where they are going. I see how they become monuments and artifacts to a world that is transforming through our hands. I feel responsible to make them stand for themselves, so I rebuild them, add them to other materials, recycle parts, bend them until they look like they’ve never had any other purpose or function beyond standing there, for you. To think, to stare.
We’ve always tried to erase out of our memory what we don't want to talk about, but within the Digital everything is one click away of momentary erasure and/or perpetually existing. I paint the virtual to bring myself back to the present. A painting is an image that lives on a surface rather than a screen, not as a denial but rather as an expansion of my mind into a physical body. Whatever decisions I take of erasing something, assuming a mistake, everything stays within that canvas. It exists in the present to whoever is there to see it, static in its body, but not in its meaning.
My research is based on a work of ‘digital’ archeology of the past, the present, and speculation of the future, in order to understand and configure a reality that does not fit exactly in an analog or digital dimension. Taking this as a starting point it is essential to work with the artifacts, utensils, and traces of a species that is undergoing a paradigm shift. Not only by identifying and materializing what was, but also what is happening now and what is idealized that will happen in the future.
Hugo Lami is sponsored by the company Futuroon and is at the moment working on a commission for Sustainability First and UK Power Networks, developing paintings and sculptures that think of energy and connection beyond its functional meaning. Art is a tool that has connected us since the beginning and has the power to connect us with the Past and probably with the Future.
Next exhibitions: 2021 18th November: Shortlisted Ingram Prize at Unit1 Gallery London, UK;
2022 February: Zona Maco with Neon Gallery in Mexico City, Mexico;
Interview to RTP International, 2020