Lorenza Ippolito is a visual artist working with still and moving image to create art works that focus on themes of identity, belonging and nostalgia. Her current practice also engages with and explores the idea of public conversation through bringing together the artist and the audience in the same temporal and geographical space.
These dialogues attempt to flatten traditional hierarchies and blur the boundaries between artist and audience with the artist acting as both a facilitator and a contributor whilst encouraging participation and a multiplicity of voices to be heard. Each exchange is unique, unrehearsed and allows for spontaneity. Through creating conversational events as art works, Ippolito recalls the origins of democracy with its emphasis on the importance of discussion and debate but this time in contemporary settings in which there are no set outcomes or conclusions.
In addition to these language and speech-based conversations, Ippolito has produced a series of photographs, Conversations, using a medium-format camera and analogue photography. This body of work probes the codes and conventions of classic portraiture and aims to redefine it through an approach in which she converses with the subject and exposes the film for the duration of the exchange using long exposures. The resulting images capture gestures and traces of movement in ways where individual identity is fluid and becomes obscured.
All Ippolito’s work involves substantial research and development and relies on building relationships with communities over long periods of time. Previous projects include Moving Boundaries for which she developed conversations with older participants so as to explore themes of intimacy and social context, and Seed to Seed, a two-year project where she worked with Indian communities in the UK in order to explore what it meant for them to make a home in a different cultural environment.