Sleep is for the Gifted, 2013

Observer: Kemang Wa Lehulere | Artist

Sleep is for the Gifted, 2013

Sleep is for the Gifted, 2013

Photos Courtesy of the Artist and Lombard Freid Gallery

What’s your AMMO?
I can’t laugh anymore. When I can’t laugh. I can’t write.

What inspired you to pursue art, what is one of your youngest and most vivid memories of a growing relationship with art?
My youngest and most vivid memories of a growing relationship to art was spending most of my art classes outside because I was too much of a menace to be allowed to work inside the classroom.

What is one of the most important aspects of your creative process?
I don’t know anymore. I’m searching for something I might never find at the moment.

You recently were awarded the the 15th Bâloise prize at the 2013 Art Basel fair. How was that for you?
Being awarded the 15th Bâloise Prize at the 2013 Art Basel fair was a strange experience. I did not know that there was a prize to begin with, until the night before the judges came to view my work. It happened all too quick and there was too many people, so my memory is a bit out of focus.

 

Sometimes All You Get is the Gift Wrap! (Sleep is for the Gifted), 2013

Sometimes All You Get is the Gift Wrap! (Sleep is for the Gifted), 2013

The exhibit at Lombard Freid Projects, Sleep is For the Gifted, was your first in the United States. What was the inspiration behind the exhibit?
It was part a re-visiting of things that I had flirted with materially and conceptually in the past.

You’ve been quoted saying that you suffer from insomnia. Do you find this lack of sleep productive or just a nuisance?
It depends, these are periodical but most of the time its good because I enjoy working at night when there are no people and distractions around. Also, I feel safer at night, especially when there are no other people around. Of course at times, I would like to enjoy a good nights’ sleep.

If you could sit down and have a picnic with any five people from past or present who would they be?
I had somewhat of a picnic with Nat Nakasa at his tomb in Hartsdale upstate New York about three weeks ago. But I would rather prefer to have a picnic with people from the future instead of the past.

Notes for an Entomologist (Sleep is for the Gifted), 2013;  ...and those who chose to heal their wounds with the hair of the animal that caused it... (Sleep Is for the Gifted), 2013

Left Image: Notes for an Entomologist (Sleep is for the Gifted), 2013; Right Image: …and those who chose to heal their wounds with the hair of the animal that caused it… (Sleep Is for the Gifted), 2013

Where can we see your work next?
There are some projects I am currently thinking through. But I think the Rijksakademie open studios later this year . Also at the Kunsthalle Hamburg next year . And some other projects are not yet confirmed.

For more from Kemang Wa Lehulere go to, www.lombard-freid.com.

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