My artistic practice merges with my activity as an anthropologist, with my travel experiences and philosophical reflexions on the nature of reality: though always deeply committed to conveying an immediate aesthetic experience, my work is rooted in a wider social reflexivity and constant interrogation of the phenomenological world. My artistic identity has developed in a close dialogue with the Arte Povera and Mono-ha movements: my creative process is usually triggered by simple, humble, unimportant objects or images, whose presence, cultural meaning and formal appearance attract my attention. I work with natural elements, with ground, rocks, wood, wheat, with found objects, old photographs, book pages and construction materials. Building on these raw elements, through collage, assemblage, installation and other mixed technique I intend to convey a sense of estrangement (Viktor Shlowsky) and fresh perception, of wonder, enchantment and marvel for the “things as they are”. In several of my recent works a meditation on the ephemeral nature of human memory and on the issue of time is also present. In this group of works, found and used objects, magazines, photographs become islands of memory for an archaeological and historiographic (cf. Dieter Roelstraete’s The Way of Shovel) artistic research aiming at exploring and safeguarding human memory, unearthing traces, fragments, and clues, “telling histories that challenge established master narratives employing art’s capacity to help us remember that which is in danger of being forgotten, glossed over, or marginalised” as Roelstraete suggests.


Lorenzo Bordonaro (MA Philosophy; PhD Anthropology; BA Visual Arts) conducted ethnographic research in Guinea Bissau, Cape Verde, Portugal and Brazil on several issues, from childhood to youth violence, from creativity and urban marginality to migration and development in African contexts. He lectured anthropology at grad and post-grad levels in Portugal, Cape Verde and Brazil. His artistic practice merges with the anthropological research: his installations and public art projects often are rooted in a wider social and philosophical reflexivity and in political activism. He carried out public art projects in different social contexts and geographical areas: from Brazilian favelas to shanty towns at the periphery of Lisbon; from the Cape Verdean ghettos to the historical neighbourhoods of Graça and Mouraria, in Lisbon. He participated in several events, festivals and collective exhibitions, among which the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Manifesta 12 in Palermo and Ethnographic Terminalia in Chicago, US.


Solo shows and projects

2017 If you dig you always find the sea at the end / Manifesta 12 (waiting for Manifesta programme) / Palermo / Italy
2016 Crash / Dimora OZ / Palermo / Italy
2013 The keycutter house (Casa das Chaves) / Mouraria Neighbourhood / Lisbon / Portugal
2012 Ghetto Six / 6 de Maio Neighborhood / Amadora / Portugal
2012. Somos nós, Calabacera, Praia, Cabo Verde

Group shows

2018 Restart 360º, RESTART, Lisbon, Portugal
2017 Impermanence, B#S Gallery, Treviso, Italy.
2017 Manifesta 12 (School in Tandem programme), Palermo, Italy
2016 Gangcity / 15th Venice Architecture Biennale / Venezia / Italy
2016 Exprimint 7 / Galeria Zé de Dome / Aracaju / Brazil
2016 BIAS - Biennale d’Arte Sacra e delle Religioni dell’Umanità / Palermo / Italy
2016 Ritrovarsi / Festival Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea / Sciacca / Italy
2015 INATEL Foundation Finalists’ Exhibition / Galeria da Associação Portuguesa de Escultura e Pintura / Lisbon / Portugal
2015 Wang Festival de Arte Urbano / Montevideo / Uruguay
2015 Forum das Arte Visuais / Galeria J. Inácio / Aracaju / Brazil
2015 SM15 / Front Art Space / New York / USA
2015 Incubarte 7 Festival Internacional de Arte / Valencia / Spain
2014 Passeio Literário da Graça / Lisbon / Portugal
2013 NOOR - Mouraria Light Walk / Lisbon / Portugal
2013  Ethnographic Terminalia 2013: Exhibition as Residency–Art, Anthropology, Collaboration / Art Incubator in Washington Park / Chicago / USA
2013 Independentes / Galeria Inma Ruiz / Lisbon / Portugal
2012 Woundscapes. Suffering, Creativity and bare life / Museu da Cidade / Lisbon / Portugal


2015 INATEL Foundation Visual Art Prize / Finalist / Lisbon / Portugal
2015 SM15 / Finalist / Front Art Space / New York / USA
2012 Muda o Bairro Prize (Change the neighbourhood) / First Prize / Associação Renovar a Mouraria and Lisbon Municipality (CML) / Lisbon / Portugal


2017 SM15 / Catalogue / New York / USA
2016 BIAS 2016 / Catalogue / Palermo / Italy
2013 Ethnographic Terminalia 2013: Exhibition as Residency–Art, Anthropology, Collaboration / Catalogue / Chicago / USA
2012 Woundscapes / Catalogue / Lisbon / Portugal


2017 Manifesta 12 (waiting for Manifesta programme) / Palermo / Italy
2016 Venice Architecture Biennale / Venezia / Italy
2016 BIAS - Biennale d’Arte Sacra e delle Religioni dell’Umanità / Palermo / Italy

Artistic direction

2016. OcupAção. Santa Maria Squat Community. Aracaju (SE), Brazil. March-May
2015. Nova Liberdade III. Fragmentos de vida, arte e etnografia. CULTART, Aracaju (SE), Brazil, 15-23 May
2014. Passeio Literário da Graça (funded by Lisbon Municipality), Lisbon (Portugal)
2013. Mouraria Imagined by Children, (funded by Lisbon Municipality), 18-20 July.
2013. NOOR - Mouraria Light Walk (funded by Lisbon Municipality), 18-20 July.