Lena Kuzmich

Lena Kuzmich (1998, Vienna) is a non-binary and multidisciplinary artist currently based in Amsterdam. Their work, a fluid remix of photographic and videographic fragments taken from pop and subcultures, sketches alternate visions of society. Imaginative landscapes, hybrid representations of bodies, and technology all become a portal beyond preconceived notions about the world and our identity in it. Once the narratives that shape our understanding of reality are laid bare, they become open for restructure. This is what Lena attempts as they seek to make sense of the chaotic and transformative forces of life.

-Can you tell us about your practice – what are you working on at the moment?

Within my practice, I strive for trans-disciplinary approaches with research based on multi-disciplinary hopping. Being educated in photography sensitized me towards the image as a tool for representation and world-building. Eclectically, I collect contents from science, art, social theory, pop culture, subcultures, and historical myths to assemble collage-like worlds through the use of various editing software. Found footage is combined with own creations and photographs to assemble new contexts and stories. The materials are obtained through excessive research online from a variety of sources. In my work, images from obscure internet forums meet those originally published in scientific databases. My goal is to dissolve hierarchies of sources in order to level science and pop culture, thereby making room for alternative realities (e.g. queerness). Currently, I’m working on several projects autonomously and with my collective Transformative Narratives. The outcomes will be presented as video installations, audio-visual performances, and a series of lenticular prints. I’m tremendously interested in creating speculative worlds and lifeforms and I am currently focused on researching fungi and other microbes.

My primary work in progress is Expanding Kin, an installation and short film which explore the potential of mycelium and fungi in the fight against climate change, and the expansion of identity constructs onto non-human life. Inspired by Donna Haraway’s theory of the Chthulucene and rooted in Queer Ecology, the film‘s narrative guides through a symbiosis of science, pop culture, and emotional storytelling.

-What is your take on the Amsterdam art scene? Did WOW Amsterdam help you to facilitate new connections?

I studied in The Hague which means that I did not connect much with people from Amsterdam. Living at WOW enabled me to continue my practice in the Netherlands while connecting to local people and institutions. Though I wish there would be a greater sense of community at the residency and more facilitation of WOW in the process of building connections between the artists.

-How do you find a balance (if) in between part-time jobs and your own art practice?

Currently, I am full-time comitted to my artistic practice without having any additional part-time jobs. I graduated in July 2021 and am trying to live off funding/ grants/commissions and occasional sales of works. Honestly, it is a difficult and mentally draining process. The constant financial uncertainty in a politically and environmentally critical climate is very uncomfortable. At the moment I’m looking for part-time jobs to have more financial stability. It is just crazy to me how much I work and how little money I get for it in exchange and how many things I do badly paid for “networking“ reasons or other nonsense.

-How do you see your personal development in the upcoming years? Do you have a plan or do you go by instincts?

I would like to go to Las Vegas.

Collaboration will play an integral part in my work in the upcoming years apart from implementing autonomous projects. I plan to participate in more residency programs and initiate further connections with people from other fields such as the music industry. It is my firm conviction that the complexity of human life can be best told through mutli-disciplinary narratives and approaches, which is why I am specifically interested in connecting with people from both the visual arts as well as from scientific backgrounds.

Whereas during my studies, I still produced mainly individual, autonomous work, collaborations have become an integral aspect of my practice. One of those pivotal collaborations I maintain for several years now is with the musician Tony Renaissance with whom I collaborated on numerous projects. In September 2021, we initiated XxA, a theater performance rooted in drag, pop culture, experimental music, and visual arts. Together we create immersive projects with our collective Transformative Narratives.


-Please name some essential aspects necessary for you to keep your practice sustainable?

*collaboration ʢ• ͡•ʢ• ͡•ʢ• ͡•ʡ

*radical care ෆ{ @ᵔ֊̫ᵔ@ }ෆ


*trust and belief in the worlds I create and the logics behind them ᘳ

*friends/ chosen family ʕ•̫͡•ʕ*̫͡*ʕ•͓͡•ʔ-̫͡-ʕ•̫͡•ʔ*̫͡*ʔ-̫͡-ʔ

*childlike curiosity ✩⃛ ⁝⁞⁝⁞౿౿⁙⁞⁝⁝◟(˟ε˟ ◟)՞՞

*being emo ༼ ༎ຶ ෴ ༎ຶ༽

*music is my happy place ◖ฺ|´⌣`*|◗·˳♪⁎˚♫

-What is your strategy to recharge?

Taking cello lessons and going for random walks or to subculture-specific events like bodybuilding contests.

-If you would be reincarnated as some other plant or animal what would it be?

Short term: Ophiocordyceps

Long time: Common garden snail


Photos by Roman Ermolaev

by WOW