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Photography by Ronald Stoops

Andrea Cammarosano Flies into Walter

The Antwerp graduate of the class of 2008 sets up his first exhibition at Walter van Beirendonck's store.

Andrea Cammarosano’s first solo exhibition is named after his first collection “Bury me standing” which has just finished camping out at Walter van Beirendonck's eponymous store in Antwerp, an honour that designers like Peter Pilotto and Bernhard Willhelm have had. On display was a photography collaboration with Ronald Stoops  as well as the six different polyester protective cocoons that he created to encapsulate the body and force it into an upright position to form an exoskeleton. We catch up with Cammarosano about the exhibition and about looking towards a brighter future.
Dazed Digital: What was the concept behind the exhibition?
Andrea Cammarosano: The exhibition is really quite simple. Once again I had a great sponsorship from AGFA graphics, and we really loved the space of the Walter store. Since the concept of the collection was about people with diving bells sinking in the sea, we wanted to have a lot of color and to re-create a sea of colored light, printed on perspex, on which we would leave the pieces suspended. We also loved very much those yellow boxes realized by B Architecten, and we used them as "frames" for our pics. During the opening, I was supposed to give guided tours on a super cute mini-bike, but nobody wanted to jump in. I guess they were scared of the dark and the fake army cap.

For your presentation the photographer Ronald Stoops collaborated with you, how was the experience?                     
Andrea Cammarosano: Ronald is really a nice guy! At home he's got 10 or 11 cats, and it’s always a pleasure to work together. We collaborated many times already, both for my projects, for Walter's collections or with other friends. He is a real punk at heart, even if he looks very serious, He is also very creative as a photographer and very very funny; he always tells funny stories and has worked for all the main Belgian designers. For the shooting I already had the idea of using the pieces as "blank" canvases, since they are so white and "blank", and to project different colored lights on them, including UV light. I tried to subtract rather then add. I think the polyester reacted very well to the light.

DD: '
Bury me Standing' was your first collection, why this name?                                                                 
Andrea Cammarosano: fact I’ve always given names to my collection. Usually it was a Love Serenade or something very romantic. But when I started working on BMS I was very depressed, I always had to go to the Indian deli-cyber café to make phone calls to my family / friends / boyfriend who were living far away. It was on the corner of the square were I lived, and I was always there because I didn’t have phone at home - I was on the black list of all Belgian telecom companies (and still am). So I ended up spending hours in these stinky phone booths - I felt like I was trapped in a fucking cupboard! This is why I wanted to realise some objects that would enclose the body in a small space - to see how it would react in such a constriction. Eventually I got a phone, and a roommate, and now I’m very happy and building up a monstrous collection - nothing about depression thank God!

DD: Walter only has given his gallery Space to the likes of Bernhard Willhelm and Peter Pilotto - how you feel about this opportunity?                                                                                                                            
Andrea Cammarosano: Walter - again - is "a great guy", when he believes in you he believes in you 200 percent. I’m lucky that we have a nice feeling for each other, he was a very instructive teacher for me and I’m very flattered to think he also believed in Bernhard or Peter - who are super talented guys! I don't know them very well personally but their work is really amazing and inspiring, especially Bernhard's - I think he did an installation with neon lights and Christmas trees back then at Walters shop. I really hope that in the future I can put out some great work like they did!