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ALESSANDRA CALÒ

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Alessandra Calò (born in 1977 in the south Italy) is an italian visual artist, who lives and works in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Artist and photographer, she has been experimenting from the beginning of her career the use of new languages that allow her to deepen her grasp of themes related to memory, identity, and to the language of the photography itself. The dominant theme in her work is “recollection”: a state of mind combined with reality and not simply a nostalgic evoking of the past. She is passionate about old print photographic processes.
She has participated in internationals residency, exhibitions and festivals such as Circulations Festival de la Jeune Photographie Européenne (2018, Paris), XIV Giornata del Contemporaneo (2018, Madrid), Open House (2017, Rome), Fotografia Europea (2015, Reggio Emilia). 

She has realized several self published photobooks and some of her artworks have been published in specialized magazines and acquired in private collections, foundations and museums.
In 2019 her project Secret Garden (Edition by Danilo Montanari) was awarded with the Special Mention at the Marco Bastianelli Prize for the best book published in 2018; in 2018 her project Kochan was pronounced the winner of the Prix Tribew publishing reward within Circulations Festival, in 2017 her project Les Inconnues (tribute to Anna and Constance) was awarded with the Honorable Mention at the International Photographic Award and in 2016 her project Secret Garden won the installation category of the Combat Prize.

Les inconnues (tribute to Anna and Constance)

The work was born as a tribute to Anna Atkins and Constance Fox Talbot, the first women who using the photography to make illustrated books. The study of their work gave me the opportunity to research and using the first printing techniques such as calotype and cyanotype. The project is also my personal reflection about "latent image" concept: I wanted to impress on the glass, parts of female portrait, which seems more like the dream materialization then a real photo portrait. The printing process - the use of handmade photosensitive emulsions, like a recreate the same conditions in which artists worked in the nineteenth century - allowed me to compare myself with the natural element and random element, pointing out the difficulty and the humanity of the process, where the defect is a first characteristic.
The presences of Les Inconnues can be considered the result of an investigation and the attempt to go back in time, as if I wanted to get in touch with women of the history of photography.

 

 

Mix media: gelatine silver, kalotype, ink jet print on crystal layers

cm 35x35x7

Kochan

Kochan is a name. He is the protagonist of an old Japanese novel Confessions of a Mask (仮面の告白 Kamen no Kokuhaku by Yukio Mishima, 1949), like a travel diary that accompanies who read to discover the identity and body of the protagonist. Kochan is also the name of my photographic project, I started it in 2016, when I discovered that the New York Public Library had put online a large part of its archival documents. The recovery and reinterprete of ancien materials are the starting points of my research and artistic production. My work on the archival materials allows me to create new universes and to tell each time new stories, as well as being a real "journey" into the photographic image. I spent whole days between maps, manuscripts and letters. But it is from the maps that I have been attracted and, accompanied by their signs and their traces, I decided to combine them with a series of self-portraits. In this project, like Kochan, I tried to imagine the journey that each of us make, to affirm yourself, considering the body as if it were a territory to be explored. It was not a simple path, because the relationship with your body is complex and the journey we take is never taken for granted.

 

Fine art print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 308 gsm 100% cotton white

short side 100 cm

 

1/3 + 2 p.a.

NDT No Destructive Testing 

This is the acronym used after the first X-ray test to indicate that the method did not alter the object and that the necessity to investigate did not affect the object integrity.
Transferred into the family genealogy level, the metaphor describes the approach of the artist that doesn’t intend to modify the unfolding about personal stories but observe them, cross them almost against the light, remembering their “roots” before projecting them into the future.

 

Fine art print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 308 gsm 100% cotton white

 

1/3 + 2 p.a.