GENOA.- VisionQuesT 4rosso Gallery
recently launched KOCHAN, a new exhibition showcasing Alessandra Calòs latest works.
KOCHAN is a photographic project that Calò began in 2016. Inspired by her discovery of the New York Public Librarys extensive online archival documents, she would spend entire days surrounded by geographical maps, manuscripts and letters. But, it was the maps that she was most attracted to - their signs and traces inspired her to translate them into a series of self-portraits.
The word Kochan, is the name of the protagonist of Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima, 1949. Mishimas work is a sort of travel diary, which accompanies the reader as they discover fragments of the protagonists life and identity.
In this very elegant and intense personal "journey"- where maps and archival materials overlap with areas of the body and vice versa - Calò relentlessly records our universal states of mind; the fantasies, turmoils, pains and joys that follow each of us in our trial and error efforts as we search for ourselves. She does so with a such a sincere and meticulous commitment, seeking to provoke those who look at her images, to push into their most hidden and private places.
Starting from reflections on the concept of identity, in this project, just like Kochan, Calò tries to imagine the journey that each person makes to discover and affirm themselves, considering the body as a territory to explore.
Undoubtedly not a simple journey: "I wanted to compare the body to a territory to explore, as in a journey where the map gives you no coordinates, explains Calò, In this photographic project, I have superimposed images and archive documents and, for the first time, I decided to insert a contemporary human element. In particular, I stood in front of the camera, choosing to make my identity - physical and intellectual - the subject of this research "
Her refinement and visual delicacy are very similar to the way in which Mishima, with words of absolute beauty, wrote of love and desire, of the body and the soul, indicating the deeply painful struggle with oneself in the search for one's own identity.
In all her projects Calò works mostly with archival images, documents, found photos and literary texts - the recovery and re-use of materials are always the starting point of her research and artistic production. The construction of her stories is often the result of an overlapping of images that, combined, give life to a new image to be discovered.
The work she accomplishes with archival material, allows her to create new universes and tell new stories each time, as well as being a real journey into the photographic image.
Alessandra Calò lives and works in Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Artist and photographer, she has been experimenting from the beginning of her career with the use of new languages that allow her to deepen her understanding of the themes related to memory, identity, and to the language of 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 photographic printing processes (silver gelatines, calotype, cyanotype).
She has participated in internationals residencies, exhibitions and festivals such as Circulations Festival de la Jeune Photographie Européenne (Paris), Les Rencontres (Arles), Fotografia Europea (Reggio Emilia), Open House (Rome). She has realized several self published photobooks and some of her artworks have been published in specialized magazines and arepresent in private collections, foundations and museums.
In 2018 she won thePrix Tribew publishing reward within Circulations Festival, in 2017 she was also awarded with the Honorable Mention at the PA International Photographic Award and in 2016 she won the installation category of the Combat Prize.
In October 2018 the Italian Cultural Institute in Madrid promoted her personal exhibition at Palacio de Abrantes for the XIVGiornata del Contemporaneo (Contemporary Art Day) committed to Italian contemporary artists.