30 rue Erard – 75012 Paris
Nicola Lo Calzo is an Italian photographer and teacher-researcher (Uni Paris-Cergy and Ensapc) based in France since 2006. He currently works between Bahia and Paris where he runs a course on postcolonial and queer practices in photography at the School Nationale Supérieure d'Arts of Paris-Cergy. He is also a member of the editorial committee of the digital arts research platform PLARA and co-curator of the International Biennial of Photographic Encounters of Guyana. Lo Calzo is the recipient of a Cnap grant (2018) and nominated for the Prix Elysée (2019) and the Niépce prize (2020). In 2022, he won the Grande Commande Photographique by Ministry of Culture, led by the BNF.
After working for several years as a landscape architect, he turned to photography in 2008. Hiw works focuses on the notions of border and margin, showing the strategies of survival and reinvention of selves produced by subaltern communities in a postcolonial context. His research is part of a personal questioning around identity and the body politic, which draws on his experience as a queer person. Its projects are the fruit of long-term work in close collaboration with communities and local actors (artists, researchers, activists), a time necessary to restore the complexity of political and symbolic issues, as well as subjectivities and personal trajectories.
For ten years, Lo Calzo has been engaged in a long-term photographic research project on the memories of resistance in post-colonial time: the KAM project. Started in 2010, KAM is developed in a “rhizomic” fashion and covers different territories of West Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas, taking the form of an evolving and organic project. The memory of resistance to slavery is thought of here not as a "subject" but as a reading grid, both to deconstruct the dominant representations around this memory, but also to show subaltern memory practices which live on both sides of the Atlantic in historically marginalized communities.
His works have been exhibited in Museums, Art Centers and Festivals, including the Festival Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia (Binidittu, 2022, under the direction of Walter Guadagnini and Tim Clark) and the Centro Italiano di Fotografia in Turin ( Binidittu, 2021, curator Giangavino Pazzola), the Institute of Islam Cultures in Paris (Tchamba, 2020, curator Jeanne Mercier), the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico (Obia, 2018), the Hospice Comtesse de Lille (Regla, 2018 ), the Al Maaden Museum of Contemporary African Art in Marrakech (Agouda, 2017). In 2017, his work was exhibited as part of the Afriques Capitales exhibition organized by Simon Njami between Paris and Lille. In 2015, the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam dedicated a monographic exhibition around his research in Haiti and Guadeloupe. Lo Calzo's works are present in several private and public collections, including the national collections of the CNAP, the BNF, the Lightwork collection in Syracuse - New York, the Alinari Archives in Florence, the Pinacoteca Civica in Monza, the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam and the J.P. Morgan collection. His work has been published by Editions Kehrer (Regla in 2017, Obia in 2015 and Inside Niger in 2012 and L’Artiere (Binidittu in 2020).
From 2015 to 2019, as part of his participatory photographic approach, Lo Calzo collaborated as artistic director on the Kazal project by the Haitian collective KD2, an experimental photographic project with the photographers of the Haitian kolektif KD2, around the memory of crime under the Duvalier dictatorship in Haiti. The project, produced by the Fokal foundation, was published by Andrè Frére editions and was exhibited internationally (Centre d'Art - Haïti, 2018, Rencontres de Bamako 2019, Framer Framed, Amsterdam 2022).
In 2022, in collaboration with the Jeu de Paume Museum and the Ensapc, Nicola Lo Calzo is organizing the symposium A Queer Photo Archive featuring contemporary artists whose works address the notion of queer, postcolonial issues and identity politics through photography (a long with installation, performance and orality).
Lo Calzo is also a regular contributor to the international press, including Le Monde (daily and magazine), The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian, El Pais, Internazionale. His work is represented in France by the Galerie Dominique Fiat and in Italy by Podbielsky Contemporary Gallery.