Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire is proud to present « Loaded Shine », first solo exhibition of Paulo Nozolino at the gallery. This twenty-picture-series, presented at PhotoEspaña 2017, summarizes with strength the photographical conceptual work the artist has carried out for more than forty years.
Paulo Nozolino is without doubt a leading figure in European and Portuguese photography. He began his artistic career in London's lively atmosphere of the seventies. Then he set out on a series of journeys across Europe and countries in the Arab World between 1983 and 1995. His journey of initiation and solitude has been retraced in Penumbra, a work reflecting the photographer's political concerns. In 2002, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie held a retrospective exhibition of his work -Nada. In 2005, he was invited for a new retrospective -Far Cry- at the Museu de Serralves in Porto presenting for the first time the work of a Portuguese photographer.
The pictures displayed at the gallery were shot between 2008 and 2013 in New York, Lisbon, Paris, Berlin and in rural areas of France and Portugal. All of them describe a sequence of objects vertically, with no indication of place nor time. Nozolino chose this rigorous verticality nearly twenty years ago, reducing his field of vision still further in search for the essential. « Pure » as he would say. Ever since he began his work the photographer has nurtured a singular, black and white style, a dark density now a hallmark of his work. The only purpose of light is to highlight the dark.
Paulo Nozolino is a firm contemplative type and most often applies it to refine the picture. He takes photographs aiming at singularity and simplification. With Loaded Shine, such refining is at work thanks to a freeze-frame of the subject, a halt in the dark. As he takes his time, his eye can identify the symbolic and poetic power of the objects and situations. Talent is there, beyond first impression and preconceived ideas, redefining their codes of judgment. Behind the forgotten objects, what matters is disappearance but also and above all refusing grandiosity, glorifying daily lives, the ordinary and the poor. The same light will then illuminate, without distinction, the cross and the hooves of a dead animal. The sacred and the sublime thus seem surprisingly simple, all we have to do is look.
In the Hour of the Devil, Pessoa pointed out: "I am a poet by nature because I am the truth speaking by mistake, and my whole life is a special system of morale disguised as an allegory and illustrated with symbols".
Nozolino composed Loaded Shine with the same tragic and symbolic lucidity : he reviews and reascribes the way we approach the unknown using our possible misunderstanding of the real. In this series there are no more words now, just the picture so that we can witness the loss and decay. For Nozolino, photography has much to do with poetry and Bone Lonely -published in 2011 by Steidl- shows the indivisible bond between them. Doing so he is attentive to his mystical, religious-like nature, both regarding his attitude -that of a photographer on a mission- and the result obtained.
"For me, the picture sequence is key. The most important thing in a photographic sequence, either poetic or musical, does not lie in the pictures, the words or the notes but in the space between them."