Niko Pazzaglia London, United Kingdom
Niko Pazzaglia, Ph.D., is a London-based researcher, educator, and artist specializing in Photography, Performance Studies, and Gender. She holds a Ph.D. in Italian Studies from the University of Oregon and an MA in Contemporary Photography from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London.
My art practice draws on fashion, pop culture, literature, philosophy, and contemporary art to investigate issues that range from media representation, consumerism, and the beauty system to practices of subjectification and exploitation of bodies, especially in the context of gender. With the site-specific work "Beauty_Beauty_Matters" installed on Depop and part of the self-lead residency ‘Make Depop a Residency’, I have been interested in performative practices of dissemination of the work of art, for instance through social media, commercial flyers, and the marketplace as well as in the ways an artwork, because of its relationship with the user/consumer changes over time. Using a playful tone while selling items in platforms not originally designed for the arts, my work approaches the everyday consumer raising questions about gender stereotypes, the happiness imperative, and most importantly, the status of art in contemporary society.
My work also explores the performativity of materials as well as the relationship between body and matter, focusing on the body as the site of power and resistance. I have been working with metal, 3D and I am currently experimenting with sustainable materials, such as recycled plastic and food waste. Through the creation of wearable sculptures, my work aims at questioning the body’s physical boundaries and social constraints, while at the same time addressing its infinite possibilities for extension, mutation, and interrelations. Throughout both practices of enlargement and reduction, the wearable sculptures exist both within and beyond the normativity of bodies, opening a space for resistance, a space for the emergence of “the body without organs” – to borrow Deleuze’s and Guattari’s expression. With my latest work “I sound, Therefore I Am” part of the self-lead residency "What can a dress do?" I push the investigation between bodies further, rethinking the materiality of bodies beyond representationalism. With this piece I deconstruct the cartesian Cogito Ergo Sum, claiming the body’s existence through the act of sounding.
My practice is in dialogue with appropriation art, transmedia, and different approaches to time-based art. The major influences that shape my work are as diverse as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Cindi Sherman, Rebecca Horn and Michelangelo Antonioni. The philosophical frame that informs my work draws from new materialism and from different theories that focus on a critique of representationalism and binary knowledge systems.