Neeko Paluzzi (b. 1988) is a queer, Canadian artist and educator whose practice focuses on intertextual photo-based installations. His images blend the possibilities of traditional, analogue darkroom processes with contemporary photographic techniques, such as 3D scanning and printing. He is a graduate of the Photographic Arts and Production program at the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (2017) and holds a Masters of Arts from the University of Ottawa (2013). He had a featured exhibition at the Scotiabank CONTACT Festival in 2019 and was the winner of the 2018 Project X, Photography Grant from the Ottawa Arts Council. Paluzzi is currently a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa in the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute.
Email: neeko (at) paluzzi.ca
As a photo-based artist, my practice has been influenced by my training as a language instructor and my interest in translation theory. When translating from one language to another, meaning is never conveyed perfectly. Elements are changed depending on the translator and their interpretation.
Photography is a language, with its own vocabulary, collocations, syntax, and semantics. I recognized this early on in my practice and sought to explore the intertextuality of photography. From music to computer code, and from literature to philosophy, I am interested in translating other texts -- both visual and non-visual -- into photographic interpretations that reflect my own personal experience.
An example of my intertextual translations is my ongoing interest in tone. With music, tone is determined through duration, pitch, and intensity of an individual musical note, and when these tones are placed in a series, they carry the sounds of the musical piece. In a photograph, tone is conveyed by the distribution of light and dark within the plane of grains or pixels. I have visualized this concept in This place is a shelter (based on music by Olafur Arnalds), The goldberg variations (based on Glenn Gould’s 1952 and 1981 recordings of J.S. Bach), and Spiegel im spiegel (an upcoming piece based on Arvo Pärt). In these works, I have developed a technique to translate music into photography using a computer algorithm and the darkroom.
Many of my photographic translations are self-portraits. However, these works are not documentations or realistic depictions of my life. Just as a child would, I use interpretations and imagination to confront, categorize, and conquer troubling aspects of my reality. This is most apparent in my literary translations: The little prince (based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince) and A thousand plateaus (based on Félix Guattari and Gilles Deleuze’s Mille plateaux). In both of these projects, I am the subject of my own photographic narratives, playing the character and the creator simultaneously.
Installation is fundamental to my works. Although the foundation of my art practice is within the tradition of film and photographic chemistry, I am interested in challenging the limitations of the photographic object and exploring the sculptural possibilities of photography. My exhibition materials range from 3D-printed sandstone, to expired silver gelatin paper, to sterescopes from the 1960s. The objects themselves are fundamentally photographic, but are presented and experienced like sculptures. How the viewer experiences my work, therefore, is integral to my photographic translations.
2017, Photographic Arts and Production, School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa, Canada
2013, Masters of Arts, University of Ottawa, Canada
2011, BA, Second Language Teaching, University of Ottawa, Canada
2007, Freies Gymnasium Bern (FGB), Bern, Switzerland
Since 2013 (ongoing), Part-time Professor, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute, University of Ottawa
2020, The little prince, Karsh-Masson Gallery, Ottawa, ON
2019, The goldberg variations, Studio 66, Ottawa, ON
2019, HOMUNCULUS, or the planets seen through my childhood window, Northern Contemporary, Toronto, Canada (featured exhibition in the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival)
2019, SHOW.19, Cambridge Art Galleries, Cambridge, Canada
2019, The goldberg variations, and other works, Loop Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2018, This place is a shelter, SPAO Centre Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
2018, Out of this World, Group Exhibition, Propeller Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2018, CONCEPTS, Exposure Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
2017, Out of this World, Robert Mclaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, Canada
2018, Photography X Award, Ottawa Arts Council, Ottawa, Canada
2018, The Happening Permanent Art Grant, Ottawa, Canada
2017, "Applied Arts Award," Applied Arts Magazine, Toronto, Canada
2017, "Self Portrait," FIGUREWORKS 2017, Ottawa, Canada
2017, "Award for Visual Merit: Best Exhibition," Exhibition XII, Ottawa, Canada
2017, "The Marc Guertin Craftsmanship Award," Exhibition XII, Ottawa, Canada
2017, SPHYNX Bursary, School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa, Canada
2016, LUX Photography Award, School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa, Canada
2016, Director's Award for Volunteerism, School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa, Canada
2011, Contributions to German Culture Award, Embassy of Germany, Ottawa, Canada
2019, OPAL 2 magazine, printed in Canada
2018, OPAL 1 magazine, printed in Canada
2017, UNTERWEGS, or the thoughts of a lonesome traveller, printed in Lithuania
2011, "Identity Texts for Teacher Training in Multicultural Society" in Identity Texts (ed. Jim Cummins and Margaret Early)
2018, Neeko Paluzzi’s The Goldbern Variations, CBC (Ottawa, ON)
2018, Variations on a theme, ArtsFile (Ottawa, ON)
2013, Documentary film by uOttawa student to premiere at the Mayfair Theatre. The Gazette (Ottawa, ON).
2013, A local filmmaker’s journey across Switzerland. Apt613.com (Ottawa, ON).
2013, The heart’s path through Switzerland. The Fulcrum (Ottawa, ON).
2013, Wandering in Relativity. Cinemablographer (Ottawa, ON)
2019, Artist Talk, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
2016, "How to Develop a Project," RA Photography Club, Ottawa, Canada
2016, Wanderweg: Theory and Testimonials (Artist Talk), Ottawa School of Art, Canada