top of page
Niko Pazzaglia.jpg
Niko Pazzaglia

Niko Pazzaglia, Ph.D., is a London-based researcher, educator, and artist specializing in Photography, Gender Studies, and Drama. 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. Utilizing photography, performance art, 3D printing, sculpture, and in-site specific installations, her work explores the intersection between everyday social practices, digital technologies, and contemporary art, delving into the ways power work in the “society of control” – for instance through social media and smartphone applications. Niko has participated in several group exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery, Tate Modern and Unit 1 Gallery. Among her publications figure the co-edited book Photography as Power: Dominance and Resistance through the Italian Lens along with several publications on the Italian and English Early Modern Stage.

Artist: Niko Pazzaglia

Based in London, UK




Culturally Arts Collective features:

"Broken Mirrors", June 10 - July 22 2022, Milostka Center for Exhibitions 

What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?
With my work I am interested in exploring the intersection between everyday social practices, digital technologies and contemporary art, delving into the ways power works in the “society of control” – for instance through social media and smartphone applications. I focus on 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 my work, I also aim at exploring 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 self-portrait photography, performance art, metal, 3D printing, 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 included in the collection “Beauty Beauty Matters” exist both within and beyond the normativity of bodies, opening up a space for resistance, a space for the emergence of “the body without organs” – to borrow Deleuze’s and Guattari’s expression.
Where does your inspiration come from?
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 and Cindy Sherman to filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni, fashion designer Iris van Herpen and Banksy. I also find inspiration in literature, such as in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland which has largely inspired my latest work, as well as in pop culture, medical sciences and philosophy. The philosophical frame that informs my work draws from new materialism and from theories that focus on a critique of representationalism and of binary knowledge system, such as Karen Barad’s notion of performativity as well as in Deleuze and Guattari’s idea of the rhizome.
Do you have experiences that impacted your art?
I was born in a small provincial town in central Italy and growing up I felt the increasing weight of societal norms and conventions, especially in relation to gender.
Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?
With my work I aim at challenging the current role of art in contemporary society. With the site-specific work "Beauty_Beauty_Matters" installed on Depop, 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 on platforms not originally designed for the arts, my work approaches the everyday consumer raising questions about gender stereotypes, the happiness imperative, and, most importantly, about the status of art in contemporary society. Through the appropriation of both social realities and virtual spaces, Beauty_Beauty_Matters offers a critique of the museum and gallery spaces, turning the work of art into a material object and social agent designed for everyday life.
What are your long-term artistic goals? 
My long-term goal is to integrate my current practice with knowledge exchange projects, developing a positive and enduring impact in the community. I also intend to teach art and photography, engaging students in meaningful collaborative projects.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
It is very important to create a solid network of collaborations with other artists and to study in a recognized university.
bottom of page