Steidl, 2005. First edition. Clothbound hardcover, 248 x 320 mm, 136 pp., 78 b/w illustrations. Photographs by Paulo Nozolino. Text by Rui Nunes (English). Design by Paulo Nozolino, Stephane Duroy, R2 Design.
Paulo Nozolino only makes black and white photographs and they are dominated by an impossible darkness that seems impenetrable to light. The photographs were made all over the world — notably in countries of the Arab world — but in the majority of cases it would be difficult to attribute a specific location to them. Photographs from Auschwitz are the decisive exception. Auschwitz appears as the absolute place and time that orientates everything else. In thirty years of a career as a photographer, Nozolino has constantly intensified his tragic vision of reality: this is visualised in pictures that originate from his own biography and travels; in pictures of men, women and children; in pictures of birth, love making and death. This publication assembles for the first time photographs from Nozolino’s different projects over the years, to form a new narrative, untold until now: the narrative of beginning and ending, and at the same time the narrative of his life’s work.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1955, Paulo Nozolino is one of the central figures of contemporary photography. His journey begins in the 1970s in London where he went to live. Then Paris, from the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, was his basis for a long series of travels across the Arab world, as well as Europe, after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A frontal artist, Nozolino sees photography the same way he sees life, using it to understand both the world and himself and taking it to the limits of his quest, his answers and his experiences. There is no room for complacency in his work. Destruction means destruction, death means death. Constant cycles in his historical time par excellence, the twentieth century, and even more alive in the present moment.