Andrea Lo Conte was born in 1990 in Ariano Irpino, a small town in Southern Italy, in which he spent his childhood and adolescence. In 2009 he moved to Milan where he studied and graduated in architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan, in 2017. During that period, he started getting into photography and attending a University course of Photography for Architecture held by professor G. Hänninen, which was crucial to the way he got involved in it.
In 2018, he decided to move back in his hometown where he works as a freelance architect. In his spare time he cultivates his passion for photography, with a strong interest in architecture and anthropized landscape. In particular, his gaze falls on the outskirts and the suburban rural areas, which he investigate with the aim of highlighting the dialectic relationship between man and the space in which he lives in – characterized by a continuous transformation process.
About ‘Calabria in Progress – Calamizzi Walled Waterfront’ – words by Andrea Lo Conte:
The Calamizzi seafront is located between the center and the first outskirts of the city, and it’s a place characterized by a suspended atmosphere. The work in progress for the construction of a linear park, started more than a decade ago and not completed yet, is the leitmotif of a heterogeneous system of spontaneous architectures in continuous evolution.
From the semi-abandoned shacks to the villas on the sea, passing through the fishermen’s shelters and the fences of courtyards, the path is characterized by an alienating atmosphere that leads to reflect on the relationship between man and the space he lives in.
On the one hand the walled waterfront constitutes an open-air catalogue of unauthorised building practices, that reveals in a disruptive way the transformation process carried out by man in relation to his various (and often supposed) needs. On the other, nature – once “denied” by these constructions – spontaneously re-takes place and subverts the order where the period of human necessity has run out, making us meditate on the relationship between artifice and nature.
I’ve worked on this project during a few days I spent on holidays in Reggio Calabria in January 2020. All the photos were taken excluding the seaside from the frame to highlight the walled condition of the place, which almost reject any relationship with the waterfront. The title ‘Calabria in Progress – Calamizzi walled waterfront’ is a sort of play on words about the characteristics of the place and was suggested by the name of a cultural association named ‘Calabria in Progress’ which offices are located right in there.