Leo Pellegatta


Born in Milan and living in Tokyo since 2003, Leo Pellegatta is noted for his haunting, near-surreal explorations of the intimate dialogue between memory, time and place. A graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, he has worked extensively in the realms of theatre, dance, and documentary photography, with forays into editorial and corporate work; as well as frequent collaborations with musicians and writers. Pellegatta’s work has been exhibited internationally and has been presented at significant festivals such as “Hors Pistes Festival” – Paris, Centre Pompidou in 2011, and “Tokyo Experimental Festival-Sound, Art & Performance” at TWS in Japan in 2012.


The Ulysses series is a body of work based upon the book of the same name by James Joyce. Leo follows in the footsteps of Joyce and although not a literal interpretation, the images take on the idea of a journey with references to the book and also its internal play upon the Odyssey.

Starting April 17, and continuing through to  the 10th of May, Leo will be part of the KG+ satellite event of the KYOTOGRAPHIE photography festival in Kyoto. His work will be shown at the beautiful Aesop Kawaramachi  together with a collaboration installation with furniture designer Hiroko Shiratori. The exhibition is co-organised by Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Osaka.



Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least if that no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snot­green, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane…

“Thought is the thought of thought” is a quote of Stephen Dedalus (James Joyce`s literary alter ego, appearing as young artist and important character in Ulysses) as he speculates on Aristotle and remembers his time in Paris in the episode “Nestor.” Does this mean that thought can only lead to other thoughts and thus never actually sets a foot in the world? Thought is always different than things in the world, but is still somehow connected with them. How can we describe the relationship between thought and the world? Language and the world?

… …  the sun shines for you he said the day we were lying among the rhododendrons on Howth head in the grey tweed suit and his straw hat the day I got him to propose to me yes first I gave him the bit of seedcake out of my mouth and it was leapyear like now yes 16 years ago my God after that long kiss I near lost my breath yes he said I was a flower of the mountain yes so we are flowers all a womans body yes that was one true thing he said in his life and the sun shines for you today yes that was why I liked him because I saw he understood or felt what a woman is and … … …


… … … and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes

Think you’re escaping and run into yourself. Longest way round is the shortest way home

Each imagining himself to be the first last and only alone, whereas he is neither first last nor last nor only not alone in a series originating in and repeated to infinity

Beauty: it curves, curves are beauty. Shapely goddesses, Venus, Juno: curves the world admires.

The “ULYSSES” images were taken going back and forth from James Joyce’s text to the places he still haunts, like Trieste, in Italy, where the author wrote the first part of his masterwork, and spent several years after his self-imposed exile from Dublin.

Berlin, Bears and Refugees