Artist statement

Marilisa Cosello lives and works in Milano (Italy).

Trained in photography, fine arts and film, she worked for 5 years as a news photographer, before understanding that reality doesn’t exist and therefore moving to a conceptual apapproach in her research and art practice. Her practice is characterized by body participation and performance construction, initiating a dialogue between history, culture and social structures. Rethinking the role of society as a family and the private as collective, Cosello’s work merges forms of investigation over power, public and private superimposition, civil family rituals and collective archetypes, reflecting on the political nature of the individual body as a subject and the impact of power dynamics on the history of individuals and communities. Her photography, performances, videos and sound pieces focus on “social and individual themes and political power issues” such as social structures, family structures, systems of super imposition and body control, envisioning the body itself and society’s archetypes as a stage, articulating political ideas, personal struggles, and highlighting several cases such as female condition, collective supremacy over individual will, society’s expectations, supremacy, female identity- in wich the body becomes a political subject. Working with performers, musicians and actors, and creating herself the costumes and set of her works, she investigates the political, social and philosophical impact of the body and on the body. Her work has been exhibited throughout Italy and abroad, including: Mediterraneasn Biennal of Art in Sarajevo, Central Dupon Paris, Kunsthalle Lana, Fotografia Europea Reggio Emilia, Fondazione francesco Fabbri. She’s won twice the Fotografia Europea Prize, Honourable Mention Photoespagna, Descubrimientos Braga Photo Festival, Berlin Photo Festival.


Born in the south of Italy in 1978, moved to UK at age 15, degree in visual art (Sevenoaks, UK), Majored in Cinema History (Milano, Italy), Master degree in photography (Milano, Italy), photography masterclass at Noorderlicht (NL) with Marc Proust and Lars Boering,  24Workshop (Paris) with Francois Cheval, Michel Philippot, Isabel Munoz, JC Bourcart. Workshops with Antoine D’Agata, Anders Petersen, Michael Ackerman, Davide Monteleone, Erik Kessels. Photographers’ assistant at TPW, working with Arno Minkinen and Paul Elledge.

Worked for 5 years as a news photographer in Milano, published on the major national magazines and newspapers. After realizing that reality doesn’t exist, started working with a conceptual approach to photography. First Prize Fotografa Europea (Reggio Emilia) in 2014 and 2016, Honourable mention 2017, Winner Lugano Photo Festval 2016, Finalist Braga Emergentes Descubrimientos 2016, PhotoEspagna 2016, among the others exhibiton at Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, Cemtraler Fotografia, Sifest ,Mediterranean Biennal of Art in Sarajevo, Copenhagen PhotoFestival,, MilanoPhoto Festival.

My art practice mainly deals with power, archetypes, social and family structures and the deconstruction of the image.

Other experiences


Voluntary service with Naga refugee association, working with street prostitutes

Upcoming Exhibitions



Circulation Festival 2019, curated by Francois Cheval and Audrey Hoareau


Digital Video Wall, Metronom Gallery, Modena (Italy)

Fondazione Francesco Fabbri, Fotografia Contemporanea, Premio Francesco Fabbri , curated by Carlo Sala

Kunstalle West, Lana (Trentino Alto Adige, Italy)  curated by Angela Madesani

L’altro Sguardo Fotografe Italiane 1965>2018 Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome, Italy)

Corte Zavattini 31/Cristallino  (Cesena Italy) Talk & Performance



SiFest Off, Settembre 2017 (Savignano sul Rubicone – Italy)

f/4 Un’idea di Fotografia, Fondazione Fabbri, Luglio 2017 (Treviso – Italy) Collective exhibition

Ape(x)Mentis, Bottega Immagine May 2017, (Milano – Italy)

Festival Centrale Fotografia 2017 (Fano – Italy) curator Luca Panaro

T14Contemporary, Modus Operandi April 2017 (Milano – Italy) curator M. Scaramellini & E.Vaninetti

Gallery VisionQuest March 2017, Genova (Italy) Personal exhibition

MIA Photo Fair March 2017 (Milano, Italy)


Milano Photofestival 2016, Palazzo Pirola (Milano, Italy)

Fotografia Europea 2016, Atelier ViaDueGobbiTre (Reggio Emilia, Italy)

Lugano Photo Festival 2016 (Lugano, Switzerland)


Central Dupon,  (Paris, France ) Collective exhibition

Reggia di Colorno, Colorno Photo Festival  (Pavia, Italy)


Copenhaghen Photo Festival, Galleri Nablos (Copenhagen, Denmark)


Mediterranean Biennal of Art in Sarajevo, with site specifc project



Digital Video Wall, Metronom Gallery, Modena

Premio Fabbri Contemporary Photography shortlisted

Gomma Grant shortlisted


PDN Emerging Photographer Award 2017

Honorable Mention Fotografia Europea 2017, Reggio Emilia, Italy


First Prize Fotografia Europea 2016, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Winner Lugano Photo Festval 2016, Lugano Switzerland

Selected Finalist Descubrimientos Emergentes Braga Photo Festival (Portugal)

Finalist Photobook Emergentes Book Award Braga Photo Festival (Portugal)

Finalist Portfolio Descubrimientos PhotoEspagna 2016, Spain

Sponsored Art Residency at Novia Art School, Jakobstaad, Finland



First Prize Portoflio Atelier DueGobbiTre (Reggio Emilia, Italy)



First Prize Fotografia Europea Festival (Reggio Emilia, Italy)

First Prize Colorno PhotoFestival (Pavia, Italy)

Finalist portofolio Descubrimientos Emergentes Braga Photo Festval (Portugal)

Honorable mention 6th Month of Photography in Berlin, Portolio (Germany)