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La Prigioniera/The Prisoner


Transgender latex panties, latex mask, plaster, enamel, pastel on paper. Various dimensions.

The work in this catalogue includes four sculptures and four drawings that address the subject of co-dependence and the nature of addiction to self-destructive relationships.

The first sculpture represents a pelvis with female genitalia—which looks more like a chunk of meat than human flesh. The second one is a fossil-like tract of the intestines, that could also be perceived as a magnification of an umbilical chord. The third sculpture is a head with a giant mouth, while the fourth one is the trace of a female sex, a negative space of a vagina.

In the words of Claire Messud:
“Codependent love entails a passionate devotion to the unrequited, a desire for self-abnegation. Its ironies are rife: how readily we give of ourselves, believing that eventually our sacrifices will be recognized; how thoroughly we put the needs and desires of the troubled before our own; how proud we are of our ability to stand in the heart of the flames, and burn.
Marina Sagona’s work, in its nuanced expression of these ironies, illuminates both the danger and the allure—the beauty, even—of this state. The intense black glossiness of her sculpture of a woman’s pelvis at once evokes intense sensuality—we want to touch it, to glide our fingers over its smooth surfaces—and brutish objectification: its meaty heft, disembodied, could be mistaken for a prime cut; or for a hunk of painted metal only incidentally reminiscent of the human form. The sculpture’s vaginal opening proves a slick slit leading nowhere, the antithesis of Courbet’s famous painting The Origin of the World: Sagona’s sculpture is a play of surfaces that simultaneously promises and denies pleasure.”


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