work     biography     essays & press     contact

Your Eyes Two Shots in the Dark

Olga Gambari – Amour Fou, 2012

“Your eyes two shots in the dark”, it starts here.

There’s the belly like water nettle and wintering kangaroo, there are the lips like a seabed, hands like buds, breasts like mirages and dehydrated bird, dragonfly sex, legs like whirligig  beetles, like a war and a dance in the harbour. The womb is the flight of a butterfly, ears are lost question-marks.

They are "Amour Fou" by Marina Sagona, twenty-eight drawings that together form an animated kaleidoscope, in which some things are seen, others are missed, some seem recognisable, many slip in behind our eyes, many hide or flit away. It is a mobile fluid, slow and sinuous, which moves from one page to another, in a portrait which gives declination to the feminine world.
In them there are the women - all and no-one. There is: woman.

With a minimal and elegant stroke, very sensual, formed in white, black and orange, Marina Sagona slides among the verses of " Song of Songs"( from the anthology " Woman in the Plural" of 1936) by the Czech poet Vitezslav Nezval.
In this poetry, woman and her body are blended together in metaphors and superimpositions, in a collage of automatic writing by images which overflows with life and desire. But the feeling of temporal fugacity was a tiny tear shed to one side, a slight but incurable graze.

In Sagona's work, drawings  and verse become a single entity, they link, mix and become redefined in an uninterrupted list of matchings and comparisons, an obsessive enumeration of visual synonyms and metaphors.

Striking and crazy, excessive, insistent, the woman described by Nezval in his " Song of Songs" was an unforgettable portrait of love and desire. The highest picks of passion and its carnality which, caught in an infinitesimal perception of fugacity, already heralded the decadence of that perfect, full moment.
A man falls in love with a woman, she enters into his body and his mind, and he transforms her and superimposes her onto entire organic or non-organic worlds, cutting her up according to a catalogue of categories: objects, animals and plants.
That woman pervades everything, becomes everything, a divine trace of the feeling of being alive. But also of death.
Joy and fear together, something totally extreme, going to extremes, uniting them in un unstable portrait, ready for explosion.

Marina Sagona recognises that poetic creature with a thousand souls and faces as her own, and similarly she recognises as her own the creative method of Nezval, that type of automatic writing so dear to the Surrealists, of whom the Czech poet was one of the first and most vivacious proponents in Bohemia.
For both of them - the poet and the artist - woman, consisting in spirit and body, human and supernatural, breaks down into multiple visions, enumerated like a torrential and hypnotic litany.
They set off similes and match things which often seem hazarded and improbable, in a whirling flow of images which recall others, stimulating a windmill of sensorial impressions. A hymn to woman as the supreme natural divinity, whose exuberant energy is nevertheless contaminated by something perturbing.

In the twenty-eight surfaces this work moves on the level of general perception, lowering the guard of the  spectator's view and rationality in order to activate the subconscious, the eros and the sixth sense.
The feminine figure becomes a dismembered dimension, an assemblage in which every part lives for the whole, with a voluptuousness which leans towards  fetishism.

Marina Sagona proposes a voyage, in spiral at different speeds, with stop-offs in parallel places which suddenly  are somehow able to communicate. Continuously undermined, you have to take up the rhythm and let loose your imagination if you want to see and feel.
Every drawing is a lysergic vision, starting from a texture of an optical nature, with the flavour of the seventies, executed simply and with great control. Its rigour  respects even the smallest detail, for a project which is inspired by dreams and the subdivision of space.
Every page becomes the projection above all of a geometrical and mathematical study, in which the distances between the component elements, their actual sizes and the trajectories of their lines are all part of a basic grid, highly calibrated and never left to chance.

Above this, then, the irrational elements are unwound, the free emotive and visionary production, following a spontaneous mechanism of artistic creativity, which draws the sub-conscious of the spectator to participate in the final view.
It is a light dance between figuration and abstraction, between broken lines and circles, stripes and polka-dots, vertical and horizontal, straight or undulating. An illusionist carpet which makes a stage for faces, seductive silhouettes with rabbit's ears and dragonfly's wings, then hairstyles which can be camouflaged  with seaweed and plants, shoes, mutating bodies with legs that end in pistols.

Marina Sagona is a gut-feeling artist as well as an intellectual , a woman who translates her own life into pictorial drawings. She works continuously on a diary which has accompanied her for years, where every new project represents an existential chapter still in progress or just finished.
She works in cycles, on a slow autobiography, very intimate an sincere: she writes using images, with an evocative and and cultured graphic style. Her works, profoundly tied to literature and psychoanalysis, are private dimensions, defined with careful minimalism for the everyday, like a little existential framework, which takes her close to the writing of Raymond Carver. Yet she also finds an epic and super-temporal choral quality, a magical and chemical realism which kneads into the dough everything from adolescence, loves  and hates, passions and vendettas, memories, fatalities; in these there are traces of Angeles Mastretta and Isabel Allende.

"Amour Fou" is a fragment of life, it is the moment of eros and passion, of carnal love.
A work of writing in black and white, like any page of a book, but which flames up with the orange of blood and of desire.
It ends like this: " You are like the day which turns into night night which turns into day day which turns into mirage".

(Translation by Jocelyne Holmes)