Ilona Sagar

The changing landscape of public health towards technology-infused self-care in Ilona Sagar’s Correspondence O, Dec 12 – Feb 25

11 December 2017

Ilona Sagar is presenting solo exhibition Correspondence O at South London Gallery, opening December 12 and running to February 25, 2018. 

Drawing on the London-based artist’s work responding to the social and historical context of public and private space, the multi-faceted work explores “the history of the Pioneer Health Centre in Peckham and its subsequent conversion into a gated community.”

The moving image installation is informed by extensive research, along with Sagar’s practice around dance, architecture and neurology to express the “complex, changing landscape of public health and the social shift towards a more egocentric, user-focused and technology-infused understanding of wellness.”

See the South London Gallery website for details.**

Ilona Sagar, Mute Rehearsal (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Jonathan Bassett. Courtesy Vitrine, London.
  share news item

Ilona Sagar @ The Performance Studio, Oct 26

25 October 2016

Ilona Sagar is presenting two performances ‘The Curl Of Their Acetone Tongue’ and ‘Prosodic Breakers’ at London’s The Performance Studio on October 26.

‘The Curl Of Their Acetone Tongue’, which was previously devised for STO Werkstatt, has been re-worked into a new performance for the evening. Along with this will be a brand new work ‘Prosodic Breakers’ that uses “speech patterns, gestures and the body movement of a group of performers as an interface to examine our multi-faceted relationship to the divergent ideologies surrounding health and personal wellbeing.”

Sagar works across a variety of media in performance, film and assemblage to explore the mechanics of speech, and the phonology of voice and language.

See The Performance Studio for details.**


  share news item

Ilona Sagar, Mute Rehearsal (2015) exhibition photos

2 May 2016

Mute Rehearsal, a solo exhibition by Ilona Sagar, explored performance, sound, assemblage and photography in both the indoor and outdoor spaces of Vitrine Gallery in London’s Bermondsey Square from September 23 to November 14, 2015.

Squashed between glass and wall, over-sized pillows and black and white photographs occupied the thin ‘storefront’ space of the gallery. Experiencing the work from the outside, the assemblage becomes a type of advertisement for a public recreational space. Both the photographs and the pile up of pillows re-present a community gathering, freezing the fluid movement of bodies into a document of speech and exercise.
Ilona Sagar, Mute Rehearsal (2015) Exhibition view. Photo by Jonathan Bassett. Courtesy Vitrine.
Ilona Sagar, Mute Rehearsal (2015), exhibition view. Photo by Jonathan Bassett. Courtesy Vitrine.

Extending out into a public square, Mute Rehearsal uses the mouth as the site of misunderstanding in exchange and dialogue; the transparent collision between internal and external layering of bodies creates a messy and visceral depiction of speech. Notably, the subjects of the photographs and the live performance are women. The gendering of the exhibition reflects Sagar’s ongoing interest in the relationship between narrative, surface and the female body. For this one in particular, the works reference fitness blogging and other online communities focused on identity creation. The flesh of the body becomes a malleable tool to stretch between the complexities of self confidence and disempowerment.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Ilona Sagar’s Mute Rehearsal was on at London’s Vitrine, running September 23 to November 15, 2015.

Header image: Ilona Sagar, Mute Rehearsal (2015) Exhibition view. Photo by Jonathan Bassett. Courtesy Vitrine.

  share news item

Ilona Sagar, Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye (2015) exhibition photos

26 February 2016

Spanning a diverse range of media, Ilona Sagar‘s Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye at London’s Tenderpixel, which ran October 2 to 24, 2015, included performance, assemblage, sound and film.

Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye was deeply rooted in Sagar’s research into the public and private spaces we inhabit. The social and historical context given in the press release provides a fundamental guide to the way we encounter the work:

… This condition [the “glass delusion”] was an external manifestation of a psychiatric disorder recorded in Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries. The first clear glass, cristallo, was invented in the 15th century… and people began to fear that they were made of glass, pottery and wood and might easily shatter to pieces…[this has now] been replaced with the development of neurological terminology such as hypochondria.”

The film acts as a nucleus to the show; objects assembled in the room orbit around the narrative on screen. The image, shot in HD, is focused, crisp and slightly perturbing in its constant oscillation between different subject matters. Tears and glass collapse into a shared state of liquid, hair follicles feel like wires and technological processes morph into a visceral body. Pulsing in and out, the sound is also ripe; the voice sits closely next to your ear reporting or recalling, “the damp into the small spaced side of my left cheek/ sweating like plastic/ slicked as unwashed skin/ stretching my fingers out to the front, above/ I can be sure that the distance expanded from each tip as a considered rhythm/ I progressively spent less and less time looking for myself, ugly with self conflicting, self referential acts.”

The objects in the front room feel like particles. Incomplete and not yet developed into functioning things, the glass sculptures have been solidified in their state of process. Placed on the floor on top of a piece of wood, two small glass organs lay intertwined, vaguely representing the shape of a heart or stomach. Another version sits upon the mantle piece over an old fireplace, the spherical bodies tethered to one another. Five more are elongated in shape, their thin torsos altering the energy of the space with its fragility. Headphones hang down above and two hollow wooden boxes sit facing one another, waiting for a body to occupy them. Fragments of vinyl lettering melt downward on the adjacent wall. Two pieces of A4 paper are stuck to the other wall, the content is opaque, however the hazy shape of a zoomed-in body part is just about recognisable. Plucked from Sagar’s macro and microscopic research, this assemblage embodies a type of residue or disintegration of language and surface.**

Exhibition photos, top right.

Ilona Sagar’s Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye was on at London’s Tenderpixel, running October 2 to 24, 2015.

Header image: Ilona Sagar, Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye (2015). Exhibition view. Photo by Original&theCopy. Courtesy the artist + Tenderpixel, London.

  share news item

Bodyscape @ Parasol Unit, Mar 7

7 March 2014

Three pieces from two artists and a collective, Bodyscape will be presented across screenings and performance at London’s Parasol Unit on March 7.

The event explores the relationship of the body to its environment through the work of Lawrence Lek, Ilona Sagar and JocJonJosch.

That includes Lek’s site-specific and interactive performance of ‘Prosthetic Aesthetics’, a screening and new performance from Sagar’s Human Factors series and a performance from JocJonJosch’s Head to Head series.

See the Parasol Unit website for details. **

Header image: Courtesy JocJonJosch.

  share news item

Ilona Sagar @ TENDERPIXEL, Jan 30 – Feb 22

30 January 2014

Ilona Sagar will be presenting her solo exhibition, Human Factors, at London’s TENDERPIXEL, running January 30 to February 22.

Working across short film, digital imagery, performance, text and audio, Sagar explores the “messy physiological residue” of progress, specifically caused by information technology. Across films like ‘Human Factors’ and ‘Soft Addiction’, the collapse of “virtual” and “absolute” space causes internal and external languages to collide, as the body -and by extension our brains -respond to the small shifts in navigating the tools of daily life.

See the TENDERPIXEL website for details. **

  share news item