ILONA SAGAR

Ilonasagar@gmail.com / 07712579877
Born 1985, Enfield, England. Ilona Sagar explores an interest in the manipulation of verbal and semantic languages and what these may convey to an audience. Her work often uses the processes involved in making, to construct a sense of fractured narrative discourse. This is mediated through the established forms of institutional communication such as the museum, the gallery, the civic space, the church and theatre. Ilona seeks to develop duality by combining nonlinear research with authoritative and vernacular languages. The mixture of contemporary and historical references forms work which seeks to frustrate, drawing on a multitude of subjects and histories simultaneously. Illusion and material [dis]honesty set the stage for works which seek to seduce, alluding to something familiar yet other.
Education 2010-2012 MA Sculpture The Royal College of Art, London BA (Hons) Fine Art (Studio Practice and Contemporary Critical Studies) Goldsmiths College, University of London. Foundation Diploma, Art and Design (Fine Art Pathway) Colchester Institute

2005-2008

2004-2005

Publications Sept 2009 Citation Needed /Seconds. Issue 11, Redux

Residencies Aug 2009 Outpost Gallery, Outhouse, Part of CAN 09 Norwich

Solo exhibitions Nov 2008 The Grandeur Mass (Auditoria) T1+2 Gallery, London

Group exhibitions (selection) April 2010 Cross Currents Barbican Gallery, London Part of Ron Arad Restless The Enchanted Palace Kensington Palace, London Diamond in the Rough Stroud Town Hall, Cotswolds Architectural Playgrounds Barbican Gallery, London Part of Ron Arad Restless Crunch: Art in an Ephemeral age Hay-on-Wye Visual Arts Festival Un:place The Jerwood Space, London Colchester Live Art Platform Colchester Arts Centre, Essex All Capital Letters Deutsche Bank, London

March 2010

Feb 2010

Feb 2010

Nov 2009

June 2009

March 2009

Dec 2008

Nov 2008

DA! Labyrinth 42 Upper Brook Street, London Zoo Art Fair, T1+2 Gallery, London La Bete or the Object of Desire T1+2 Gallery and Rupert Sanderson Mayfair London Goldsmiths Undergraduate Show 2008 University of London April is the Cruellest Month, Atelier Frankfurt, Germany. DA! King+ Castle= Rascal Old Kent Road, London AGORA (Transdisziplinärer Austausch) PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany. My Site/ In Space The Rag Factory, London Avatar of Scared Discontent Wolfe Lenkiewicz & Flora Fairbairn Projects Hillgate Gallery, London An Exhibition Of Environments, 169 Knightsbridge – DA! Gallery, London. Avatar of Scared Discontent Wolfe Lenkiewicz & Flora Fairbairn Projects, Port Elliot Literary Festival The Last Puff The Golden Heart, London Dionysian Duty Mezkalito Gallery, London Crossing the Visible, HOUSE Gallery, London. DA! Ravage Me Savagely The Birds Nest, London Colchester Live Art Platform Colchester Arts Centre, Essex

Oct 2008 Sep 2008

Jun 2008

Apr 2008

Jan 2008

Dec 2007

Oct 2007

Sep 2007

July 2007

July 2007

July 2007

June 2007

May 2007

May 2007

Feb 2006

Collaborative projects Apr-Oct Exhibition and creative Exchange Städelschule, Frankfurt and Goldsmiths College, London Graduates. Study visits and residential forums Dec 2007 AGORA (Transdisziplinärer Austausch) PACT Zollverein, Essen, Germany International meeting offered young artists and art promoters of the future, an opportunity to engage in concentrated trans-disciplinary exchange Lyceo Modigliani Padova / Venice School of Applied Arts residential Study visit

Feb 2003

Workshops participation Dec 2007 Mar 2007 Feb 2006 AGORA, Dan Graham, Essen, Germany Yuan Chai and Jian Jun Xi Workshop, Colchester, UK Franko B Winter School, Colchester, UK

See attached pages for selected works.

Degrees of Enclosure 2010, Barbican Gallery – Part of Ron Arad Restless 24 min film (looped) By utilising the strange aura which the Barbican estate commands, Degrees of Enclosure transforms the Barbican's architecture into a sublime science fiction landscape, a place between fiction and reality. The piece reflects on the recognisable features of this famous landmark, whilst drawing attention to the recurrent themes of its design. The non-narrative piece follows the choreographed movements of disparate, yet uniformly dressed set of characters. The figures act as comparators, their human scale emphasising the theatrical dynamics of the space which they move through. Degrees of Enclosure seeks to create a sense of expectation, never reaching a conclusion, drawing the viewer into a never-ending sequence of events and tableaux. Spoken text which accompanies the film was written by Adam Nathaniel Furman and read by Joel Sams. Dancers: Georgina Hay, Aneta Hymka, Deimante Prismantaite, Elizabeth Streeter, Elaine Thomas.

The Reading Room 2009, Outpost Gallery mixed media installation

The Reading Room Was made during my recent residency at Outpost Gallery. I visited Norwich for a day, two weeks prior the residency. From this visit I built an archive of images and objects found in other locations and cities. These items were chosen because I perceived them as having an aesthetic association to Norwich. The archive also contained material found in Norwich. These often ephemeral architectural and design details, seemed to take on a symbolic importance which added a value beyond what they deserved. Through this dialogue with design, object and subject, the work seeks to form its own code and visual syntax. I wanted to create a room, the function of which could not be easily read. Its identity sits between a reading room, a hotel lobby and museum. This awkwardness is continued in the jarring between symbol, image and site. The space seems to communicate a direct concern with its immediate environment, yet the images and objects have been construct else where, and feature other towns and buildings. The neutrality of the imagery and conventional design elements allow the installation to be seen as ‘anywhere’ and refuses direct interpretation.

Points of Reference II 2009, Colchester Arts Centre 20min performance and three screen video instillation ‘Points of Reference II’ is the second in an on-going series. This piece was performed in Colchester Arts Centre. I created a script which was read as a lecture by an actor. It combined the histories of four Colchester towns; Colchester UK, Colchester Connecticut, Colchester Illinois and Colchester Vermont. The performers marked and moved objects which symbolically referenced the broken narrative of these unrelated Colchester(s). The performers were from Philip Morant School, the schools name is taken from the first reverend of the church which is now Colchester Arts Centre. The sculptural elements in the space are treated like scenography and have been used in other works. The films were featured in the first performance of ‘Points of Reference’ and are used to make reference to the actors anecdote about the discovery of ‘coal’ in ‘Colchester’. This work will be continually expanded and reconstructed, forming a historical account which is constantly evolving. Through appropriation and reinterpretation I am able to compose new transitional place. It is neither one city or another, ‘Points of Reference’ infers a point in-between.

Citation Needed 2009,The Jerwood Space Wall mounted vinyl text panels and print rack The Jerwood Space is situated on ‘Union Street’, I used the street name as a fixed point on which to pin a web of seemingly linked historical and contemporary narratives. Using Google, Wikipedia and other web tools, I formed research which combined information specific to the building and its location, with material which was unrelated. The only point at which my research linked, was through all the statements containing references to the road named ‘Union Street’. By using the conventions of gallery and museum display, I was able to consolidate the research into a work which seemed to inform the audience whilst presenting them with a disparate collection of accounts.

Turning the Trick 2008 Rupert Sanderson’s Extruded cast toy animals, plaster, gold spray paint

Turning the trick was a piece commissioned for a show which took its concept from the work of Polish filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk and the Baroque-Rococo Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti. The exhibition took place at Rupert Sanderson’s exclusive shoe store in the heart of the West End and was covered by Vogue. Turning the trick embodies the grandiose yet humorous contemporary search for luxury and excess. A fetishistic object which characterises both high and low culture, answering to a modern yet strangely baroque pursuit of fashion, sexuality, melodrama and commerce. The form of the two sculptures is based on the centre piece of a baroque dinning service, an item which was symbolic of the owner’s status and wealth. The gleaming opulence which the work at first seems to communicate is twisted by the materials from which it is composed. The piece is constructed from extruded plaster casts of toy animals a shallow reflection of the high baroque love of natural forms. The glistening gold surface of the work initially appears to be cast from a precious metal, it is actually produced in cheap plaster and gold spray paint. This contradiction between the materiality of the work belies what the piece alludes to. A shallow object reflecting the desires and fashions of a market place.

The Grandeur Mass (Auditoria) 2008, T1+2 Gallery Mixed media installation and 2 part performance repeated throughout the show The title The Grandeur Mass (Auditoria) makes reference to Gottfried Stemper’s classical architectural theory and the religious ceremony of ‘mass’. It draws on the idea of ‘forum’: ‘auditoria’ - hinting at grand oratorio in the choral and operatic tradition. The piece utilised the recurring semantic language found in the theatre, the church and the civic space. ‘Auditoria’ focuses on common themes which run through these types of public building. All three categories of space are designed for collective interaction with something greater or separate from our own individual lives. Each of these buildings engages the individual with spectacle as a participant or audience. In either role there is a submission to the rules inherent within the design of the building and its imposing order. The spectators are generally focused on a single position of authority such as stage, alter or mayoral throne. This encourages mass action while discouraging individual response. Illusion and material [dis]honesty set the stage for a work which alludes to something familiar yet other. This sense of duality is apparent in the unexpected use of cheap materials such as plaster, plywood, spray paint and sand which are used to dramatic effect.

The Grandeur Mass 2008, Goldsmiths Undergraduate Degree Show 5 screen video installation (40min loop)

The Grandeur Mass uses film taken in several different sites to create a fictional journey through what appears to be a single building, but is actually the result of footage from four different Town Halls in Deptford, Barking, Dagenham and Colchester. The identity of these superficially grand buildings has been distorted by their unsympathetic modernisation into standardised office spaces. The work seeks to unsettle and contradict an agreed comprehension of familiar architectural forms through the construction of a filmic and performative environment. The bringing together of film, performance and sculpture allows a fictional narrative to be formed, surrounding a transient place, not rooted in reality, but bearing a closer relationship to theatrical scenery. I invited the writer and performer Douglas Parks to respond to the work in the form of a text piece. This has been incorporated into the installation as a voice-over narrated by Anna Clover. Having not seen any of the sites to which the installation refers, Parks has made his response on the basis of the imaginary sense of place created by the film elements of ‘The Grandeur

Points of Reference I 2007, PACT Zollverein, Essen 3 screen video installation and 60 min performance

Points of Reference I investigates the pre-conceived imagining of a place. This experience is influenced by a myriad of associations: news and media coverage, historical knowledge, oral accounts and personal experiences of ‘similar’ places. Before seeing the exhibition space in Essen, I used the information pack given to me as a means of constructing a response to the historic and current function of the former coal-mining washhouse in Zollverein, now a centre for dance research; PACT. I utilised a series of ‘signs’ referencing both theatre and coal mining. The clash between the historical and current function of the building and my personal response to it, has allowed it to be transformed into a ‘fictional’ or ‘imaginary’ place. The video works seem to offer an informative response to the historically important site. However, the manner in which the works have been constructed contradicts this reading. The central film appears to be taking a journey through an industrial facility which we presume to be Zollverein. The film was in fact made in a theatre in England. The coal crushing performance was initiated through conversations with the venue about the problems they had had with coal dust. The ‘coal’ which I crush to dust in the film is fake, smokeless coke bought on the Old Kent Road in London. The live performance was an attempt to knit together these factual and imagined spatial elements. The live performance included the measuring and mapping of the London stage on to the exhibition space in Germany. The action was an attempt to unite the factual and imaged spatial elements, bringing them together to form a new reading of the locations. Mediating these references through a theatrical language has blurred the boundaries between what was ‘imagined’ and what was ‘fact’.