Ilona Sagar's newly completed film, Haptic Skins of a Glass Eye, combines references to affective computing, flat design, haptic technology and virtual design systems with historical and medieval studies of the glass delusion. This condition was an external manifestation of a psychiatric disorder recorded in Europe in between the 15th to 17th centuries. The first clear glass, cristallo, was invented 15th century, and it was around this time that the glass delusion was first reported. People feared that they were made of glass, pottery and wood and therefore likely to shatter into pieces. In modern times, the glass delusion has disappeared, accounts of people believing themselves to be materials have been replaced with the development of neurological terminology such as hypochondria.
The exhibition unpicks the corporal dialect of the contemporary body and reveals the relationship we have to it as both an advanced and primal signifier. In the wake of our conflicting relationship to the virtual, advancements in technology have left a messy physiological residue. The link between language, surface, technologies and the body is a compelling subject and the basis of Sagar's on-going research.
Thanks to The British Library Manuscripts Image Archive, Chisenhale Art Place Studios and STO Werkstratt.
Ilona Sagar (b 1985), lives and works in London. Using a diverse range of media spanning performance, film and assemblage, she has formed a body of work, which responds to the social and historic context found in the public and private spaces we inhabit.
She received a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in 2008 and completed an MFA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2012.
Recent projects include exhibitions and performances at Art Rotterdam, Main Section, Rotterdam NL with Tenderpixel (2015 PROSOPOPOEIA:MANUAL:HAND:BOOK, Assembly Passage Project, London UK (2014); performance I fell backwards and you were there at Hayward Gallery Project Space, London UK (2014); exhibition What Love has to do with it at Hayward Gallery Project Space, London UK (2014); exhibition Soft Addictions Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh UK (2014); exhibition Eupnea, Saturated Space research cluster, Architecture Association, London UK (2014); screening of Human Factors at Caroll/Fletcher, London UK (2014); performance Human Factors at Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, London UK (2014); solo showHuman Factors, Tenderpixel, London UK (2014); exhibition The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Bussey Building, London, Peckham UK (2013); performance Human Factors, Art on the Underground as part of Art Licks Weekend, London UK (2013); performance Heart of Darkness, Le Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Nice FR (2012); exhibition The Visionary Trading Project, Guest Projects, London UK (2012); exhibition and performance States of Matter, the Swiss Church, London UK(2011); and performance Architectural Playgrounds, Barbican, London UK (2010). Upcoming projects include Mute Rehearsal, a solo presentation at Vitrine Gallery, London in the autumn of 2015.