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Ilaria Sagarìa

Ilaria Sagaria was born in Palomonte (SA) in 1989. In 2008 she moved to Neaples to attend the Academy of Fine Arts, graduating both in painting and in photography. In 2015 she won the international photographic contest by the Ariano International Film Festival and followed by winning the Sette opere di Misericordia Prize organized by the Museum of Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, in the next year. She exposed some photos in the selfportrait collection of the Museum in Senigallia and they were also published by Giorgio Bonomi in his book Il corpo Solitario. L’autoscatto nella fotografia contemporanea. In 2018 she was selected by Antonio Biasiucci to attend the Laboratorio irregolare, a two years master class. In the same year, she won the Biennale of the Young Photographer in Italy and she was also selected by the Portfolio Italia contest, with the work Pain is not a privilege. She worked as photographer in Naples and Munich and currently as photography and graphic design professor in Italy. Photography is her happiness.

"Full of Grace"


sacred (ant. sagro) adj. [lat. sacer-cra-crum]. – 1. a. Strictly speaking, sacred is defined as what is connected to the experience of a totally different reality, with respect to which man feels radically inferior, undergoing its action and remaining both terrified and fascinated by it; in opposition to the profane, what is sacred is separate, it is other, just as both those who are involved in establishing a relationship with it and the places destined for acts with which this relationship is established are separated from the community. More generally, which concerns the divinity, its religion and its mysteries, and which for this very reason imposes a particular attitude of reverence and veneration [...] b. Which has religion as its object or is intended for religion [...] 2. With sign. extension and generic, worthy of high veneration or of the utmost respect, even without direct connection with the religious element and sentiment [...] 3. With a more subjective value, of something which, while not belonging to the sphere of religion or of what is commonly considered venerable, is nonetheless regarded with a feeling of veneration and high respect [...] 4. Rare: cursed, execrating. [...]

Meat in its most earthly sense takes center stage in Ilaria Sagaria's photographs. Folded, torn, raw, it becomes the mirror of a transfiguration where the element of the sacred is brought back to a sensory earthly vision. Condemned to grace, emblem of the irreconcilability between the idealized vision and the real one, the female body shows in these images its dualism between ecstasy and torment. The search for precise chiaroscuro effects suggests an almost pictorial outcome that evokes Caravaggio-like glimpses, assisted by the presence of details and symbols that cross the history of art, from the pomegranate, symbol of fertility, to the broad leaves that allude to the modesty with which the ancestors cover themselves after being expelled from the earthly Paradise. Sin and redemption, fear and seduction are the extremes of a pendulum that incessantly swings as it crosses these images, where fragments of a body in definition are recomposed in a collective portrait, even before an individual one.

Extract from the critical text LAB03: between words and images by Alessandra Troncone

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