For over twenty years, Olivier de Sagazan has been conducting a hybrid practice focused on the contamination between painting, photography, sculpture and performance. The residual image of his actions evokes Francis Bacon's painting, Günter Brus's body art interventions, and Balinese possession rituals concentrated in a single event where multiple expressive languages coexist.
Transfiguration, a performance born in 1998 and in continuous development, was realized thanks to the collaboration of the RUFA Academy of Fine Arts - Rome University of Fine Arts and the sculpture class of Davide Dormino, and was preceded by a photographic preview exhibited in gallery on the occasion of the opening Contemporary Cluster #8 of May 12th, 2018. It is a series of shots by Didier Carluccio in which the famous French artist is immortalized during some of the most significant Transfiguration moments of the past years.
The topic chosen for the review, Beauty & Brutalism, returns to be the thematic terrain on which the performance is now performed: during the performative act the artist superimposes layers of clay and color on his face and on his body to transform, disfigure, to reshape one's own image, revealing a hybrid and grotesque humanity, halfway between human and animal.
Transfiguration is the story of the dissatisfied desire of the sculptor to give life to his creation. In a gesture of despair, he models the clay on his head, burying himself in the material, uprooting his identity and becoming a living work of art. To cancel one's own face means to reformulate one's own identity, problematizing it. The artist turns into a puppet and puppeteer of himself, looking for
his true face buried under layers of clay. Through a metamorphic process that takes place under the eyes of the spectator, de Sagazan changes identity on the stage, pierces, cancels and undoes the layers of his face in a frantic search. An almost ascetic path, which leads to the discovery of oneself from the mud after a long and conflicting search.
Painting and sculpting becomes a form of ritual between dance and trance in which improvisation is essential. The transfiguration gives new meaning to the notion of life, offering a compelling, disturbing and moving vision.
The performance will take place in the hall of the columns on the third floor of the historic building.