Architecture as a costume? Body as space? Fabric as a volatile skin of a humanoid being? Sara Enrico’s biomorphic structures perform the decaying corporeality of our surroundings by constructing psychosomatic hybrids that reanimate the senses and activate the intensity of the physical experience. Her site-specific and quasi-parasitic project in the National Gallery’s Presidential Lounge, The Jumpsuit Theme, is the artist’s attempt to negotiate the spatial materiality in-between the painting and the object, in the increasingly grey zone of illusory volume and omnipresent flatness. Sara Enrico focuses on the relationship between surface and skin; in her work, body, dress and space collaborate in a process of a translation from a sartorial vision into a sculptural and spatial one.
Enrico’s work unfolds an idea of a collapsed form versus the dream of a solidity, keeping in mind the art’s ethical vocation. The artist’s cloth paintings and painterly objects mimic the autonomy of meaning and perception, thus foregrounding an intimacy of a substitute and proxy. Her compositions are anti-monuments of corporeality, caught in a post-historic moment of physical exhaustion and decline: pseudo-figurative collages of bodily fragments, damaged skin-like surfaces, piled en masse and abandoned, decomposed memories of grand narratives, fading away in a disciplined age of an auto-correct device. Neo-baroque and futuristic, these are theatricalized versions of new anthropology for a synthetic world of fake history and amnesia. Enrico reimagines the body in a post-human era of surgical experimentation, provoking a thoughtful reflection on the bioethics and the anatomy of morals.
According to Sara Enrico, “the exhibition title The Jumpsuit Theme references the garment of a jumpsuit and the idea of a theme understood as a variation and improvisation on the construction principle, as inspired by the groundbreaking work of the artist Ernesto Michahelles (1893-1959), alias Thayaht, the inventor of the TuTa a T in 1919 and by the stylist Madeleine Vionnet (1876-1975), who initiated fashion revolution which contributed to women’s emancipation.
The Jumpsuit Theme has been conceived in two stages, correlated through a sense of transformation and pause: Camerino at The National Gallery Prague and Intermezzo at Mart in Rovereto (Italy).
Camerino represents the place of a disguise: here we experience a moment of transformation when a person becomes a character or vice versa. Camerino is a (dreamy) beginning: a fabric starts to be shaped and draws up a dress. The appearance of a ‘body’ is only hinted through a germinal attempt to generate a three-dimensional shape, modeling sleeves and cutting forms. Some sculptures, made in concrete and with pigments, relate to the fabric installed in the room. They are conceived by simple cylinders used as modules for creating an abstraction of a jumpsuit. The soft suit-formworks, favoring the flow of concrete and containing its expansive forces, have delivered volumes of certain anthropomorphic postures.
With Camerino, the spectator enters an intimate place of mutation; as a generative experience, it evokes an indistinct, yet welcoming state.”
Sara Enrico. The Jumpsuit Theme is realized in collaboration with Mart – Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto. The project has been selected for the IV edition of Italian Council competition promoted by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Art and Architecture and Urban Peripheries (DGAAP) – an organism of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, to promote Italian contemporary art in the world.