Marianna Ignataki at Galerie Vincenz Sala / Berlin

Marianna Ignataki / Die Schleife

30.5 -26.6 2020

Galerie Vincenz Sala
Sigmaringer Str. 23
10713 Berlin


Modes of memory have long been an important topos for the gallery. So far, the focus has been mainly on the medium of drawing, especially as a record of the physical act of drawing; a testimony to a performance without an audience, which recalls and retells the event of that drawing. In many ways a dance without choreography, drawing out the physical and finding its notation in the drawing. Which eventually may turn into a kind of inscription comparable to a tree's annual rings, that remember the drought of last year’s summer for generations to come.
For Marianna Ignataki too, drawing is a key medium of her artistic work; and the dance, the performance, an important, recurring motif for the mostly large-size drawings in her solo show at Vincenz Sala titled “The Loop”. However, her sculptures, artfully put on from black hair, stand in the foreground. Indigenous, like totems with bulging dark lips and all kinds of swellings that emerge from black hulls and the overfilled hair. An only vaguely identified sexus is present all over.
The subject of hypertriosis and hisurtism in Ignataki's drawings from previous years returns in these sculptures. The phenomenon is known from the hairy freaks that appeared in the sideshows of the beginning of the last century. Though, Ignataki's preoccupation was mainly triggered by her encounter with hair in the Chinese culture, during the many years she lived in China before moving to Berlin. Eventually, hair became the key motif and material of her sculptural work. It stands of course for memory that has become physical; at the same time for a layer of self well before or after the conscious and even the unconscious. What has happened is physically inscribed in the hair, quite similar to the annual rings of the tree, which have already been mentioned. Slowly, significantly slower than drawing, the past is recorded by the hair in an ultimately forensic sense of a trace that is difficult to read.
The curl of the loved one is easier to read; another memory that has become physical and in other times was carried in a medallion. This curl that has grown out of life and the loved one, cut off and yet not dead, is driving a hallucinatory often also olfactory recall.
It is this physically inscribed tension of the curl persisting even after decades that ignites the memory. The curl remains curl, even if its previous wearer has long ago lost all his hair. The loop in the title, which perhaps has once tied the curl, is of similar tension. It refers to the sprawling yet braided hair, which in Ignataki's drawings like physical extensions reach out for the other. It is the bond, not just a memory but this mysterious physical knowing of the loved one. Perhaps by times also replacing it. The mode of reference of the curl is the 'pars pro toto'.