THE PHANTOM MOVES | MARINA SULA
Marina Sula with The phantom Moves (2020) embarks the observer on a journey within the ordinary and the everyday life, showing its most profound and radically emotional aspect. Sula’s images become real windows on human psychology which, passing through the object, is represented in all its fragility and solitude. Even the back of an airplane seat becomes, in Sula’s gaze, a portal that unfolds on the human psyche and breaches the weaknesses of our society.
The small photographic print is framed by the artist inside a plexiglass from which a plastic tube emerges which delicately reaches the ground forming a loop. The latter keeps a crumpled handkerchief tied to it, perhaps used to wipe away tears while the landscape flows out the window bringing with it memories and future projects. The inclusion of these elements and also the choice to fit the image into a Plexiglas box means that photography rediscovers its sculptural dimension and presents itself to the observer as an image of an object and as an object itself with its own specific physicality inside the space. Marina Sula, by making the image a body to be manipulated and modified, increases the degree of interaction that is created with the viewer: the object-image is the place in which to identify and explore the individual identity, in its harmony and in its fragility.
Where will the plane photographed in the image be headed and why does it appear to be completely uninhabited? Why does this image instinctively cause a sense of nostalgia? where have all the other passengers gone, now so necessary in identifying myself as an individual? Recalling the fake settings created by Thomas Demand with paper models, Sula reverses the process: with a sterile and cold photographic image she seems to bring the reality of the documentation to a false representation, a dimension that does not exist but is so atrociously intimate and close. And it is precisely in this interplay of forces that the value of the artist’s imagination resides: the plastic string that unites the photograph to the handkerchief seems to be the razor blade on which the construction of the ego collides poised between self-affirmation and the difficulties arising from the confrontation with society, which has its own well-defined rhythms and spaces. The banality and perhaps boredom of the seats taken up by the artist are tinged with a sensual and at the same time ambiguous emotionality, so much so as to generate discouragement. In this suspended dimension, that sigh that lingers in the take-off phase, lies the fulcrum of Sula’s practice.
A ghost has really moved and can be seen again in the shadows on the screens of the seats and also, in a much more ironic way, of the handkerchief left on the ground. Trying to make the observer hold his breath, Marina Sula, with grace and care, represents human sensitivity in all its fragility and beauty.
The phantom moves, 2020
Variable size. Acrylic box: 50 x 37 x 5 cm
Pigment print on archival paper on wood frame, acrylics, safety lock, handkerchief
Exhibition: The phantom moves through space and through different bodies at Kunstverein Kevin Space © Image credit: Maximilian Anelli-Monti, Kunstverein Kevin Space