Ilona Sagar will develop a new body of work exploring the politics of scientific optical imaging, particularly brain scanning, through a gendered lens with a focus on brain injury. Research into concussion often focuses primarily on men. Recent studies have shown women take longer to recover from head trauma and concussions, and have more severe symptoms than men. Through film, sound-design and text, Sagar will navigate tools of bodily observation within their sociological and technological context as a way to reapproach the gendered body and its historical after-images at the edges between vision and data.
Ilona Sagar works with a diverse range of media spanning moving-image, text, performance and assemblage, forming research-led works that resonate with the politically charged social and historic infrastructures found in the public and private spaces we inhabit. By instrumentalising historical archives and their institutions, not as an encounter with a safely sealed past, but as something current and unstable that speaks urgently to our present condition, she explores the links between language, surface, technologies and the body through our increasingly mediated encounters in social, political and experiential space. A significant aspect of her practice is the broad cross-disciplinary dialogue generated through collaboration with a range of art and scientific disciplines; including dance, architecture and neurology. Illusion and material [dis]honesty set the stage for works which seek to seduce, alluding to something familiar yet other. In 2018 she won the Research in Film Award at BAFTA HQ and is the Saastamoinen Foundation, Helsinki, artist for 2021. Forthcoming commissions include ‘The Radio Ballads’ Serpentine Gallery, where she is one of four new commissions with Sonia Boyce, Helen Cammock and Rory Pilgrim (2022), and is embarking on a new solo commission with Firstsite Gallery, Colchester.
Recent projects include: ‘Deep Structure’(2019) S1 ArtSpace, Sheffield, ‘Living with Buildings’, Wellcome Collection, London (2018/2019); ‘Self Service’ publication and event series, CCA and GOMA, Glasgow as part of Glasgow International (2018); ‘Correspondence O’, solo exhibition at South London Gallery, London (2017/2018); ‘GLORIA’, Yinka Shonibare Guest Projects 10 year anniversary, London (2018); HereAfter group show as part of the SPACE HereAfter residency, The White Building, London (2017); solo project at Pump House Gallery, London as part of ‘The Ground We Tread’ (2016).