Francesca Magro, "Piccola danza cibernetica gamma", 2012 (detail).

Engraving the Meat, Marking the Flesh

by Florinda Cambria, 2013

text in the catalogue “The sign incarnate”

Where does the body begin? Which is its shape? What makes it what it is? These three questions make up the scenario in which the etchings seem to move in the cycle Incarnazione del segno :single frames of a kaleidoscope or fluorescent dagherotype in which colours drip and stain suddenly like flesh wounds.
No bodies are given if not as bouncing boards for actions. In this sense the incarnation of the sign is that which occurs when a body commences. The names given by Francesca Magro to her works evoke eloquently this type of vision and decline it in a whirlwind of sensation which seem to reveal secrets stolen from an anatomical study.
But only a “dancing anatomy” to use an expression which belonged to Antonin Artaud can generate a living body, anatomical in a literal sense is only a corpse whose dissected parts we observe.
Francesca’s bodies dance in the cruel directions assumed by life in its many configurations, in its internal procrastinations, in its many faceted incarnations.

All the bodies Magro presents are crossed and dilated by a thick weave which seems to imply a series of vortexes or, at times, a series of crossed trajectories thrusting and bouncing off each other, or the noise of gushing liquids or wire storms which pierce us like darts. Filaments, extensions, guides, puppet strings with no puppeteer make for a gallery of potential poses: the subject remains eternally the same, declined, doubled, multiplied like an experiment in flesh. The subject of the incarnation of the sign is in fact the flesh.

To best understand this fundamental unit it is best to consider the difference in meaning between the French chair (flesh) and viande (meat). Where chair is alive, viande is motionless anatomically sliced up into preoriented geometrical shapes. Triumphant in the end is the evanescence of the figure in its scientifically pursued impersonality. An impersonality which allows a cross between an abnormal vegetable presence with the faintest animal traces, in a cosmic process of osmosis wanting for nothing and representing principally itself.
Loss of personality is not viewed as a loss in itself but an approach and a quiet conclusion whose presence crosses every station of the flesh. That which remains is not the figure but only its meat seen as infinite vibration resting in its proliferating differences, in its faceless twisting only for the time necessary to jot down a silent new metamorphosis.