Francesca Magro, "Mater", 2012 (detail).

Signs, Gravitations and Vortexes

by Giancarlo Ricci, 2013

text in the catalogue “The sign incarnate”

An ages old story the sign. Arriving as it does from a far away region of time, the sign bears trace of human passage. It bears testimony of the sacred, we are compelled to acknowledge its existence as a work of art. Art touches us deeply, it caresses us with its fire just enough to burn us, touching us in places we didn't know existed. Its traces are impressed on our senses. In Francesca Magro’s engravings this is made tangible by the theme of the body and its incarnations, representations and fragmentations. Bodies busy doing or undergoing something. Inhabiting places we scarcely comprehend or engaged in unfathomable events which are apparently senseless.

Not only, these bodies are often amputated or endowed with inhuman prosthetics, shapeless bodies without being monstrous. They dance and yet at the same time convey an absence of movement as such. What better representation of the contemporary than these far from “harmonious” bodies so devoid of “function” or “beauty”? There is something extremely topical, perhaps too topical, in this scenario. Theirs is the imperceptible oscillation between the organic and the mechanical, between the status of being capable of producing and interpreting signs and one of a thing deaf and dumb to the possibility of producing any kind of trace. Is this not the scenario modern biotechnology is making us accustomed to?