Video essay with graphic model 3D, 16:9, 24’28”

LVNATICA is a short draft of a book that I started to write few months ago. Its object of research is the interpretation of the “V” gesture in paintings realized by illustrious artist of Manerism in the territories of La Serenissima in the 16th century.
The iconographic apparatus stems form and then builds upon the text by Mauro Zanchi, Sotto il Segno di Diana. Tiziano, Palma il Vecchio e i misteri della Grande Dea (2015), but the arguments diverge from the original.

There is a disciplinary continuity of Ancient and Renaissance studies in Italy. This continuity was conserved during fascism, an ideology that implied also a modern iteration of the classical world. The post-war antiquities of the penninsula inherited certain exclusions in the dominant story of the Renaissance. Such erasures could be integral and fundamental aspects to comprehend the construction of the “ideology of the future.”

Can an ideology be detached from its predecessor?—2020-sara-benaglia



LVNATICA presents moments of doubts – found in specific images – towards the ideologies of language and classicism.

Language is question starting from a figurine studied by Marija Gimbutas that meet the Gutenberg Galaxy.

The reading of venetian Mannerist paintings opens a door to the voice of Carla Lonzi and the protocols designed by a male gaze for the women’s body. A specific gesture, that could be interpreted as a sign of freedom, doesn’t seem to pass the gate of classism. Black Studies give voice to the African presences in the Renaissance Venice.

The mnemonic system is a reactive system. It somehow detects an error when there is a lack of signifier coming from the institutionalized history of art.

The method of work is also derivative (or reactionary?) of what is emotion in a couple relationship, in particular when work too is involved into it. The first edition of this work is the book Sotto il Segno di Diana written by my partner Mauro Zanchi in 2015.

I use here the iconographic apparatus of that book to design a new direction through new interpretations and a tangent iconographic path.

In LVNATICA I apply a feminist reading to some paintings of the 15th century to criticize such images that could be, or have been, considered pathosformeln but that are not, since those images in the humanitarian context seemed to be representative of the universal world, while they are actually excluding those that belong to classes, races and gender considered inferior.

The same idea of archetypical image in Aby Warburg could be questioned in this respect (see the work of Henrik Olesen that goes in this direction, for example).

In LVNATICA the repletion of a gesture is the fundamental elements on which all the work depends. The use of the zoom, of details, of blurring or proximity take the viewer to the repetition while the voice guide the eye to see a conflict. Colonization and the memory of the Roman grandiosity are at the base of an history of negationism whose first step are written taking advantage of Warburg’s approach to image.

The reading of images was and is always the point of departure for finding contradictory details in the history that we know.


Bono, Salvatore. Schiavi. Una storia mediterranea (XVI-XIX secolo). Bologna 2016.

Ehenreich, Barbara and Deirdre English. Le streghe siamo noi. Il ruolo della medicina nella repressione della donna. Milano 1975.

Canfora, L., Ideologia del Classicismo, Torino 1980.

Federici, Silvia. Il calibano e la strega. Le donne, il corpo e l’accumulazione originaria. Sesto San Giovanni 2015.

Gimbutas, Marija. The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Myths and Cult Images. London 1974.

Lonzi, Carla. Sputiamo su Hegel e altri scritti. Milano 1974.

McLuha, Marshall. La galassia Gutenberg: nascita dell’uomo tipografico. Milano 1976.

Mignolo, Walter. The Dark Side of Renaissance. Ann Arbor 1995.

Spicer, Joaneath and Natalie Zemon Davis, Kate Lowe, Ben Vinson III. Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe. Baltimore 2013.

Ventrella, Rosa. Honorata cortigiana. Cagliari 2011.

Zanchi, Mauro. Sotto il Segno di Diana: Tiziano, Palma il Vecchio e i misteri della Grande Dea. Bergamo 2015.

Willis, D. 2015, BLACK PORTRAITURE(S) II Conference: Imagining the Black Body and Restaging ‘Ornamental Blackness’ in History.  NYU’s Villa La Pietra, Firenze, 28-31 May 2015.

Erasure Test

Erasure Test (2020)

Is gender an hyperobject? // gender as a way to rethink our physical selves // binary dinamics in photography || #mammals #glitch #feminism #post – – – or does it fails to recognize the agency of humans? [what is human? who is human? Is a woman a human? When did this consideration started and why? Which women are humans? Am I a human? Do I want to be a Human?]

Is the uterus an organ or a technology? What does the reproduction apparatus to female bodies? Can #genderfeminism really liberate us from our confinement? Shulamith Fireston meeting Xenofeminism promises a lot but who is the owner of the technology? Who own the uterus? Why are women killed by their partners while it is not so common for an husband to be killed by a wife? We cannot underestimate the property structure of heterosexual love, even in the moment in which we refuse it. In an idealistic world matter doesn’t disappeared, we just leave it in other hands to be managed.


#Is a child a woman’s property? Evil mothering as a consequence of repression.

La Razon del Tercer Mundo

La Razon del Tercer Mundo (2014)

Cisalpine Overseas Bank Limited, prototype for a sharp frisbee

L’aquila, il condor e la colomba #2, prototype for gymnast weight


BGT08FP (2008)

Video animation, 4:3 color, graphic model 3D Maya, 1’30”

I worked for three months as an artist in a company that produces sausages. This video is the summary of that path: reality that contains product is the same imploded in its raw matter.

B: untitled

B: untitled (2008)

Prismatic filter on Holga optic, colour lambda print on aluminium with white drawer frame
96 x 96 cm, Edition of 3

B is the visualization of a misalignment, a confusing state, it is the paranoid and obsessive return of the same mental elements, as if ordinary reasoning were able to express itself only through redundancy, the repetition of ideas in a reduced, fast and short-term memory.


Wanna Be (2010)

Video animation, 1.33:1 4/3 DV-PAL
Rotoscopyng, 36”
Music credits: Maurizio Bonfanti / Garage Ermetico

Effectiveness of the real estate system in the background of a Milan commuter.

Take me out tonight (2010)

Video animation, 16:9 DV-PAL
Rotoscopyng, 1’
Music credits: Maurizio Bonfanti / Garage Ermetico

I was looking for a solution for furnishing a 50m2 apartment. While sitting in front of the super-bright screen and behind the IKEA futon, a trolley with lamp’s pieces was on my right. I read Kobo Abe’s Man Box to get inspired by the need and the transportable bed that I was planning did not need me anymore. I just wanted to go out and take a ride around Milan by train without being seen, with someone that dragg me around. And so I did. I pretended to be a blob of light clothing while being dragged around by -. In his head, a new piece was burning, his steps became sad notes, and I was the woollen mattress.

Environmental horizon (2012)

Video animation, HDV 16:9
Rotoscopyng, 25”
No sound

If man realizes himself only in a civilized way, then, I decide, as Toni Braidotti, to place, instead of Leonardo’s man, a dog, and the relation with the animal instead of the one between male and female. This project is absolutely not urban.

I see the stars

I see the stars (2012)

Trampoline, drawings

The recognition that culture is, to a large extent, a sign configuration, immediately indicates that the transmission of culture takes place mainly through the transmission of signs from existing members of a society to young people or to those who come from other societies. By instilling to the members of a culture the designations, appreciations and prescriptions characteristic of such a culture, the society obtains its maximum control over the individuals. In fact, by inducing an individual to appropriate the interpersonal signs of culture, the individual ends up appreciating him/herself and others or giving himself and others prescriptions in original and proper ways of the society to which he/she belongs.
Meaningful symbols of culture allow the individual to put himself/herself in the position of the other members of that culture and to react to himself/herself according to those positions.

Behaviour Manual

Behaviour Manual (2011)

Gicléé prints on polythene paper, mounted on dibond, 40 x 27,2 cm each
Courtesy Spazio ALT – Alzano Lombardo (Bg)
Photo credits: Daniele Maffeis

I executed some exercises in a private collection with some contemporary art works. The project is the result of a process that brought me to deny my identity as an artist, instead, thinking about myself as a passive receptor of signals; an informed spectator.

The transfer of the illusion freed from the frame and the pedestal to the exhibition space transforms this arena of speech into a unified staging of objects in which the visitor can take a walk in the museum. The observer is split into eye and body, in which the former is, in a social and aesthetic sense, superior to the latter: the eye can be guided, but it is less complacent than the body, whose mobility is relative.
If the museum as a walk is a widespread spectacle, the exhibition is the death of the work. The museum as a walk and the walk as a museum are forms of indoctrination to the non-reaction, while the gymnastics at the museum, that is a form of more intense motor activity, is a form of rupture of the passive spectacle and it’s a form of disobedience. The physical and corporal education of the public represents the dawn of a new sacredness. In an aphorism, Nietzsche states: “A few hours of mountaineering make a rogue and a saint two quite similar creatures. Tiredness is the shortest way to equality and brotherhood.” In gymnastics, sight is at the expense of effort and prefers to the mediatic extensions of the eye (for example, the book) those of the motor arts (the foot). The visual man in our Western society, is a rational man: rationality and visuality have long been two and interchangeable terms, but we no longer live in a mainly visual world. Before the invention of writing, man lived in an acoustic space. The printed book, like the easel painting, fomented the new cult of individualism, while the Renaissance Vanishing Point systematically placed the viewer out of the frame. The instantaneous world of the electric means of communication involves us all immediately. No detachment or frame is possible. The electrical circuits recreate in us the multi-dimensional spatial orientation of the “primitives”. At the speed of electrical communication, purely visual means of understanding the world are no longer possible, and this also applies to the work: a visual fruition only bounces the eye as well as reaffirming a relationship from inferior to superior anti-democratic, whether it is a painting or a video. Television mediation creates our language, which we export outside the home. What remains original in those who watch TV is what is not verbal, for example, its physicality, its voice, its body. The ferocity of the old is found in the new tools of communication, ambiguous and skilful.
Physical activity, which in recent years has become one of the most conspicuous phenomena of post-industrial society, is considered as an aspect separate from aesthetic enjoyment, while in everyday life it has been increasingly asserting itself to the point of assuming a primary role. Yet man is created mainly through exercise, asceticism, training and stunts that he performs daily to rise from mediocrity. The vigorous “male body” of the athlete, present in the rich Greek sculptural culture alongside divinities, indicates a physical and psychic authorial relationship: a god was always a sort of sportsman and the athlete was a form of divinity. The emancipation of the visitor of exhibition spaces can occur through the body as a control center vigilante against signs in search of listening. To test an alternative behavior in the exhibition space as a gym, I also lay down next to the pigs in a work by Wim Delvoye.
The photographic examples in the collection of the former ALT Museum are demonstrative and not instructive.

Buren (progressive)

Buren (progressive) (2012)

Intern girl + flag with jumping rope
some seconds, 130 x 70 cm
photo credits: Davide Tremolada

An object presented on a set has not necessarily an established location, but is an actor itself, which can come in and go out in a non static way dependent on the will and conviction of those who carry “the flag”. Two female interns try to bridge the gap of official culture, taking off the object from the wall and using it to jump in the group show.