Works    2019 Here, Not Now. An exhibition with Emidio Puglielli

An excerpt from the catalogue essay: A Kind of Afterlife by Fiona Capp

For those left behind, death looks like a conjuring trick, a disappearing act. Someone is here one moment, gone the next. Of the physical traces that remain – clothes, beloved objects, favourite items of furniture – few are as haunting as the photograph album or the aptly named memory stick. In these repositories, lost moments appear fixed forever, made eternal.

Or so we like to believe.

But what happens to these photographs when the memories that scaffold them are forgotten? What do they signify when the narratives that gave them meaning are cut adrift from the instant they record? How are we to make sense of material objects whose subjects and stories are not only immaterial but consigned to oblivion? These questions lie at the heart of Here, Not Now.

There was a time when Sarina Lirosi could not enter a graveyard. Now she walks through the Melbourne Cemetery every morning on her way to work and instead of averting her gaze, she has brought the subject close. Taking her cue from the Victorians, who documented death with forensic curiosity, she confronts the viewer with anonymous, archival portraits stripped of their story and context, the subjects’ identity further obscured by sheets of album tissue paper draped over their faces like shrouds.

Although these nameless, storyless sitters might be long forgotten, their images stand as poignant vestiges of transience, inviting us to lift the veil and enter their world, to imaginatively flesh them out and give them new life. Yet even as the photographs gesture toward a kind of afterlife, the microbial clusters of black spores and spokes that creep across the wall do not allow us to forget the process by which the bodies in these pictures have decomposed, their form obliterated and absorbed back into the earth.

Couple with Fly by Sarina Lirosi

Couple with Fly  2019

Inkjet print on archival cotton rag.

29.7 x 42cm. Edition of 3

Pinafore by Sarina Lirosi

Pinafore  2019

inkjet print on archival cotton rag

29.7 x 42cm. Edition of 3

Gazing Out by Sarina Lirosi

Gazing Out  2019

Inkjet print on archival cotton rag

29.7 x 42cm. Edition of 3

Sitter with Plant by Sarina Lirosi

Sitter with Plant  2019

Inkjet print on archival cotton rag

29.7 x 42cm. Edition of 3

Standing with Red by Sarina Lirosi

Standing with Red  2019

Inkjet print on archival cotton rag

29.7 x 42cm. Edition of 3

Spores by Sarina Lirosi

Spores  2019

Clay, wood, acrylic paint

Dimensions variable

Spores, detail by Sarina Lirosi

Spores, detail  2019

Clay, wood, acrylic paint

Dimensions variable

Spores, installation view by Sarina Lirosi

Spores, installation view  2019

Clay, wood, acrylic paint

Dimensions variable