Works on Paper

Tarots de Marseille

Le Mur (1993-94), Ostinato (January 1996), Silice (1996) and Le Tarot, an artist’s book realised with Jeannine Worms (1996), belong to a new stage of the artist’s creation, which heretofore has been predominated by paintings. In a moment of fundamental rupture the artist made the radical gesture of reducing many of these paintings into ashes. But what was literally an autodafé signified a regeneration, almost an Aufhebung (resurrection) in the Hegelian sense, because the paintings, metamorphosed, continue to live in the “Wall of burnt heads” made out of earth and ash. Hence the power of these heads, these shining gazes which don’t try to hide their secret truth. And then, there is Le Mur – proof of an act of creation that cannot exist without emptiness – also an almost baroque memorandum. Ostinato recalls this in a different way: whatever is created, recreated and repeated will be carried away by life itself. Apples, dust, earth – the series La Silice is another tangible metaphor of the same process. Here is the law of series, which characterises the works exhibited: a hundred heads, gazes, apples, refer to the infinite, but at the same time they recall the particularity of each element, therefore individual existence. The work of Olga Luna is also a work of “reordering” which takes into account the disappearance, the absence of a story perhaps that she seeks to rediscover via these permutations. This caused her to increasingly elaborate an “atlas” of life’s phenomena and their performances: gazes, faces, tenderness, desires, stories… Darkness-light, life and death, positive-negative are not opposite terms in Olga Luna’s work, they condition each other like the mould and the moulded, the support and the impression, the negative and the proof. The book of Tarot with texts by Jeannine Worms is yet another observation of the intimate relationship between emptiness and the earth: sun and moon, force and temperance, the lover and death – all the cards are painted with the same material, that is earth.

Susanne Klengel, September 1997