Marco Sanges, endowed with a matchless eye, composes… arresting photographic images encompassing Byzantine excess, Surrealist irony and Gothic romance (…) Indeed, Marco Sanges does not attempt mere photographic reproductions of paintings… he distils and transmutes such subject matter into his very own wonderful and quite marvellous distinctive idiom.
(Prince Stanislas (Stash) Klossowski de Rola)
Haus Der Fotografie cordially invites you to enter the extraordinary world of Marco Sanges. This fantastic storyteller creates his photographic narratives as cinematic sequences. As we peer through Sanges’ silvered lens, the distortion suggests that all is meaningless, nothing has a purpose. Within such surreal walls, logical arguments fall into nonsense; eloquent speech collapses into gobbledegook and the inevitable outcome will be silence. As a result, the subjects are trapped in cruelly endless mimes, menaced relentlessly by incomprehensible outside forces. Borrowing stylistically from the silent movies of the 1920s and 30s, Sanges’ players gesture helplessly from the other side of their screens. Aghast, afraid, astonished, their expressions are enormously exaggerated.
Marco Sanges’ works are peopled by uncanny, larger-than-life characters. His untidy troupe of old money and sugar daddies wear their powdered wigs and brylcremed toupees at jaunty angles. From lavish opium dens gentlemen peer out suspiciously through tobacco-smoked monocles. Blindfolded and androgynous, they are morbidly fat or incredibly thin with ribs like spiral staircases. Tulle-skirted girls are wilting in their velvet chairs waiting for the end-they are resigned to the fact that it is probably already written. Stooping drag queens wear their fox furs attached by teeth to tail, grease-paint crowns their regal noses and cupid’s bows. Tall ladies politely face the wall, small ones run amok under madly darkened eyebrows.
Darkly enchanting, these photographs are touching in their depiction of human frailty and strength. Once the metaphysical rug is whipped out from under your feet, you are forced to come to a conclusion, make your own mistakes and see the funny side. Suddenly, you too are part of the picture, rooted to the spot, wildly gesturing and making peculiar faces. Afterwards, you might scratch your head and wonder what just happened, but Sanges is a magician, an unhinged puppet master with a camera. As you step back out into the June afternoon, come rain or shine you may feel you have a touch of sunstroke- but it’s only your mind playing tricks on you again.