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Saré, the mistress of the game

  Let's start with the most incredible thing – with simple brushes and a paint palette – Evgenia Saré has invented a new living species and a new world order. No less! And the icing on the cake is that she has done it with a discreet charm and a confounding modesty. The beings she has created are timeless, impervious to cruelty and darkness, to trendy effects. With their air of nothingness, their gentle and often impassive faces, these beings shatter the walls that our societies erect between sexes, species and eras. These beings form a society, without submitting to power relationships nor to a hierarchy. They are essentially contemplative and idle. The only activities they engage in are under the signs of play, music and dance. Money is absent from their mores. Ambition is a figment of imagination. They have the purity of children, the seriousness of adults and the wisdom of elders. The canons of beauty do not touch them, do not tyrannize them. Saré, as a demiurge-magician, has found the recipe for immortality. By accentuating the folds in the faces, the deformities, the puffiness, she gives her characters an astonishing plasticity, freeing them from the throes of old age and allowing them to defy the basic laws of anatomy and even gravity.

But Saré is above all a formidable mistress of the game.

  She knows that for a game to work you need rules and a framework. The more the game is structured, thought out with rigour and technicality, the more the audience will dive passionately into her universe. Saré’s touch, impressive in its mastery, and her relentless knowledge of costumes and props, allow her to take the audience by the hand and lead them, seemingly out of the blue, on a path beyond the sensible, the rational and the respectable.

With Saré, fun is not taken lightly. Her characters are all the funnier because they never laugh, or very little. This is because they are aware that they have an important role to play – to make us forget the vast playground of our absurd, cruel and chaotic world. With Saré, each character or creature, however grotesque, has a sense of responsibility and dignity. We know that the game would collapse if we tipped over into vulgarity or farce. So we dress up, we play, we dance, but without slackness or casualness. Like Buster Keaton in his films, the characters of Saré know that the boundaries between humour and tragedy, laughter and tears are tenuous. So we control ourselves, we restrain ourselves from laughing, even when we have a pink dog on our head.  It's not up to that character to say whether the situation is funny, frightening or ridiculous.  It is up to the spectator to decide. Saré is indeed a formidable mistress of the game: she puts on the plate the rules and their transgressions, the order and the chaos, the serious and the grotesque. It is up to the spectator to roll the dice and choose the path they will take.  The spectator can laugh if they wish but they cannot look for help on the faces of Saré's characters. These will remain impassive, mysterious, enigmatic. There are enough clues and elements present to make up one's mind. And it is not up to the guardians of the temple to reveal its secrets.

  Finally, we cannot end this text without mentioning our own relationship with Saré's work.  It must be confessed – we were victims of the magician’s spell. The genially hybrid breath that runs through this teeming world, carried us along and was promptly embodied in our imagination, then on a sheet of paper. A scenario was born, entitled Metamorphoses. We wrote the script and produced an unusual short fiction film, mixing real shots and 3D animations.  In this way, we had fun confronting a duo of police inspectors, who were particularly pragmatic and conformist, with the world of Saré, which comes to life and lands in the real world, provoking many misunderstandings, twists and turns and visual whirlwinds. We have just come out of this unbelievable adventure and the least we can say is that our lives will never be the same again.  We laugh a lot, but in the mirror, our face always seems impassive.  There are days when a small creature in the shape of a plucked chicken with prominent buttocks rests on our shoulder. Last night, a pink dog whispered something in our ears. You'll think we're crazy, but we should tell you what he told us in all seriousness: “Don't tell anyone, but you're the guardians of the temple”.

Preface to the catalogue Saré 2023

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