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Opening remarks by Elina Brotherus

Photo: Capa Center

Thank you for reaching out to me, because this way I had an opportunity to get acquainted with Zsuzsa Darab’s images, and now I have a chance to share my thoughts and feelings about this photo series.

I find it very important and impressive, how Zsuzsa demonstrates her courage by putting herself in the position that had been primarily a privilege of only male authors in art history for so long – which is, in the case of photography, behind the camera. And she does that as a member of a member of the female artists’ community, capable of making decisions and taking responsibility for the created artworks as well, defining herself and her own value not merely in comparison to men any more.

For me, besides exploring the Iceland scenery, this series represents a discovery of the self as well, and her presenting the stunning landscape as a personal scene can be interpreted as the projection of her inner world and also as an inquiry into her own identity. Within the series, we can see a masterly alteration of presenting the elemental landscape, and capturing the world of close-up details. And she displays human presence not only as an integral part of nature, but also as a way of making the rugged/cold (although never cruel) scenery and intimate place.

The visual processing of painful personal experiences, and showcasing them in an exhibition results in a certain distance to these stories, making it possible to un­derstand them by pushing them out of the personal sphere. Although the reason for creating the images could be a specific, private life event, the good artwork always escapes this interpretational space, terminating its exclusivity. It starts living its own life.

The key image for me is the befogged figure with her unfolding face, because the dissolving fog does not obscure vision any more.

Zsuzsa Darab has recognized and found her own Iceland.

Sending her my compliments, and wishing her success,

My thanks to Gabriella Csizek, the curator of the exhibition, for the conversation, which served as a basis for this text.


The text was read by Gabriella Csizek at the vernissage of the exhibition Zsuzsa Darab: Again on November 28, 2018.