Even though Robitz’s photos may seem to suggest at first glance that the artist is a studio photographer, the world of her works is by no means a constructed, staged world. Only the framing of the scene by the camera shows the characteristics of construction, whereas the dramatic sujet occurs out there in real life. In order for the artist to find her true field of work, she sets out – or rather takes a plane – in the manner of so many thousands of tourists, who incessantly record billions of shots, tainting the last remaining virgin spots in the world. In some sense, Robitz is also a tourist; she joins the endless row of travellers, but she is interested in something that only she is able to notice on this planet when seeing the world-famous sights. This is what makes her work unique. In addition, instead of interpreting reality as the majority of photographers do, she creates a new world out of the hidden features of the existing world. She discovers the visible in the invisible, and makes the unknown known, because she has a key that no one else possesses.
No one would think that the body of images presented here have been photographed at renowned sites of metropolisesand megalopolises of the world. It has a bizarre effect indeed to find the names of New York, Lisbon, Berlin, Paris, etc. beside the year on the labels of such photos. Not that the actual geographical reference would be crucial, as no recognisable motif of any kind appears in her photos. The viewer has the impression that the photos could have been taken at any place where there are geometrical forms, angles, diagonals, lines or abstract structures. At the same time, the reference to the names of cities is not only made to create an unexpected effect, but rather to make you see that New York is not merely the Statue of Liberty, Paris is not only the Eiffel Tower, and Berlin is not simply the Brandenburg Gate. The high-tech architecture of our days is also an inexhaustible source of linguistic forms; one only has to be able to find the secret and concealed details of these constructions; those details that are not made to be visible, but are intimated, lending themselves to poetic experiences of reality and to a highly sensitive mode of vision, focused on unique micro-worlds.
After this brief introduction, it goes without saying that Robitz’s compositions are free from any posterior, artificial intervention; her photographs are original and unmanipulated digital shots. Each of the shown images reflects original situations, the moment’s arrest, where the artist fully respects that which she has come to recognise. Robitz teaches us a type of refined visual sensitivity, in order to make us feel free to leave our familiar ways and venture into new fields, beyond the conditioned limits of perception and approach. You can always find new trails to be dauntlessly followed towards the unknown, and the discovered unknown will reflect your soul, together with everything that has been recorded in it since you were born. You only need a few images to help you realise it and stir the buried dimensions of your existence, lying dormant in the cosmic memory inherited from our ancestors.
Anikó Robitz has introduced a new mode of vision, a novel sensibility into the vein of contemporary Hungarian photography, which stems from the experience of the most beautiful poetic and linguistic developments of the past century, the modernist tradition. Without a sense of orthodoxy, she views this tradition as a living practice never seeking to settle, but always in quest for what is new, fresh, surprising and unusual. She has faith in it, yet she does not confine herself to any of its dogmatic tenets. The way is always open and never boisterous. This way is silently intimate.
Woven Mirror is a new series centred on the concept of identity and self-identity, which I began at the end of 2019. For these pictures, I cut photos, printed on canvas, and reflective leatherette into stripes of varying width, interwove them, and mounted them on stretchers. While the vocabulary of forms continues to be geometric, these new works are multi-layered and reach out into the third dimension.
My earlier body of work, Holographic Memories (shown at TOBE Gallery, Budapest, March 2019) could be seen as an antecedent to the Woven Mirror series. In Holographic Memories,
I exhibited photos using family photographs from the early 1980s, Mexican Milagros and holographic materials, complete with objects made with 3D printer, combined with photographs. In this series, I strived to explore memories and the way they change over time.
The pictures of Woven Mirror are partly composed of photos representing grids or various geometric forms: either new photos especially made for these works or details of my earlier works. Photos interwoven with reflective surfaces can generate both intricate and minimalist textures. The stripes of photos stand for unique characteristics of the individuum, while reflective mirrors represent a quest.
Owing to the characteristics of the material and the differently curved and stretched stripes, the reflective surfaces do not yield sharp images. The method of weaving may result in plane mirrors as well as concave mirrors holding a distorting mirror up to the viewers exploring themselves. The image reflected also depends on the distance between the viewer and the reflective surface: it can yield clear or dim images, just like the process of self-examination and looking for one’s identity. The presence of mirrors alongside non-reflective surfaces is not always proportional in the works, symbolising the process of intense quest or transitional harmony.
As the two types of stripes are interwoven, they not only intersect but block out one another, transforming the pattern. Each identity is continuous, yet permanently changes and develops in accordance to the given challenge. It is owing to our individual characteristics that we become accepted and unique. In the same way, a person is complete, even if their behaviour is different at work and at home, and even if they act in different roles depending on which of their gender, national, or religious identities comes to the fore in a given situation.