One part of my identity comprises fictional elements which have been shaped by various forces (history, family, love, tragedies, etc.). The other part is built from the space and time in which I live.
My search for identity is unceasing self-examination, which concerns my existence. This process, which has informed my works for years, is represented by the motif of the self-portrait. My pictures represent, along personal narratives, the defencelessness of a woman's life, physical and mental fragility. Those beings stranded between animal and human existence, the duck/woman and deer/woman pictures, are a kind of formulation of my female identity. The merging of the animal and the female body, however, can also be looked upon as a critique of the validity of the classic passive role of the woman. Completely defenceless animals like ducks and chickens get female bodies in my pictures, and become incorporated in my fictitious self-portraits. (Women in Hungary are often referred to as silly ducks or witless chickens.)
The transience of the aquarelle on the delicate paper underscores the sense of fragility and defencelessness.
The series "Remains from Intercisa" has autobiographical references: the title itself evokes Dunaújváros, the city by the Danube in which I grew up. It was built in the 1950s, almost from scratch, and was first called Sztálinváros, "Stalin City." Later, in an attempt to be rid of the dictator's memory, it was given a far more neutral name: Dunaújváros, the "New City on the Danube." The Romans called the town Intercisa; the legionnaires stationed here were to defend the Eastern border of the Empire, the Limes, from barbarian attacks. By using the old Roman name, I concentrate on the historical substrata of the town. The pieces of the series document, as it were, an inner archaeological work.
The objects of use, the mythological elements, of antiquity - a decanter forming a woman, a bowl, an urn - assume a form on the canvas through my own body. These objectified bodies - like the urns - were made to store human remnants, while in the pictures they are condensations of my own memories. They also symbolize my relationship to my own body as perishable, corruptible matter. After all, this elusive, complex construct we call life crumbles as easily as the walls of that Roman fortress we have only known as ruins.
Zsuzsa Moizer © 2008