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Identity and history_
Identity Fiction_
In Ascension _
Emma Re talks about the..._
Twenty-something_
Painting as Revelation_
Soul Colour_
Girl Figures_
Moizer Catalog 2007_
If the ego were an animal_
Joyless Mona Lisa_
Female Myths_
Febronia _
Incantation _
There's Painter _
Personal Mythologies_


RESPLENDENT HEART
Photo Gallery_
PERSONAL MYTHOLOGIES - PRIVATE PASSIONS - Resplendent Heart - Catalogue of the Exhibition
Edina Nagy
2006

"If you are looking for Christ's cross, take my heart and there you will find the passion of our Lord"
Kristin E. White: A Guide to the Saints

Like the members of the religious order of Saint Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308), Zsuzsa Moizer also took literally the pronouncement quoted above, attributed to the sanctified woman as her motto. The former, because, inspired by their curiosity, after the death of the nun, they dissected her body, and in her heart - as the legend goes - they truly found Christ's cross. In fact, not only his cross, but also other attributes of the passion, such as the crown of thorns, the lash, the lance and nails. Moizer, on the other hand, because the majority of her aquarelles shown at her Resplendent Heart exhibition took the heart concretely as a base of her work.


But Zsuzsa Moizer has immersed herself in the stories of not only Saint Clare and Saint Febronia, but also in the legends of other female saints and martyrs. She has become engaged in their retributions - undertaken of their own accord or inflicted upon them, their choices motivated by faith and convictions, their acceptance of pain, and their chosen tribulations. The offering of sacrifice. In the knowledge of these deeds, increasingly beastly acts make themselves felt in the background of her works, with every minor (blood)stain acquiring meaning, the contours of stigmas, wounds and tortured bodies taking form before the eyes of the viewer.


But even without any prior knowledge of the resplendent heart, these details visible in her aquarelles, around which the stories are woven, cause pain. There is something that glues fix me before small papers, that makes me look at them, look at them, even if I have seen quite enough of them; I don't want to think any further about their stories, which could even be my own. The sight of contorted, truncated or over-sized limbs, bloody hands and internal organs does not allow us to go further. (Self-)revelation, the constricting sensation of defencelessness. They strike from the gut, get me in the guts, as I look at the guts. They constrict, choke, their traces accompany me. Since these are unquestionably women's stories. The stories of mediaeval women and those of today, the stories of the artist, familiar stories. As we know, Zsuzsa Moizer's genre is the self-portrait: she paints, draws and occasionally photographs herself. She renders the stories she has read her own, becoming imbued in them, empathising with them.


And if she flings open the picture or the window of paper through which she gazes at the world, also for the viewer, then this world and this painful relation leave a great deal behind to be yearned for and elucidated.

If we lean upon simply general, not concrete, prior knowledge, there are a few names that inevitably arise: the names of painters - again female names. Marlene Dumas, Maria Lassing, Jenny Saville... Why the latter? The amorphous, formless female bodies (of which Moizer shows us only details), deformed heads, the colour of flesh, and of course, the vision of torment, which looms. Zsuzsa Moizer's use of colour evokes Lassing: the unusual, cold colours and colour combinations, water and poison greens, pinks of every shade, greys and pastels, sick yellows. Since the sixties, Lassing has painted herself, her own body, and it is the various conditions of bodily sensations that engage her. She names her works made on the subject "Körpergefühlsbilder" (bodily sensation pictures), and later "Körperempfindungsbilder" (bodily perception pictures). Her self-portraits always appear in a distorted form: we are witness to a strange game, in which the artist is "wedged between" human and animal existence (Animal Self-Portraits). The insect-like or frog-becoming Lassing picture haunts for an eternity. For the viewer, the oddly personal, embarrassingly intimate relationship linked to what is depicted is strange; the intensive presence within of the artist, nevertheless, is obvious in the case of both painters, Lassing and Moizer. In a certain sense, Zsuzsa Moizer's aquarelles can also be considered as "bodily sensation pictures", progress reports on herself, each motivated by extreme, particularly intensive, intensified sensations. Perhaps her similarity with Dumas is the most striking: her aquarelle world evokes her most, especially with her Jesus series produced in the early nineties. Though for the most part, here, too, it is the depicted approach, the individuality, the fragmentary stories that draw a parallel.

On the basis of what i have written, it might seem that the works of Zsuzsa Moizer greatly overstep the border of theatricality. Even their title, Resplendent Heart, points in this direction, as upon hearing such a title, most would associate it whit the sacred heart, the resplendent heart encompassed in flames and rays of light, which appears everywhere in Catholic icons, from altarpieces to the illustrated pages of prayer books. Those who envision this, in fact are not far from the truth in terms of choice of subject matter - as the above lines have testified to. But this is not about theatricality or sensation seeking. This is rather immediacy, intimacy, painful rawness - like the sight of raw flesh. Moizer is truly balancing on a very narrow dividing line, in which intimate personalness can easily swing over to kitsch, and directness to banality. But the artist keeps a close watch on the preservation of this balance, without transgressing the limits. Of course the reason for this can be found (also) in the technical solutions: though the fine, fragile little drawings comply with the criteria for the genre of aquarelles, nevertheless, the contours drawn with a sure hand and powerful stylistic characteristics determine the images.


It is as if the displayed aquarelles in their entirety had been torn out sketchbook pages which placed haphazardly one alongside the other, as illustrated notes from as a journal, the requisites of an extraordinarily intensive and painful period. But the general translation to the personal is almost always accompanied by the phenomenon of the viewer attempting to place what s/he has seen - within the biography both of the artist and of her/his own. There is, however, no real way out of the trap of the personal. The artist, nevertheless, does not really seek one, as the self-portrait - in whatever from it may appear - truly allows a glimpse into the private stories (of suffering).