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THERE IS ANGEL (2005)
Photo Gallery_
INCANTATION – OPENING OF AN EXHIBITION
Sándor Radnóti
Ráolvasás, Élet és Irodalom, Year XLIX. Issue 38. 2005. p. 28.
2005

The most beautiful exhibition opening of all times was held by János Pilinszky, who guided the spectators of the varnishing-day along the pieces of Erzsébet Schaár, and stopping from time to time he told a poem he had written especially for that occasion, on the statues of Schaár. I can not do such things. But looking at Zsuzsa Moizer's pieces, I have the strong feeling that the worthiest opening would be if somebody recited Rilke's Fourth Duino Elegy.

This, of course, would not mean the same strong connection between poem and picture as I have mentioned above. Pilinszky was inspired by Schaár, in the good old sense of this verb. But neither do I think of the opposite, namely, that Moizer's pictures were inspired by Rilke. To tell the truth, I do not know if she knew this poem, if she had it in her mind when she was painting her filled, puppet-like series, or when she gave to her exhibition the title "There is Angel." If I quote a few lines now-it is incantation. Incantation, in the three senses of the word. The simplest sense is that we read two pieces together that do not belong together. The ironic sense is that by doing so, I over-interpret. And, of course, the magical sense that incantation is conjuration and magic evoked by art. This is one possible way of approaching Zsuzsa Moizer's pictures, and I do not want to force it on others, but it is an example of the way we usually understand art. We take something from the storehouse of our own memories, like some kind of help, we compare, balance, and thus we get nearer and nearer to what has to be understood, while sometimes leaving our starting point altogether.

The famous lines of Rilke in this poem are the following: "I will not have these half-filled human masks; / better the puppet. It at least is full." These came immediately to my mind when I saw these pictures. Think of what we see: self-portraits without character. The young paintress-and the attribute "young" is not the good-willed, condescending and permissive word of the elderly, but the description of an existential condition-the young paintress is not looking for the half-filled masks of fate and the character which contains more and more as life goes on, she is not sounding her future, but is searching for an inherent, so to say, empty fullness. That is why she fills the space with puppet-like faces, sometimes not even whole faces. That is why she can write words on the faces, and that is why-quoting another poet, Pilinszky-it is not the empty ditches that drip and trickle down, but the paint itself. Fullness is transparency, opacity, living without secrets. This ambition is so strong that one who caught a glimpse of the face on the invitation card might have thought it was an aural map. We could also think this is the heat map of the body. Moizer does not think that the face or the body is a cover: in her body-pictures bones and the internal organs show through, like the fishes whose body is so glass-like that one can easily see their guts.

This transparency is highly sensual. The titles of two series are "In my eyes" and "I'm smelling you." The I is only connected to others and even the spectators by means of its senses and purely its senses. But what is the thing that moves this painter's space that is cleared of all its spiritual aspects? Who is the one who moves the puppet? Rilke says that

an angel
has to come as an actor, and begin manipulating
the lifeless bodies of the puppets to perform.
Angel and puppet! Now at last there is a play!
Then what we separate can come together by our
very presence. And only then the entire cycle
of our own life-seasons is revealed and set in motion.
Above, beyond us, the angel plays.

We only know Zsuzsa Moizer's angel from the title. The pieces shown here do not contain one single attribute of the angel. Not a protective angel, not an angel with a sword. It is not angelic at all. Angel is a name here, the name of the painter's ambition, which contains the evidence of being full before getting the experience. The angel is-to say so-playing above us: "in the infinite space that spans the world and toys, / upon a place, which from the first beginning / had been prepared to serve a pure event."

(Zsuzsa Moizer's exhibition "There is Angel" can be seen from 16th September 2005 to 22nd October in the Deák Erika Gallery, Jókai tér 1.)

 

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