THIS ROOM WILL SURVIVE ME
by Cindy Konits
Borbala Jasz, art historian and philosopher of art, researcher, assistant professor Budapest University of Technology and Economics (Budapest)
Cindy Konits’s photographs capture the entanglement of the space-time axis in a kind of metaphorical, transcendent context. She employs past and preset technologies of photography to provide an insight into a special inner world. The location of the images is the interior of the house, but its illusory depiction blurs the dimension of the outside and the inside. The subject of the images is a female figure who metaphorically refers to the creator, but not to her external endowments, but to her memories, experiences and moods.
In the photographs, the subject herself was never concretely outlined, even if there was a protagonist here. The subject of the photograph] is not specifically defined and the activity specifically performed cannot be accurately described. Looking at the photographs, we have no sense of time; handrails can only be found in sharply defined lines of objects in the environment. The title of the series expresses the duality of the uncertainty of organic-human existence and the definiteness of the physical environment: This Room Will Survive Me.
The visual contrast of the outside and inside is emphasized by the creator in orange-blue and red-green colours. In addition to the definite presence of objects, these complementary colours represent the stability of the time-expanded image space. This is another imaging component in which space refers to the classical philosophical and cultural-historical aspects of time. The objects in the images move on a wide spectrum in terms of their origin: imprints of technology such as light switches and other modern objects, or antique furniture.
The location of some of the photographs is the outdoors, in the forest and the city, but cannot be located exactly. The tones are very similar to the shots taken in the house. The snow-white dress appears mostly in creations made in outdoor locations - transforming the female figure into an angel. Visual articulation of transcendence can be seen in both the forest and the urban scene. Perhaps it is no exaggeration to say that because of the dress, the observer already could have an indirect sacred feeling, even though we see explicitly secular scenes.
Thinkers have been concerned with authentic existence and temporality since the beginning of time. One of the most significant philosophers of the 20th century is Martin Heidegger, who in his work ‘Being and Time’ and ‘Building, Dwelling, Thinking’ actually deals with personal, unscientific being and living. According to Heidegger,
“The spaces through which we go daily are provided for by locations; their nature is grounded in things of the type of buildings. If we pay heed to these relations between locations and spaces, between spaces and space, we get a clue to help us in thinking of the relation of man and space. When we speak of man and space, it sounds as though man stood on one side, space on the other. Yet space is not something that faces man. It is neither an external object nor an inner experience.”
So, what is the relationship, what is this bridge between a person and space? For Heidegger, it is nothing but language and thus communication.
With her photographs, Cindy Konits marks a new direction in photography, which, in the wake of philosophers of life and existentialists, could be called a kind of existential documentary. The subject of the photographs is all of us to whom the photographer forms a bridge to open the time planes of past-present-future.
Budapest, August 2021