Zenta Dzividzinska, photo by
Version of Time Machine
Probably the publication of
Zenta Dzividzinska's works right now is driven by the circumstances. The
photographic rights of "mums" freshly captured by her are protected by
two waves of the contemporary culture: the feministic and especially the
technological. Part of the images shown in the exhibition "Black and White"
have an obvious similarity with the so called fake photography, it is created
by the formal structure of the image and the subjects as well, that remind
the documents recorded by carelessly controllable digital camera.
The images shown in the exhibition
are created in the second half of the sixties: in time when the photography
and its appearance had become an important technique in arts. Every publication
is a subject to a selection. But I have to admit that "Black and White",
the first solo exhibition of Zenta Dzividzinska, remind more of archaeological
excavations in some private territory – in the collection of negatives
created thirty years ago. That's why the bigger part of the exhibition
consists of previously unpublished works. Beside the "excavations" they
demonstrate a striking tradition of the postmodern age – free inclusion
in an unexpected context.
The photographic experiments
of Zenta Dzividzinska would not be called consciously constructed aesthetic
messages in the time when they were made. They gain the traits of artistic
theory right now, found and exhibited after a long time. In contrary to
the tradition of curator's selection, the choice have been made by the
author herself, thus transforming her role from "just" photographer to
a "constructor" of the exhibition. Although a woman is one of the most
popular themes of photographic expression, the women we see in the photographs
of Zenta are not there because of the tradition, but more likely, to adjust
the tradition. Her "wandering", "non-purposeful" lens has captured a woman,
urged by unorganized reasons, but the artist herself explains it with her
"interest about non-beautiful people", directing our attention towards
the kitschy meaning of the word "beautiful" in the context of describing
humans and ancient sculptures as well.
We almost never know what really
is true. If art would not been so closely connected with the culture, especially
the visual culture, I can assume that its absolute achievements would be
magnificent. Nine photographs in the exhibition "Black and White" that
have emerged from the state they were left 30 years ago from "ordinary"
pictures became – allowing myself to be romantic – a "time machine". You
can go in all known cultural directions and dream about what could be.
Inga Steimane, art critic