The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever. The true life takes place when we’re alone, thinking, feeling, lost in memory, dreamingly self-aware, the submicroscopic moments.
Don DeLillo, Point Omega
How to talk about art? Not by defining it, but by pointing out possibilities. Characteristics of art and art appreciation revolve around marvel, ambiguity, the creation of new meanings, emotionally and rationally.
The creation of new meanings as metamorphosis: a gesture becomes more than a gesture, a sound more than a sound, an object more than a simple object.
Looking at Ada Rajszys’ work, the idea of metamorphosis takes a central position. Metamorphoses. Ovid began his famous book of “Metamorphoses” with the phrase: “I want to speak about bodies changed into new forms.” It is nicely applicable to the work of Ada Rajszys. Nothing is what it seems, nothing seems what it is.
I’m thinking of the branches she edited for a previous exhibition: a branch became a mirror or a bright object or a precious jewel. And there was even more at stake: the branches were also cloned by casting them, and editing as well the shadows of the original. Which was the original branch? Did they all, including the copies, become original branches, or were they all simply no more branch, but “metamorphosed” into something else?
In this series of “miniatures”, the idea of metamorphosis is also strongly present. Ada Rajszys gave the following sentence as a motto for this series of “miniatures”: Memory is often emotional where we always want to capture things and moments.
As its basis, she used photos. Pictures of herself, friends, family, holidays, snapshot impressions. Personal memories, emotionally charged for the photographer or the photographed victim, for an outsider almost unloaded, nearly neutral perceptions.
A first step in the metamorphosis is that Ada Rajszys works on these photos with paint. Thoughtful and intuitive, intuitive and thoughtful. Not in one moment of inspiration, no, it happens in multiple times, it’s a fight.
On the one hand, it is a physical fight with the picture and the subject matter, the response of the paint on the picture, layers of paint that accumulate, that are scraped, mixed with other layers. Painting becomes a battle of scratching, editing, digging, building up.
On the other hand, it is as well a spiritual battle. A spiritual battle because with each change the picture also changes, the personal memory undergoes the effect of the material combat. Things are added, removed, masked, high lightened, hidden and stressed.
Which brings us to a second step: that of the metamorphosis of the private echoes. Not only landscape pictures or architecture photos are transformed, but also personal souvenirs. Once in a time the photographer was present at the depicted scene, once in a time the depicted was part of it. That past is transposed into a timeless setting, because meaning is added, meaning that comes out of the filtering effect, the colors, shapes and materiality that from now on accompany the picture.
Memories linked to a certain reality, limited in context, gain intensity, imagination and suggestion.
A banal chandelier becomes a glittering echo of the stories of 1001 nights. A lightly overexposed photo of a sunbathing mother is transposed into a miniature figure floating in a sea of imagination, imagination that every viewer will fill in in a different way. Imagination so free and open that every time you look at it, your vision can be renewed.
The third property is that of the intensity. Looking at it, you feel the power of the multi-layered character of Ada Rajszys’ work, both formally and intellectually. It is work full of energy and strength that get shared with the viewer. It’s not just work that breathes, but it also sighs, curses, shouts, moans and supports, sings and laughs. At the same time, it remains very poetic and open to individual experiences. It also listens to your breathing, your sighs, curses, laughter and joy.