Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, Carrara marble, dimensions variable

Derek Parfit’s book Reasons and Persons, which serves as the basis of the work, addresses the two principal issues of personal identity: What is a human being and what is a person? What is the condition for being able to consider a person identical over time, i.e. what are the criteria required to be able to say that a given person remains his/her own self, namely identical, over a certain period of time? The work presents the path covered by the rock, i.e. the road of returning to itself, the path of self-identity. This path represents the course of life of the human being, spanning existence and non-existence, the person’s development and disappearance. The change is significant and irreversible, but the constancy of self-identity, i.e. personal identity itself can be followed throughout the individual stages, in the minute changes. Meanwhile Ludwig Wittgenstein emerges and fades away. When reaching the last image the circle closes and the rock returns to its original shape and form.



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, installation view: Foto Wien, Atelier Augarten, Vienna, Austria, 2022

“We like to imagine our identity as solid, constant and focused, like a core which practically stands opposite the world, the environment and nature, something which is significantly different from everything which is non-human and therefore it is obviously superior due to the mind and the ability of thinking. However this identity is purely a construction. Identity can rather be imagined as a temporal and spatial process, which permanently changes and even if we are not willing to take notice of, it is in interaction with everything it is closely bonded with and inseparable: with its world, with all the living and non-living which is not itself. There is no point whose permanence, immobility we could indicate.

Variations on the Self
demonstrates the process-like nature of identity such that in photographs it renders the stations of carving and then disassembling the bust, and if we look at them thoughtfully the start and the end are the same. Thus we can see that the Self is not a single point, a single condition, but the totality of a temporal process from the moment of birth to death. It is a far richer, more living, variable and more open system that we imagine ourselves to be. The subject of Dezsö’s illustrative example, the model of the bust is Ludwig Wittgenstein, the sharpest and most radical critic and curtailer of the (empty) language and (false) constructions of western metaphysics.” Text by György Cséka, exhibition review, A mű, november 2022



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, detail



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment prints on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, dimensions variable

Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, detail



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, detail, photograph taken of a 19th century Carrara marble microscope slide
 


Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper, detail



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, Carrara marble, detail



Variations on the Self, 2018-2022, Carrara marble, detail



Laß Dir Zeit, 2018-2022, archival pigment print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Baryta paper