Identity and self-identity – Anikó Robitz: Woven Mirror
21 • 05 • 15Anikó Robitz
Woven Mirror is a new series centred on the concept of identity and self-identity, which I began at the end of 2019. For these pictures, I cut photos, printed on canvas, and reflective leatherette into stripes of varying width, interwove them, and mounted them on stretchers. While the vocabulary of forms continues to be geometric, these new works are multi-layered and reach out into the third dimension.
My earlier body of work, Holographic Memories (shown at TOBE Gallery, Budapest, March 2019) could be seen as an antecedent to the Woven Mirror series. In Holographic Memories, I exhibited photos using family photographs from the early 1980s, Mexican Milagros and holographic materials, complete with objects made with 3D printer, combined with photographs. In this series, I strived to explore memories and the way they change over time.
The pictures of Woven Mirror are partly composed of photos representing grids or various geometric forms: either new photos especially made for these works or details of my earlier works. Photos interwoven with reflective surfaces can generate both intricate and minimalist textures. The stripes of photos stand for unique characteristics of the individuum, while reflective mirrors represent a quest.
Owing to the characteristics of the material and the differently curved and stretched stripes, the reflective surfaces do not yield sharp images. The method of weaving may result in plane mirrors as well as concave mirrors holding a distorting mirror up to the viewers exploring themselves. The image reflected also depends on the distance between the viewer and the reflective surface: it can yield clear or dim images, just like the process of self-examination and looking for one’s identity. The presence of mirrors alongside non-reflective surfaces is not always proportional in the works, symbolising the process of intense quest or transitional harmony.
As the two types of stripes are interwoven, they not only intersect but block out one another, transforming the pattern. Each identity is continuous, yet permanently changes and develops in accordance to the given challenge. It is owing to our individual characteristics that we become accepted and unique. In the same way, a person is complete, even if their behaviour is different at work and at home, and even if they act in different roles depending on which of their gender, national, or religious identities comes to the fore in a given situation. (Anikó Robitz)