Máté Bartha – Anima Mundi
22 • 04 • 07Máté Bartha
The photography grant created for commemorating the photographer, professional writer and photography teacher József Pécsi (1889–1956), was founded by the Ministry of Culture and Education in 1991. Its purpose is to help to start the career, creative work, and development of talented photographers working as independent artists, and to provide them with favorable conditions for the creation of high-quality artworks which are modern both in terms of form and content.
Anima mundi: world soul. Although attributed to Plato, the idea already existed in earlier or different cultures. A force permeating matter, giving shape and function to its parts and its entirety. The assumption of an organizing principle. The theory appears again in the Renaissance to stay with us - from Paracelsus to Hegel - until modern thought, as the focal point of discussions on the order of things; or the structure of contingency.
My project in the making focuses on the human necessity of perceiving the world as a purposeful structure through attaching causality and meaning to phenomena. The images in the series balance between documentary and conceptual photography, and observe contemporary urban space as the entirety of creation. I follow the endeavors of late-Renaissance hermetic thinkers, such as Robert Fludd or Jacob Boehme, who attempted to deliver a complex understanding of the universe, and man's place in it through emblems and diagrams. Amongst the many uncertainties of the 21st century, I'd like to play with the idea and question the possibility of a body of work containing such unified knowledge today. By using a system of visual cross-references,
"Anima Mundi" may appear as such a metaphysical treatise, but is much rather a contemplation on the act itself of looking for coherence.
The project was funded by the József Pécsi National Scholarship for Photographers of Hungary.