Anita Witek "Full MOON", 2018
 

anita witek



Full MOON



The circular object in the display window resembles an eye. That is because the focus of Anita Witek’s works is seeing. A mass of balls is also migrating toward the middle of the aperture-like opening that comprises a part of the installation Full MOON, which was created especially for the Kunstraum Weikendorf. The surface of the balls is covered with stars, and on closer look, we notice paper clippings. What leaves the frame here and pushes into the room also refers to the two-dimensional character of photography.
Witek’s photo collages tap into our collective pictorial memory. They originate in ephemeral, found pictures – clippings of reproductions from magazines, posters, and newspapers – which we usually only look at briefly before setting them aside again. The removing, adding, and layering of this material is just as much a part of Witek’s creative process as the translation of the paper artifacts into photographic spaces. Photographs are converted into accessible forms of architecture with illusionistic qualities. Familiar ways of seeing are subverted by artificial spaces that lack any recognizable purpose or center and resist the panoramic incorporation of what is represented. What becomes visible also cannot be quickly erased or banned from our field of vision with an aversion of the eyes.
The primary motif of Full MOON is also a reproduction. The idea for the photographic installation came from a copper engraving the artist found in an old illustrated book from the 18th century called Die Sterne (The Stars). How do we form ideas about objects? At the beginning of the 19th century, as better telescopes enabled more precise observation of the moon’s surface, its representability soon occupied the pioneers of photography. “Even the moon’s disk […] leaves its image in Daguerre’s mysterious material,” wrote Alexander von Humboldt in a letter from February 1839,[1] indicating a competition with magic. No one can withstand the spell of the moon. That it has been photographically mapped with precision since the 1960s does not stop us from recognizing a face on its surface still. What we see looks back at us. (Katharina Manojlovic)

[1] Quoted in Timm Starl, “Mond,” 22 September 2008, in Starl’s book Kritik der Fotografie, available online at; http://www.kritik-der-fotografie.at/25-Mond.htm (accessed December 5, 2018).


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plan

* temporary project

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