Seeing Through Smoke And Mirrors

In my project ‘Seeing Through Smoke and Mirrors’, I deconstruct the basic concept of truth from the standpoint of our contemporary social environment.

As Nietzsche once said: “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

The following quote stands as a statement supporting our present-day information disarray grasped by politicians and media outlets. The mindset of individuals became vulnerable owing to the idea of alternative facts. Consequently, the process of an ever-growing polarisation and mass disinformation matured ubiquitously.
With factuality losing its power, the very existence of objective truth fades away from our global social mentality. So the question is: was it ever adequate to search for a fundamental truth?

Working with the medium of photography, I examine the primal relevance of truth to help the realisation of a world of chaos.

I decontextualise landscapes, gestures and poses in my metaphoric photographs to illustrate the notion of post-truth and the nihilistic situation of our uncertain social milieu. My visuals also interpret such problematic concepts as the representation in photography and the haphazard manner of viewpoints.

The title ‘Seeing Through Smoke and Mirrors’ refers to a mirage. The origin of the phrase goes back to the 19th century as these two elements were the basis of the classical techniques in magical illusion and phantasmagoria shows.

In a figurative sense, the term could imply a condition. Where a more speculative and conspirative cognition challenges the rationalised knowledge of the Western culture.

Domonkos Varga’s ‘Cat’s Cradle’ shows a moment in time that is both a complicated result of the past of the game leading up to this point and also the anticipation of the next step.

The unpredictability of the evolving physical and visual narrative has strong symbolic connotations about the unpredictable nature of the individual and collective human narrative.

Words by Zsolt Bátori (photography theorist, curator)

(….) What then is the role of art is in a post-truth world?

I can only state my personal approach to this question. I think art can help with the redefinition of our contemporary boundaries. Even if it is about questioning our beliefs, moral states, or deconstructing phenomena and concepts. By this, I don’t mean that artists should lay down answers or conclusions in their statements. They should encourage critical thinking and give rise to conversations. Art can make us think about concerns in modern life and society from broader and more systematic perspectives (…) ”

Interview with Miguel Rozpide on OD Magazine


True or false? – information overload in the 21st century (Part 1), Foton Gallery, Budapest, Hungary 2021

In Conversation With: Imagined Landscape Journal, 2021