Dimensions of plant existence

Tamás Dezső learned photography in a self-taught way. His work has been published by TIME, The New York Times, National Geographic, Le Monde Magazine, The Sunday Times and The British Journal of Photography, among others. In 2015, his photo book Notes for an Epilogue was published by the German publisher Hatje Cantz, but after that he temporarily gave up photography and devoted himself to philosophy. The Hypothesis: Everything is a letter

part of this learning process, a set of thought experiments, in which I also use the photo

he said in an interview. This series was previously presented by the Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center at the UGM Studio in Maribor in 2021, and in collaboration with Kunst Haus Wien at the FOTO WIEN Festival in Vienna in the spring of 2022.

A painting by Tamás Dezső


The curator of the exhibition that arrived in Budapest, István Virágvölgyi, also drew attention to the richness of detail and sensitivity of the works, and then interpreted the presented series in a broader context:

Tamás Dezső shows in his work Hypothesis: Everything is a letter the continuous transformation that every living thing has been a part of for millions of years, and in which cycle we humans joined only two to three hundred thousand years ago. Do we treat it properly, do we pay enough attention to the giant experiment called evolution, which has been going on for millions of years and is taking place around us in an inconceivably complex way?

He then added that if we realize that many plants are significantly better adapted to even the extreme conditions of life on earth, then it would be worthwhile to reshape the idea that we humans are the masters of the planet.

After all, for example, without the oxygen produced by plants, we wouldn’t be able to breathe even on the first floor of the concrete jungle downtown. There is no separate nature: this microphone and this building are both stations of an evolution whose part called human activity may soon prove to be a dead end

he added.

Tamás Dezső’s picture of a letter


Examining the question of identity, the artist found the metaphor of human existence in plants, which are made up of the same material and similar structures as humans themselves. In addition to the play of different materials, the exhibition brings plants into microscopic proximity. Tamás Dezső borrowed the title of the exhibition from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, as Goethe inspired him to carry out the exciting thought experiment as a researcher of the identity of plants.
The new exhibition of the Capa Center can have an additional meaning in today’s age, since in connection with the ecological crisis it is inevitable that we treat plants according to their importance and, in addition to the tormenting feeling of the ever-deepening delay, make serious efforts to understand the issues of fragile plant existence in addition to human identity . And not just because our own existence depends on them, the organizers of the exhibition say. While the multi-colored material with a wunderkammer effect – as the curator put it – invites the viewer to make leaps in age, space and time and try to glimpse the billions of changes that keep the pre-world in motion, while the center is not him, not man.
The exhibition can be visited between September 22 and December 23 at the Capa Center.

Cover image: A picture from the exhibition (Photo: Tamás Dezső)


Source: Magyar Nemzet by magyarnemzet.hu.

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