Zsuzsanna Ujj – [←] Untitled (1989); [+] Untitled (1989); [→] Untitled (1989)

There’s not a lot that about Ms. Ujj to be found. She’s Hungarian and began making subversive self-portraits in the 1980s pretty much covers the extent of it.

She’s clearly preoccupied with the relationship between a woman’s body, how the woman sees her body and how society views a woman’s body. However, in this work, given the interactions of shadows (and the probable Jungian implications) and reflections (the resulting bifurcation of physical representation/ sight turned against itself), there’s more going on here than is readily discernible.

The dislocation is interesting and although I want to connect that to Picasso’s frequent mutilation of women’s bodies and while I know there’s an obvious metaphor with the individual vs. collective that relates to communism, my first thought upon seeing these was of the images of shadows burned into walls after the bombing of Hiroshima.

These images go a great deal deeper than most and they offer no ready made solutions or easy answers. In many ways, this reminds me of another work that is ostensibly about reconcile existence and beauty with the horrors of the nuclear age–Inger Christensen’s Alphabet (which is by far the best volume of poetry I’ve ever encountered).

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