My work explores the intersections of national myths, personal memory, and gender and sexual identity, as refracted through the prism of immigrant and queer experiences. My projects to date include screenprinting, mixed media drawings, and often culminate in animation and installation.
I am fascinated by the contradictions of language. Language has the power to forge connections between people, notably in the construction of “imagined communities” of nations and in immigrant diasporas. Yet at the same time, language is used to isolate and alienate, to mark as other. I see my work as an exercise in multiple translations. However, translations are sometimes inadequate or impossible, and my work embraces those moments of silence, discomfort, and exclusion as part of the experience of translation. I explore the challenges of translating between Hungarian and American languages (verbal, visual, and cultural), translating between heterosexual paradigms and queer ones, and translating between verbal and visual languages. Although language exists most obviously in relation to national belonging, it also constructs our gender and sexual identity. Being a woman, being queer, and being Hungarian are often presented as innate identities yet they are in fact languages and behaviors that are learned and articulated through the repetitions, transformations and perversions of memory. My work is neither an unambiguous celebration of the hybrid subject, nor a perpetual mourning for the lost homeland, but an exploration of the transformations, shifts, losses, constructions, palimpsests that create us all, both as individuals and as larger social groups.
As the subjects in my art cross gender, time, and geographical boundaries, I move fluidly between different media in order to find the most effective tools to communicate. I let the project dictate the form, rather than having the medium lead and limit the work. I often begin with mixed-media drawings, using drawing as a visual note-taking process. Mixed-media drawings enable me to build the many layers of a project, as memories and identities are built through layerings of experience. In my printmaking, I use multiples and stencils to focus on repetition and slight changes in patterns. Although prints within an edition are supposed to be identical, I emphasize the changes that happen organically between prints. As in printmaking, in animation I utilize repetition and the inevitable changes that creep in from frame to frame. In animation, however, those changes are speeded up, which can either make them more evident or obscure them. The process of mixed-media drawings, printmaking, and animation mirrors the constructed nature of supposedly static narratives such as folk art, national myths, and personal identities.
My work focuses on topics that are themselves processes and in my artwork I celebrate those transformations by centering artistic process. I create loose, non-linear narratives and expose the process of construction. My work allows for intuitive response, experimentation, playfulness, and humor. I embrace the messiness of art creation. A project will often go through several iterations in different media as my ideas become more complex. Research occurs simultaneously with my visual explorations. I aim to position myself within an art historical and historical context, being aware of the political and academic conversations with which my work engages. My emphasis on translation means that I am always aware of the contexts in which my work originated, the extent to which those languages are (un)translatable, and the reality that viewers will construct their own meanings, interpreting my own work through their experience.