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Interview

Dorottya Vékony: Autonomy over our body and community practices occupy my thoughts and artistic practice

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
December 22, 2020
“Autonomy over our body and community practices occupy my thoughts and artistic practice.” In this interview, meet the artist Dorottya Vékony, nominated for Futures this year by Capa Center.

Dorottya Vékony (1985) keeps revisiting the theme of the body, whether it is our own or others’, or a collective body consciousness. The body images appearing in her works are primary reflections of our relation to the world, the environment and ourselves, forming a map that carries our history, the traces of our age and our personal stories.

Below, she explains more about her practice and inspirations:

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Can you tell us a little bit about your inspirations? Which themes do you often work with?

Besides personal aspects, right now I’m inspired by recent public discussions about reproductive rights in Hungarian media and politics. I try to question the active options for action of the female body, and how it can be represented in a changed social order, achieved on its own right.

My main focus is the body, as it is a great vehicle to reveal not only artistic, but also political, pedagogical, historical, medical, social and technological problems. Autonomy over our body and community practices occupy my thoughts and artistic practice the most.

How do you see your relationship with the medium? How do you use photography to express your art?

My relationship to photography is rather fluctuating. Sometimes I feel it close, sometimes more distant. What I really like about photography is that it definitely has its limits, but at the same time it is very compatible with other media, and its boundaries are easily permeable. Nowadays I experiment with the possibilities of stretching it out to a third dimension, making it more plastic and mobile in space. Besides photography, I often create videos, audio-visual works, photo-based installations and books. My artistic method is fundamentally determined by the subject, but I also like to take the opportunities of representational versatility, experiment and work with others.

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Do you have any ongoing (or more recent) project that you would like to share with us?

My new  project explores female fertility, marriage, sanctity, having children and the losses associated with it. I have examined the expectations regarding female roles and the female body, its options for action, its status and representation applying a more personal and documentary attitude.

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We have been facing a lot of challenges this year. How do you see this moment for art? Is it changing your practice?

I find the current situation challenging from a social perspective: how we can practice solidarity, acceptance and respect each-others’ personal boundaries. I regret that such a pandemic was necessary to reach this point, and really hope that these fresh experiences will not fade away swiftly in this extremely existentialist, egoist and over-consuming welfare society. Digital society definitely seems to be on a rise, bringing up new demands, and naturally art does/will react on this. The questions that currently concern me the most manifest in the current situation. But it is also a very regional peculiarity that the Hungarian government felt the need to ban rainbow families and limit single parents’ possibilities by law. Here, it is part of the pandemic that the current government exploits people’s hopelessness and paralysation.

What do you expect from this experience as a Futures talent?

It is a bit sad that the festival went completely online. I rather stand for personal communication and meetings, and find it a bit difficult to catch up online, especially with the knowledge that this interview could have been recorded in a nice bar somewhere in Amsterdam. On a more positive note, the Futures Conversation discussions were really great, and I admire the topics the Assembly series touched upon!

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