Text by Michela Coslovich
All images © Kata Geibl
Kata Geibl (Budapest, 1989) is a photographer living and working between Budapest and The Hague. Her work mainly focused on collective memory, eco-crises, capitalism and the ambiguities of the photographic medium.
In 2018 she won the emerging talent Carte Blanche Students Award founded by Paris Photo, in 2019 she received the József Pécsi Photography Scholarship and she won the PHmuseum Vogue Italia Prize 2020.
Recently she published her first monograph “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” published by Void Photo, using a poetic approach through allegories, personal short stories and image pairs.
Kata has always been interested in analog photography, already playing with automatic cameras when she was five years old. After being an assistant on a film set, she immediately found her love for images: she circled back to the passion that she had since she was a child, very attached to a 35 mm camera. After completing her studies, she concentrated on developing a poetics sensitive to contemporary topics.
With her series “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” she focused on issues such as capitalism, Anthropocene and a postmodern society which has changed our perception of the world.
The starting point of this project was personal anxiety and the feeling of being lost in the world: she tackled the present-day condition associating images to metaphors which make this series very personal but with topics that became universals.
Climate change, consumer society and competitive individualism are therefore common conditions that we can find in our daily lives.
These photos ask, like Fredric Jameson, whether “it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”? We are constantly realizing that many of our individual problems arise from our economy models and this influences our perception of the reality.
The photographic series narrates the individualism at the basis of the contemporary social, political and economic system and the environmental impact this has on our world.
By contrasting dream images, melting glaciers, animals under human control, athletes similar to Greek gods, “There is Nothing New Under the Sun” tells how our era develops.
Kata talks about our contemporary culture and the post-modern world we live in, as if the photographs could be a perfect reflection of the society we belong to.
She thoroughly analyzes the way we consume, communicate and work every day by touching on the issues of continuous competition between people, the power of one over many, and the economic dystopia visible to our eyes.
The intent is to evoke an emotional response through images, striking the viewer’s conscious thought. The title of the project suggests all of this: derived from the Bible, specifically a passage that suggests that humans should live with more humility and respect for a much older planet than they are.
Her main inspirations for this project came from reading the works of philosophers and watching the movies of Terence Malick, Dziga Vertov, Jorgos Lanthimos.
Kata’s photographic and artistic project is the perfect representation of our time. Ambiguous and sincere. Connecting various themes to each other, albeit distant, albeit close.
The result is an unconscious association of images in the viewer, giving the possibility to ask questions about the stories that existed behind those photographs.