The Other’s Past

I’m interested in processing the past in my works. I began using photos in my paintings five years ago, when my mother gave me her old family photos? a gesture that seemed both surprising and direct, perhaps even a bit aggressive. It looked as if by simply not having the photos she would draw a line between past and present, as if she had tried to close the past and delegate processing it to someone else. Most of these photos were taken in the 1970s and 1980s. Their motives are ordinary which emphasises their documentary role. To me, they are relics of another world and for a long time, I didn’t even know how to deal with this ‘inheritance’. I asked myself how the next generation could relate to and process the problems of the previous generation. Through tracing back the personal past, it became necessary for me to find out more about the history of a researched era (the Kádár era): I was missing the context in which I could place the existing elements. I reckon that those who were born in or after the eighties have a different set of concepts to that of the previous generation. There seems to be a different approach to history, often a certain outsider attitude can be detected – something that I have noticed about myself too. So now I’m seeking the answer to questions such as: How does our attitude to the past define our present? How does art help process the past?