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Zanna

shell pebble

Memoir of shadows

Self Portrait with Cows Going Home - Sylvia Plachy

This book is Plachy's attempt, in words and photographs, to articulate some of her memories and feeling about her home country, Hungary, where political upheavals shaped her experience and precipitated her emigration.

Some of the photographs are not her work - there is a portrait of her made by her very famous countryman, Laslo Moholy-Nagy, and a picture of her kissing her husband on their wedding day. These images are mementos - Plachy is a collector I feel. The images that are hers use different modes including the memento. Among the others, the more readable usually have a poignant or rebellious symbolism. Others document life in generally low res, sometimes blurry shots of unconventional subjects, often people, elevated to the status of art by a sense of ravenous hunger for and appreciation of beauty. It's hard to describe how Plachy manages this; her images work as a series even though they seem to reject the formation of narrative. She knows how to prepare, startle and refresh the viewer: the few colour images in this book crashed into my consciousness with awesome force