Domonkos Varga – Acts of Cassandra

“Utopias are more realisable than those ‘realist politics’ that are only the carefully calculated policies of office-holders, and towards utopias we are moving. But it is possible that a new age is already beginning, in which cultured and intelligent people will dream of ways to avoid ideal states and to get back to a society that is less ‘perfect’ and more free.”

Nikolai Berdyaev

Humans will always have a strong temptation to make predictions about a greater civilization in the future. Just like a hereditary will, we carry it in our genes for centuries. In my project Acts of Cassandra I examine the relevance of utopianism and dystopian ideologies in relation of present-day technological and social changes. The project operates as an imaginary mind-map and follows a fragmented narrative in which I juxtapose the trivial fears and expectations from a new world order and the issues of our forthcoming society.

The metaphorical manner of the images guides the viewer throughout a fictional state in the future filled with hidden references and symbols inspired by the 20th century dystopian literature. As these references may illustrate the obsolete conceptions of past beliefs, often they reveal some relevant issues in our current lives and upcoming conversions.

I emphasize how some important phenomena related to today’s societal and political actualities point towards the uncanny directions in our future while it also reflects on our historical prophecies in a strange, almost coincidental way.

As an attempt, I also open dialogue about the opponent ends of optimism and pessimism towards the topic of Anthropocene.

My work visually covers the excessive techno-optimism, industrialism and social deformations within the frame of the emerging elements in our society at the moment. While facts collide into fables, my work also manifests a fusion between art and scientific research as a method to better understand our future.

The title refers to Cassandra a foreteller of Greek mythology. Under her name, there is also a psychological phenomenon called “Cassandra complex” which occurs to one, when one’s valid warnings or concerns are disbelieved by others.

The installation features an experimental video-work and part of my research materials as archive documents besides the photographs.

Domonkos Varga is a photographer and conceptual artist based in Budapest. Varga’s work portrays the influential elements of the world around him and his generation. Simultaneously, he also has the will to make an impact on people by drawing attention to problematic social issues. His projects are always featuring a well-researched background from which he constructs visual metaphors and builds up meaningful narratives.

He studied Photography at Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design (Budapest) and Aalto University School of Arts and Design (Helsinki). He is a Parallel Photo Platform 3rd cycle artist and also a member of Studio of Young Photographers (FFS in Budapest).

Published 29 April 2020