archival pigment print on paper, mounted on dibond, framed 126x155cm 2017
When preparing for a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia in 2017, Farkas visited the world’s seed banks in Norway, Lebanon and Russia. This is the second in the series of three photographs taken in Svalbard, Norway. The white, clean and snowy views reveal more or less noticeable traces of human settlement. The signs of human presence are indeed what the scale of these spectacular views is measured against. These are not mere views of nature. The macro- and microcosms are in perfect, ruthless proportion in these photographs: the mountainous landscape covered with bright snow is definitely grander than dark houses or containers hiding the content of purposeful human activity – a powerful inevitability next to a constantly growing coincidence.
Farkas’ works do not evoke the religious awe, humility or rebellion of someone who has experience of religious life, as seen in Jevgeni Zolotko’s work. He does not approach his medium like Saadoja who takes logical steps from one work to the next without losing the slightest bit of the emotional impulse that led him to paint the piece. Farkas’ consistency is also cognitive in both practical and substantive terms, yet it is a mixture of the contradictory relationship between a child struggling to make sense of the world and a demanding professional: one constantly asking questions, the other working with a firm hand and an impartial, precisely focused gaze. The viewer who is able to look might also come to see what is not visible: the burning, elating sense of recognition.
“I am not a philosopher, so I guess my way of looking at his work is much more personal. I was always interested in the reasons why I do not understand something and I sincerely believe there is no such thing such as understanding per se.“ says Farkas.
In Svalbard this statement is indeed true because how can you grasp something next to which you are but a tiny speck of dust. This is Zolotko’s theme, captured by both Saadoja and Farkas with their investigative minds, firm hands and precise eyes, so that the mountain portrayed by the camera becomes magic.
- Text by Tamara Luuk for the exhibition "May You Be Loved and Protected" at Tallinn Art Hall, 2020