Layers I.-IX. triptichon (2018)
30 x 40 cm, giclée print

Layers (2018), HD video

The visual content of Marcell Esterházy’s video works, which show several image fragments layered on top of one another, goes through several technical filters before assuming its final, animated form. From the archival family negatives left behind in the apartment of the harpsichordist and organist János Sebestyén, Esterházy first created digital images which he then printed with a portable printer. Next, he scanned the CMYK foils as photograms and manipulated on the computer the colours of the new digital images, allowing certain details of the images to appear in the foreground.
The mechanical filter infixed among the digital filters, i.e. the scanning of the foils of the printer cartridge, results in a translucent quality which can be achieved easily with digital software, but because the foils have been physically scanned, the physical presence of the original photographs made with analogue technology rhythmically appear in time. The additive and subtractive blending of colours alternates with a similar rhythm to the switch between analogue and digital techniques.
At the end of the process, one is left with both digital moving images which have no physical presence and still images which have a physical presence. Alongside the full and half-figure portraits, architectural ground plan drawings also appear, which are archival materials of the apartment which once provided a home for the Sebestyén family and now provides a home for the artist: with the common location, the artist appropriates and links the planes of time.

Zsuzsanna Szegedy-Maszák, curator