By analogy with Maurer’s drypoint series – which visualises the process of exhaustion and abrasion of forms on a printing plate in use, and the transformation of the motif – Dobokay documents the progressive deterioration of the liquid developer on uniformly exposed and developed photo papers lined up to the point where the chemical does not react to the photosensitive material anymore.
Neither is the analytical examination of photography’s internal structure and most fundamental components unknown to Dobokay’s artistic practice, nor is seriality. With its gradient counting more than 600 photographs, not only do the works newly made for this exhibition differ spectacularly in scale from his previous pieces, their repetition and the gesture of accumulation also reveal a shift in his creative approach. Overriding a possibly aesthetical selection, the authenticity of representation demands this time the complete presentation of the contiguous phases composing the process. The element of the series thus materialises the immaterial component of photographical image-making, time, while reflecting on the specific time experience of the creative process, as well as on the dilemma of the unrepeatable repetition. The symbolism of surfaces turning from dark and heavy qualities into light ones, the gradual exhaustion, as well as the transubstantiation of the material into the intellectual allow an at least as important interpretation of the apparently numerical-mechanical natured piece as the characteristic property of a technical procedure raised to the level of visual motif. (HORVÁTH Lili, curator)