Ginnungagap (Yawning Void) / Cycles

2008-2012
2 x 12 b/w photographs, archival pigment prints
15.75″ x 15.75″ / 40 cm x 40 cm each

Faces of suspended tension and ethereal ellipses comprise the elements of Elisabeth Ajtay’s latest photographic series Ginnungagap (Yawning Void). Similar to Munch’s The Scream, figures seen in Ajtay’s piece are frozen in a sense of panic, perhaps due to an inability to reach full actualization. The fact that these expressions were captured while the models were yawning adds yet another dimension to this piece. These images seem to capture the unseen angst and trepidation subconsciously written into the mundane act of a simple yawn. In fractions of a second, inner struggle against the plight of humanity and the search for truth is captured by the lens. The faces seem to stretch and howl towards the moon, like a lone wolf in the night, the black background and dramatic lighting emphasizing these features. The circular form of tensely stretched lips is echoed in the shape of the moon. It is as if the physical limitations of the mouth cannot fully express the force of trapped emotion; correspondingly the light of the moon sometimes breaches its borders. The hazy edges create a place for this frustration to escape, while in other instances crisp detail provides a guiding clarity.
Christina Elliott, curator (MA)

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