Wherever you go, there you are–and there is the moon in the night sky looking back at you. For some this is beautiful, for others, haunting. Elisabeth Ajtay’s work is a constant manipulation of this truth.
Ajtay’s Moon Alphabet is an exploration of these instances in which we are both changing and constant. Drawn with the light of the moon, she creates the basic characters of communication with an object that is cold, alone, and often seen as a symbol of self-reflection. Their connection to language has multiple dimensions. The moon is a universal symbol but also a singular entity, just as language can be used to unite or isolate us. Even those that share the same language can struggle to connect as slang, accents, and discourse regularly change and complicate the intricacies of communication.
This contradiction is also felt in the alphabet’s form–as the light of this celestial object is captured through her camera lens it is swirled and twisted like the stroke of a paintbrush. This dynamic movement is contrasted with the black background of the night sky. Concurrently moving and static, these images are equally abstract and familiar.
Although complex on their own, Ajtay has used her moon alphabet to build another series of work, Dialog (Dialogue). In their inverted and torn framework, the alphabet letters are collaged into groups that move like leaves caught in a jetty. Mimicking organic forms found in nature, the movement of these characters is also a reference to the movement of those that use them.
Based on Ajtay’s sketches and the migration patterns of humans, the ebb and flow of these characters are simultaneously graceful and traumatic. In some places the letters cascade across the work as if in a harmonious, choreographed dance. While in other locations they have been physically torn from their original placements, inverted, flipped, and relocated someplace else. 2020, Christina Elliott, MA
In 2019, Dialog (Dialogue) was awarded with an Honorable Mention with the International Photography Awards.