Kata Geibl



PROJECTS
2021    See Daylight / Coming Soon
2021    There is Nothing New Under the Sun
2018    Sisyphus
2017     Uncanny Valley
2016     Red, White, Green

2019-   Collaborations / Commissions
2018-   Installation Views



BIO
Kata Geibl (1989, Budapest) is a photographer living and working in The Hague. Her work is mainly focused on global issues, capitalism, the Anthropocene, and the ambiguities of the photographic medium. Read more...



CONTACT 
For commissions, portfolio or any other request, please use the contact details below.
Phone: +36 30 830 60 85
Email: geiblkata@gmail.com

︎/katageibl




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2021

See Daylight




See Daylight is an attempt to understand and question the market forces that shape young artists of today. It’s not a text that takes this challenge easily. It does not want to lie down a strict story, or one interpretation of our current discourses, but instead, challenge and take the reader on a journey. By breaking the fourth wall, it speaks directly to the reader in an attempt to start a conversation that is unfolding and by no means is closed or finished. It is a playful, self-reflective, open-ended conversation between reader and writer.


A book for young artists starting out today in the art market, trying to survive and be seen. There are many books out there that are meant to give carrier advice to the new generation. How to reach audiences, how to sell your work, how to find a gallery, basically how to make it.


See Daylight challenges these discourses. Instead of offering a business plan for individuals out there eager to fulfill themselves, it questions these power relations and market forces. It is a conversation, not a one-way critique of the art market, but instead hopefully a start of a critical, honest conversation.



Concept and Text: Kata Geibl
Graphic Design: Csenge Katinka

2021










The work starts with the analysis of postmodern discourse, and how postmodern ways of production still frame the cultural logic of today. This chapter equips the reader with the skill set to interpret and question the narratives of cultural conflicts which transformed the Western World into a tense, divided society. 









The following chapters sketch out how neoliberal modes of production changed our perception of reality and our workday. The framework of consumer society and competitive individualism how an entire generation called the Millennials were faced with a new ideology, centered around the importance of individual responsibility.


After the analysis of political forces that abandoned collectivism and placed its emphasis on the empowerment of the individual and their progress as the key to success, the thesis untangles some of the ways in which these forces affected the art market from the 1970s onwards, and how these power relations are still affecting artists today.


















More information soon
2021

There is Nothing New Under the Sun



‘There is Nothing New Under the Sun’ is Geibl’s first monograph. Carefully planned images are mixed with stream-of-consciousness texts. A poetic approach emerges through allegories, personal short stories and image pairs. The project deals with the rampant individualism that underpins our contemporary social, political, and economic system, and in particular, the environmental impact that it has. Geibl’s aim with the series is not to lecture, or to lay down a strict story, nor to interpret economic issues. She takes the viewer on a journey. There are no clear answers but instead ambiguous questions. Which we have to ask sooner or later as we are not only heirs of the system but also suffer under it.


Artist-Book Published by Void.

Available for pre-orders:

https://void.photo/store/nothingnew







Monograph ‘There is Nothing New Under the Sun’, Published by Void















There is Nothing New Under the Sun includes images of apparently perfect athletic bodies, for example; it also includes shots of animals under human control — whether they’re bees fresh from the beehive, or a horse blinkered under a fly hat. Other images show financial sectors, such as London’s financial district or a pint-sized model village.
Geibl wants to achieve a very political feeling in this series without showing it overtly, and is seeking out “very specific places and scenarios” for her images — though she started her career shooting straight documentary work, she now works more conceptually and will happily set up and stage her shots.

Essay by Diane Smith











Your work often involves reflecting on the world we live in, and the effects of contemporary culture. We’ve previously shared your series “Sisyphus,” which took a very scientific approach to this idea, while your newer work feels more organic in nature. Can you speak a bit about this shift for “There Is Nothing New Under the Sun?”
I could most liken this shift to Lars von Trier’s movie Melancholia. There’s a scene where Kirsten Dunst’s character feels the end of the world before anyone and swaps albums from abstract paintings to figurative oil paintings in the family library. The blue square is replaced by Caravaggio and Bruegel. I’m feeling this kind of transformation now with Sisyphus to Nothing New Under the Sun. Abstraction and rationality can no longer answer my questions which is why the shift was necessary.

Interview by Bailey Dale










Speaking of Melancholia, I wanted to ask about a specific image in your series that I love – the still life of a model that is on fire. It’s the one image that reminds me of the sense of impending doom that is prevalent throughout the movie, while the other photos don’t feel quite as ominous. What was your thought process and intention during the creation of that image?
This image was born after reading Baudrillard’s simulacrum theory again, where his argument is that the Gulf War didn’t happen. Mass media created a spectacular view of the war through television screens. What the world saw from the war was merely a simulation of the war in hyperreal space. He wrote that essay in 1991 but it is more relevant to our world today than ever. If you just think about the fake news era which we live in, where you no longer have any reference to an external reality, but statements which exist for themselves, replacing reality and facts. I wanted to capture this very strong image in a metaphorical way, which of course also speaks about the future that lies in front of us, due to the reality of climate change.

Interview by Bailey Dale














2018

Sisyphus




In Greek mythology, Sisyphus tricked Death by trapping Thanatos in chains. Once Thanatos was bound by chains, no one died on Earth, this is why Sisyphus was punished to roll an enormous rock up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity.

How we used to think about the world is changing radically every day. Religion is replaced by science, we are flooded by images every day, we want instant access to knowledge. Photography as a medium has the ability to capture everything that’s in front of the camera, the machinery sees even what the human eye is not capable of.
We can see universes, stars exploding, microscopic worlds, atom bomb detonation with the safety of the far distance. Through these images, we think we can get closer to understand how the world is functioning without ever experiencing or seeing it through our own eyes.

In series Sisyphus, I constructed an imaginary laboratory where it’s up to the reader to decide where the line lies between fiction and reality without any scientific explanation.





Sisyphus Zine
Published by Global Blur Books












Geibl explores our reliance on science through a series of images that reveal our fascination with scientific objects – inanimate tools – that we use to help us determine major truths about human nature. The presence of human beings is insinuated, but never made fully obvious by incorporating the faces or full bodies within the environments she constructs.
Many of the images in Sisyphus are fabricated scenarios, and possess an intense, cinematic atmosphere that makes their drama even more appealing. 

Essay by Cat Lachowskyj









Sisyphus Zine
Published by Global Blur Books



For photographer Kata Geibl, this cyclical myth acts as a metaphor for the topic explored in her series of the same name. Sisyphus is a photographic project that commentates on our incessant obsession with science – a discourse that regularly opens up new questions rather than conclusive answers – a hydra with multiplying heads that cannot ever be fully defeated or conquered.
While some images hint at a human presence, depicting their hands working through equations or interacting with particular substances, most of the images place human invention at centre stage, so that our manmade tools act as the protagonists in the story.

Essay by Cat Lachowskyj




Sisyphus Zine
Published by Global Blur Books




Your work focuses on humanity, our collective memories and the way mankind interacts with objects. There are, however, barely any people in your images. Why is that?
I like to think that my work questions how we form our understanding of reality. When there’s a human face, or even a group of people in an image, we are immediately drawn to it. We try to determine their personas, and so the meaning of the image becomes subverted. I try to show the world as a compley structure that goes beyond the individual, focusing instead on the man-made environment. 
The space that we find ourselves in and the objects that we create reveal more about the human race than an individual ever could.

Interview in Unseen Magazin, Issue 5




Could you elaborate on the idea of an ‘imaginary laboratory’? 
The imaginary basis of the project is that an event took place that had a major impact on humanity, which only a select group of people experienced. The work makes use of two kinds of distinct imagery.

For the first, I worked on experiments in collaboration with physicists at a university in Budapedt - during the process, I added and changed certain elements in the space.

The remaining images are entirely of my own making, inspired by my fascination with imagery from the Space Race and the Cold War - periods when scientific achievement was used primarily as a weapon.

My goal was to create something timeless, leaving viewers unsure as to which decade the pictures come from, allowing their imagination to run wild.

Interview in Unseen Magazin, Issue 5
 




Sisyphus Zine
Published by Global Blur Books



 






 

2018
Uncanny Valley




The title Uncanny Valley refers to the scientific term used to describe the anxiety that human beings encounter with too human-like machines.

I was living in Finland for almost half a year, and I asked myself the question what if the future is already something we live in? The Gulf of Finland is the very East of the western civilization, three different worlds next to each other. Finland, a small Scandinavian country which turned 100 years old this year, Estonia a post-soviet country in the uprise and Russia the land marked by thousand years of history between Europe and Asia.
In Tarkovsky’s Solaris psychologist
Kris Kelvin’s mission is to investigate the strange happenings at the Solaris space station, but instead, he finds himself in the very same situation as the rest of the crew. His attempt to find valid, satisfying answers for the hallucinations of the crew fails when he is visited by Hari, his wife who committed suicide many years ago. Tarkovsky’s science fiction movie Solaris is my main reference to Uncanny Valley.




















Why did you title the project Uncanny Valley?
Back from when I was studying philosophy I remembered Freud’s essay Das Unheimliche (The Uncanny) which matched perfectly of how I felt living in Finland for almost half a year.

The strange eerie feeling of something quite familiar, the strangeness of the ordinary. Uncanny was the perfect word to describe how I felt wondering through these Finnish landscapes. Then I found the terminology Uncanny Valley, which is a scientific term used to describe the anxiety that human beings encounter with too human-like machines. 

Interview by Ilias Lois










In the Uncanny Valley series, you are using an analog medium-format camera to depict in high clarity places of Finland clearly facing the intervention of human technology. I think this is an ideal follow up to New Topographics. How did your relationship with documentary photography start?
It’s really nice that you mention New Topographics, because seeing Bernd and Hilda Becher’s work for the first time had a huge impact on my photographic perspective. Until then I associated documentary photography with a snapshot type of vision and not with precisely planned photographs.

I remember when I started to take pictures I was looking for what I believed to be the raw, unmanipulated truth and it took years before I realised that everytime you take a picture you always frame something and that it also means that beside the frame there are unavoidably things that you leave out.

Interview by Ilias Lois




















2016
Red, White, Green




The Hungarian Revolution of 1848 which later grew into a war for independece from the Austrian Empire started on March 15. On this day a mass demonstration was held in front of the National Museum and revolutionaries like famous poet Sándor Petőfi marched through Pest.


Nowdays March 15 is one of the biggest national holidays. In elementary school and later in high school children always recreate the historical events in a performance. As a child I was always wondering why I don’t have any particular feelings about this event, so I started my research what really happened on this day in 1848. The series was shot only on March 15 in 2017, recreating the events and playing with collective memories and my own.