On Body and Soul – Masterworks by Zsófia Kérdy and Rebeka Rideg
Mental and physical health, overwork, coping mechanisms, awareness, the relationship between body and soul – looking at this year’s Graphic Design diploma projects of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, we can see a certain pattern emerge. The young designer generation of today uses an analytical approach in terms of professionalism and self-awareness, with practically no solutions that could be labelled exercises in style. Although the masterworks of Zsófia Kérdy and Rebeka Rideg are fairly different, they fit together well, both dealing with closely intertwined and dynamically interacting things – the body and the soul.
Kérdy Zsófia’s project refårm is a reflection on the inadequacies of urban lifestyle, consisting of a series of movements imitating gardening works that can be performed indoors. The first person to discuss therapeutic gardens in the modern sense and the healing powers of gardening works was Dr. Benjamin Rush. In his 1812 book Medical Inquiries and Observations Upon Diseases of the Mind he describes how digging in the garden is one of the activities that set apart cured patients from those unable to recover.
Zsófia’s diploma project is a multimedia artwork that could offer a solution to people with nature deficiency disorder. They can perform agricultural activities as a natural substitute in spaces isolated from nature. The project includes an instructional poster and educational pocketbook, as well as videos and campaign films to raise awareness of the alienation from nature.
How to express our emotions if we struggle to talk about them? This is a question Rebeka Rideg’s project Soul Sonification is attempting to answer. Motivated by personal reasons, she has created an installation to convey her feelings without verbal communication. She analysed and recorded her feelings every half hour over an entire month according to a rather rigorous system, and classified them into fourteen emotion types from fear to boredom and happiness.
The columns in the grid in the diary stand for the thirty-minute blocks, and the rows include the emotions. Complete with the magenta dots, the resulting “scores” outline the emotional landscape of a day from Rebeka’s life. However, the experience only becomes fully appreciable when combined with the installation: above the diary, a camera continuously scans the pages viewed, identifies the location of the dots, and automatically plays the sounds assigned to the dots. She used a medical stethoscope converted into a digital microphone to record sounds such as heartbeats, the chattering of teeth, breathing, yawns, bowel sounds, and other body sounds.
The masterworks were completed at the Graphic Design MA of Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. Zsófia’s supervisor was Antal Lakner, and Rebeka’s István Nagy.