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all contents copyright Jon Rolston 2004, 2005, 2006

August 22, 2007

documentary sculptor


This man is Pepin Segesvary. He is a Hungarian documentary sculptor. Which may sound funny – most people consider filmmakers to control documentary work. Economic repercussions of the Soviet era left Mr. Segasvary with no access to film, cameras, lights or microphones. However, he burned to tell the story of the forgotten. So he turned to sculpture.

“This piece is a documentary sculpture concerning my divorce. As you can see, it is a floor to ceiling pile of paper. The single root, or trunk, is comprised of love letters between my wife and I, paperwork from our marriage, rent receipts from our first apartment together, all the ephemera of our courtship, nuptials and early years of marriage.”

Indeed, there is an impressive compressed stack of paperwork, mostly white, but splashes of pink, yellow and green tucked in. These are often thin receipts, or pretty stationary Segasvary tells us. The edges are bent, sheets hang over here and there, enough so that one can read a phrase or two, the total paid, the street address, or “Love, Alina” – Segasvary’s ex wife and half of the subject of this documentary.

“About six feet up, at year six, you see the paper stream split into two distinct branches. That crotch marks the divorce.”

The paperwork here is laced together like a deck of cards shuffled but yet to be edged, each page landing across the one below it, until they have widened into their own separate stack.

The genre of documentary sculpture most likely will begin and end with Segasvary, thanks to the proliferation of cheap and accessible video technology.

“I don’t really see myself getting a camera, I have been able to capture reality, tell important stories, very well with line, volume and shape. But this next generation, I don’t think they will be interested.”

1 Comment

  1. okay, i made that up.

    Comment by Rolston — August 23, 2007 @ 9:46 pm

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