A Diary of Life and Death
Elizabeth Rovit's project, Multiverse explores the dynamics of different worlds influencing one another and the limits between imagination and reality, the familiar and the unknown.
What do a blood-injected eyeball and the reflection of vegetation on an uneven surface of water have in common? They both draw maps of unreachable places. Elizabeth Rovit looks close-up at her everyday surroundings and edits the result in an intertwined narrative. “In this project I want to show the similarity between nature, humans, and animals”, she explains. “For me it’s an existential quest. My images are like an exploration of the world around me; it’s a reason to explore.”
The point is never to draw parallels, it’s rather an invitation to look at the mundane from a different perspective. A flower takes on a phallic dimension; a spider unravels her furry legs as a shooting star; and rain drops bubble as the scales of sardines.
“When I photograph humans I choose to use their body or parts of their body. I am not interested in their identity, but in how they are related to other things”, she explains. The title comes from this idea of overlapping realities. “Every image of the series is different but they form a universe all together. Multiverse means that each image is individual but when you put them together they have a hidden connection and interact with each other.”
Bearings are blurred and everything merges in sometimes paradoxical ways – nature looks somehow domesticated, be it in the form of a cat peeing in a bathroom, of fishes squeezed on top of each other, or of a snake sliding on a bed sheet while melting with the fabric’s folds.
An ode to editing and sequencing, Rovit’s series defies the broken flow of a diary while using its codes and aesthetics. The meeting points between two or more images come from various components – a shape, a colour, an atmosphere, a grain, or even a shy look. “You realise that you can find connection in so many different things!”, she exclaims. “Some body parts look like things from nature, such as flowers and rivers. This is why I choose to show the skin.” Her series can thus be seen as training to look at the simplest things around us with another eye, fresh and curious.
Laurence Cornet is a writer and curator based in Brooklyn focusing on cultural and environmental issues.