For the first time in its history, Manifesta Biennial is hosted by a country from the Balkan peninsula. For the second time in its history, it is hosted by a country of the ex-Yugoslav territory, after a 3rd edition held in Ljubljana in 2000.
Andreas Fogarasi lives and works in Vienna, but he is also involved in the Hungarian art scene. With his video installation Kultur und Freizeit he received the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Biennale in 2007. His work has been featured in group and solo exhibitions at renowned institutions from Mexico to Paris. His solo exhibition, with the title Skin Calendar at the Budapest Galéria closed on 22nd of May. The show was interesting not only for the fine arts scene, but also for those interested in architecture and cultural heritage. I asked Andreas about the conceptual layers of the exhibition.
The Paris-based artist Mihael Milunović expresses the language of world politics and social movements through visual means. His paintings delve deeper and deeper into the mechanics of these systems, revealing their dark, invisible and complex inner workings. When visuality is the primary means of interpreting the world, Milunović recognises the important role of painting. His intricate body of work offers multiple layers of meaning, guiding the viewer into a zone where they can gain new insights, new perceptions and new answers, where they can truly explore their curiosity and break away from themselves. If that is even possible…
Charting the Undocumented Zones of Artistic Practice – An Interview with Paul Barsch
One has to delve into alternatively designed web-based platforms and explore multifaceted physical spaces and objects to experience the complex and subversive artistic practice of Dresden and Berlin-based artist Paul Barsch (born in 1982, Karlsburg). In a recent web-deconstructing, conceptual labyrinth titled New Scenario, Paul Barsch and Tilman Hornig reinvestigated the possible sites of artistic performance, ranging from the neo-baroque curves of a limousine’s interior to the light-flooded orifices of the human body or the sombre, hellish vistas of Chernobyl. As a result, the forever-moving artwork – a sketch or an unidentified flying object – becomes an enigmatic point of contemplation, losing its tight bonds with the art world’s neutral lighting panels and dominant white walls. In order to rethink some of the scene’s more crusty, persisting notions, I talked with Paul Barsch about the shifting notion and function of art from a more global perspective, touching upon the various metanarratives and subtextual layers that emerge from his collaborative pieces and individual work.
Róna Kopeczky recently curated a large-scale, international exhibition in Tallinn reflecting on the many current dilemmas and issues we face in the Central and Eastern European region. I talked with the curator about the philosophical-social insights that shaped the exhibition’s conceptual background and the larger-scale perspectives that permeate the complex network that connects the showcased artworks and practices.
Tearjerker, eye bender, fall over! Figures moving about, minding their business in their world filled with thingamajigs and overall tomfoolery. In the work of Joakim Ojanen brouhaha and hahaha echo around the endless stage of existence. The snakes and ladders of fortune take us from happy, uplifting moments to tragic seconds of light misery. Fiddlesticks! One is always only a second away from breakdown or total catharsis.
Post-Yu+th – is second edition of the regional youth art biennale in Montenegro. Contextualized within the sphere of peripheral art-worlds in post-Yugoslav countries and with the chance to merge the different cases and scopes in practices of emerging artists that are exemplary and not usually able to share meeting point.
In 2020 there was an exhibition at Trafó Gallery, which gave the viewer a glimpse into the alternative realm of existence imagined by Eglė Kulbokaitė and Dorota Gawęda. In the complex practice of the two artists, a range of notions merge to establish a platform where the core ideas of what art theory could be are continuously rethought. Their work reaches from the reinterpretation of witchcraft and high-tech solutions to the investigation and close reading of various texts and the creation of materially tangible constellations. Their theoretical work is performative, while the objects they work on become embedded into a textual context. In this interview, we talked about the in-between zones of their artistic practice, to shed light on the parallel realities that provide the dynamics of their work.
Why are invisible infrastructures invisible? As I mentioned in New Extractivism, invisible technical infrastructures are constructed of multiple opaque layers and built mostly by ghost work or invisible labor. The bricks of this planetary-scale structure consist of black boxes, closed code, and hardware. They are covered with layers of corporate secrets, patents, and copyrights. There are many reasons why those infrastructures are opaque, nevertheless, we can probably cluster these reasons into two groups. The first one is political-economical, the other is technical. On one hand, technical infrastructures and processes embedded within these infrastructures allow an immense concentration of power and wealth. People that accumulated these powers and wealth are not interested in losing it or sharing it.
Kovács Kristóf (Sajnos Gergely)
“In 2020, because of my captivity (for about seven months), I was forced to rent a room in an apartment in Slovenia and work in a new studio. I bonded daily with the same five people. It was significant to me that I became so close with these strangers. We together created a community that felt like a family – deep human relationships when relationships were prohibited. As for 2021, I read a few days ago that the USA passed a special bill to authorize domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor “domestic” terrorist. Sounds like some hardcore Stasi shit to me.”
Orsolya Vető Lia
The traditionally slow genre of painting is capable of challenging the inhumanly fast circulation of digital imagery. Painting interacts with the digital by appropriating, and formally codifying its heterogeneous and ephemeral visual experiences. While utopian notions of the correlation between the human and the machine are becoming blurred, the digital is restructured as something increasingly real and thus permeating the nervous system of contemporary painting.
In the miracle part of the year, in the evening of 21 st December, wæ gather in an artist bash, looking for a place of escape, like in a funfair, where we gossip, kiss and make seasonal mandalas, eat and serve snow soup in plastic bowls for charity, and last, but not least invite you to purchase an art piece for yourself, your mom or your empty corridor wall. Support local artist agents and bring love forth.
As a sample of many years of research, Gábor Ébli published in 2020 an English-language book intended for an international audience. The multifaceted suggestions of the volume shed light on the possible personal motivations behind collecting art and the dialogue with collection strategies at national and regional levels. A shorter version of this interview appeared in the 6th print issue of Új Művészet in Hungarian. This extended discussion aims to provide insight into some of the key issues covered by the author.
The Weight of Painting
An Interview with Sean Scully and Dávid Fehér concerning Scully's retrospective titled Passenger
An internationally significant exhibition of Sean Scully’s work opened in the October of 2020 at the Hungarian National Gallery. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition titled Passenger was closed for several months, but now the visitors have a chance to look at it for a few more days. Walking among the paintings emitting a radiant presence, the viewer involuntarily focuses on the physical act of looking at paintings and the enthralling, direct experience of the artworks. Following the curatorial narrative formulated by art historian Dávid Fehér, the exhibition presents the thematic chapters of the artist’s consistent painting practice in a complex manner. In my interview, I talked with the artist as well as the curator of the exhibition. The following discussion was published in Hungarian in the print edition of the journal in November 2020.
“Exit From the White Cube Ghetto”
Interview with Peter Bencze, founder and organizer of the hybrid institution of Everybody Needs Art [ENA]
In this series of interviews, Új Művészet presents non-profit, for-profit, commercial and internationally relevant galleries. These conversations reveal how certain institutions were affected by the pandemic, and what kind of online and offline strategies were developed to confront current situations. Today we are asking Péter Bencze, founder and organizer of the hybrid institution Everybody Needs Art [ENA].
The Budapest Art Factory welcomed Californian photographer John Chiara for the second time since 2017 for a two-months artist residency. In the beginning of the summer 2019 Budapest Art Factory presented his residency-end solo exhibition titled ‘Dust of Angels’: a series of the street scenes and landscape photographs in portrait format bustling with color.