In these monumental, museum-scale compositions, Ákos Ezer switches into berserk mode. The “director’s cut” provides additional side narratives, extras, and goodies. It is rewarding to invest the extra “leg work” into exploring these two- or three-piece mega constructions.
Jon Burgerman’s mesmerising stand-alone figures and choirlike paintings are magnetically endearing but also confrontational. Their intense features pulsate ferociously, finding ways to get imprinted behind your eyelids. His work dissolves categories, oscillating between genres and functions, creating new audiences, viewers and fandoms. To learn about the complexity of the issues at hand, I talked with the multifaceted artist who is also one of the exhibitors of the thematic group show titled The Cuteness Factor.
The touring exhibition titled The Journey – János Fajó and the Pesti Workshop will be launched in several Chinese venues in cooperation with MNB Arts and Culture, the cultural branch of the Central Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank, MNB) and the Fajó Foundation. The first exhibition will open in Shanghai’s Liu Haisu Art Museum on 19 August 2023.
Temporality in Cross-Section
Liquid Slices of Time — Female Artists from the MNB Contemporary Collection
The House of Arts in Veszprém —taking advantage of the attention directed towards the city due to the European Capital of Culture programme— is devoting several of its current exhibitions to art created by women. Among these, the first joint exhibition of the House of Arts and MNB Arts and Culture —the organisation managing the collection of the Central Bank of Hungary— entitled Liquid Slices of Time is a unique arrangement curated by Kinga Hamvai, head of MNB’s division dealing with the institution’s contemporary collection.
Noémi Forián Szabó
The exhibition Domain#2 by Dániel Erdély, Mária Vető Lavman and János Vető was on view at the ffrindiau gallery in Budapest between the 10th and the 21st of November 2022. The material for the exhibition came from Sweden, where it was shown in 2021 at the Rostrum Gallery in Malmo under the title Domain.
When an expanding collection wants to preserve its momentum, it cannot stay within the confines of the local art scene for long. Instead, it has to be activated and re-investigated in various new contexts, generating several alternative interpretations that further inform the collection’s pieces. MNB Arts and Culture has shifted its attention, thus, to re-imagining the perspectives of Hungarian art on an international scale.
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.”