Pallag, Zoltán poet

Conditional Present (Feltételes jelen) - Institut Hongrois de Paris

The common exhibition of four galleries (acb – INDA – Videospace – VILTIN) in the Institut Hongrois de Paris.

25 October – 9 December, 2009

Opening: Saturday 24th October, 2009 from 4-8 p.m. Opening by Jennifer Flay, art director of FIAC Participant artists: acb: Péter Szarka, Péter Halász INDA: György Jovián, Endre Koronczi, Zsófia Szemzõ, Ágnes Szépfalvi Videospace: Hajnal Németh, János Sugár, Eszter Szabó VILTIN: Zsolt Asztalos, Szabolcs Barakonyi, Miklós Surányi

Opening by Jennifer Flay, art director of FIAC

Participant artists:

acb: Péter Szarka, Péter Halász INDA: György Jovián, Endre Koronczi, Zsófia Szemzõ, Ágnes Szépfalvi Videospace: Hajnal Németh, János Sugár, Eszter Szabó VILTIN: Zsolt Asztalos, Szabolcs Barakonyi, Miklós Surányi

The concept of the exhibition Conditional Present (Feltételes jelen)

Contemporary artists are fundamentally interested in present time occurrences, and as a reaction to this, they work for the eternity. In everyday life, in the present time, change is continuous: in Austria, a married couple obtains a divorce after an average of 9.2 years. A British graduate will change workplaces on an average of twelve times throughout his life, out of which he will work in an entirely new field three times (1). One can travel around the Earth on a regular airplane within one and a half day, and on the internet ten thousands of new websites appear every minute (4). As a result of the continuous changes, the sentiment of social connection declines. Even if the role of individuality is increasing at first view, the real effect of the changes is actually the loss of identity. Instead of personal communication, the global media and the chains of stores are taking a prominent part in shaping our personality. As a result of this, we become more identical, and that means facelessness, substitution, standardization, rather than community. In this progress the artist represents an anti-globalist attitude, and stops the events. The individual who is noticed in his environment often resorts to the private life instead of the distorting events, even if it is such a close element of a wider society, and composes his own anti-globalist viewpoint through the space of privateness. He creates personal moments out of snapshots, condensing the progresses into images, photos and motion pictures. He discovers identities through his sensitive observations, and composes new possible identity types.

The main question of the assembling of the material and artists of the exhibition Conditional Present (Feltételes jelen) was how to transmit such a committment of art. The organizers of the exhibition, the four galleries: the acb-INDA-Videospace-VILTIN, demonstrate the counterposing of present and timeless by drawing a parallel between the extensiveness and the miscellaneous methods of expression. The different media, the various generations and approaches prove that the universality of the work of art in the instantaneous Zeitgeist makes headway through the change and the experienced moments.

(1) data: EU comission 2004. (4) DER SPIEGEL 33/2009, 2009. 08. 10., page 68.

acb Gallery Péter Szarka has used the computers as well as the Durst Lambda printing technology in the recent years, and thanks to them, he created extraordinarily detailed, brilliantly shaded and spectacularly shaped prints. He did not mean to use a substitute technique for optical imagery, i.e. for the camera, when he applied three-dimensional, 3D softwares. These programs were developed for editing virtual spaces, defining colours and surfaces, and editing lights and shadows. Szarka sees these programs as a technique applicable for painting imagery. His themes are landscapes, interiors, still-lifes. His works touch upon the questions of design, media and mass culture, and use their imagery as well. His two exhibited works (Bank, Bátor kismadár / Brave Birdie) depict the artificial environment surrounding the modern human being, with multiple cross-references resulting from the applied media and the imagery.

Péter Halász' works often draw inspiration from the contemporary fields of environment and objects as well, giving an opportunity again and again to give rise to thoughts on the relationship of humankind and its created surroundings. The two exhibited objects also take the emblematic instruments of the era as their basic materials: the neon, the glass, and the accessories of the computer. In addition to its obvious references to architecture and art history, the Fénysátor (Light-tent) refers to the role of illusion in the visual culture. In his work Partíció (Partition), past and present, sacred and profane collides on the account of formal correlations.

INDA Gallery György Jovián: The artist responds with a self-made order for the relaxation of traditional morals and the loss of references in the post-cultural present. He preserves, but actualizes for himself the practice of traditional painting; he paints in a strict coherence on a daily basis, in which he discovers permanence. In his recent works, he formulated the negative effects of the changes caused by the manifold (social, political, ecological, cultural) crises throughout the world. In his latest sequence, waste, the by-product of the human everyday-life appears as a new substance covering the earth. He depicts a sleeping homeless person in his work, A lépcsõ (The Stairs) (2008-2009), a rarely returning human figure in his art, lying on the street, banished, being difficult to distinguish from a pile of litter. The story matured, instead of the once vital mythical, sacred medium, the artist now uses dark, greyish-brownish hues to paint a cold town exiling the human being. The image of the Brave New World is more alarming than ever.

Endre Koronczi's photo sequences, video works have such simple subjects: the basic concepts, emotions and phenomena defining our lives have infiltrated our weekdays, as a result of which we barely think about them. By using various means, he examined human relationships (friendship, love, enmity), states (sleeping), the reciprocity or change of objects and natural phenomena (wind, waves of the sea). Again and again, he returned to the already analyzed questions in order to re-interpret them after years, in another stage of life. His exhibited video work represents the relationship of Sunday daddies and their children humorously. The comparison of these similar events is illuminating because it reveals what individual, typical or general correlations combine and control our categories defined by emotions.

Zsófia Szemzõ, as a media-artist, creates in different genres, makes water-colour paintings, drawings, artbooks, animations, photos and films. Now, unknown women, addressed on the streets or nominated by acquaintances, narrate an interesting story that happened to them. These women live in different countries, they are passing through Paris or they have just found work. This type of communication is remarkable because the audience gets involved in the life of a stranger for a second, become part of the unfolding moment and casual friend to the speakers.

Ágnes Szépfalvi's painted-drawn pictures have a special theme: the connection of female beauty, female roles and romantic relationships. The man-woman relationship embedded in the symbolic story merges into fiction and reality, or the narrative frames, and her personal life-stories. This time, the exhibited drawings are once again personal or found photos, self-portraits, the images of family members, friends or actresses. The portrayal of a desired beauty, the harmonious but tense drawing creates a distance between the audience and the representation, in which the subject, the personality seems to be merely an element of a fictitious role-playing game. All of us can feel in the flow of our own life the connection between this melodramatic role-playing game and reality.

Videospace Gallery Eszter Szabó: Emberek (People). Animations, in which anti-heroes become heroes. We can see human frailty, the small pains of everyday life, people's desires and the sources and impressions of them revived in water-colour.

Hajnal Németh: Air Out. At the beginning of the video we can hear a performance of J. S. Bach's organ piece Air, while we can see the back of the performer from a quite close distance. As the camera opens and the musician switches off the air pump of the organ with a gesture, the musical piece falls apart and gradually changes into the rhythmic noise of the manual and pedals that fades away later. We observe that due to the convulsive movements of his performance, the full-sized organ player reminds us of a lifeless doll of a gigantic musical instrument.

János Sugár: Ismeri a módszeremet? (Do you know my method?) The message of the video is quite reduced, focusing on one single plotline: a knife-thrower of a circus enters and helps his assistant to the death-wheel. The woman takes her place, the knife-thrower concentrates, aims, then he leaves. We watch one single scene without a cut. The most hazardous spectacle of the knife-thrower takes merely seconds. What is the essence of his method? What could demonstrate the risk any better than a moving target? While, from the point of view of the audience, the dramaturgic climax of the plot is the sight of the telling knives, from the knife-thrower's point of view the events already took their course when he threw the knives for the rhythm. When he aims, the target is not there yet, the moving object practically reaches its virtual target. (Tarczali Andrea: Figyelemcsapda, Balkon 04/03)

VILTIN Gallery Zsolt Asztalos: Repeat. A photo-sequence based on the pictures of private photo albums from the internet, creating repetitions and duplicates of surroundings by further digital processing. The recipient does not immediately understand the disturbing experiment of identity distortions, that can be considered simulacra. The latest sequence of Asztalos depicts the reality experiment of an unrealistic world. The simultaneous appearance of the material in more places has engaged the attention of scientists for a long time, and now Zsolt Asztalos also touched this topic. What we can see is reality or its mirror image, analogy. In order to demonstrate this idea he used the instrument of spatial repetition and symmetrical reflection. In our perceptible world there is no perfect symmetry, that is, the depicted symmetrical images are not realistic, they refer to a supernatural quality seen from a human point of view.

Szabolcs Barakonyi: Tébánya. This sequence presents the portraits of the youth without future prospects in a once prosperous mining town. The young people who came of age in 2007 were born as the last ones in the dawn of the political transformation in a unique Eastern European formation: the communist industrial town. Such towns used to be the display of the system, propagating the fictitious unrestricted power of the proletariat, as the mementos of a megalomanic planned economy. In many cases, the parents of the teenagers are unemployed, and after school, the young people are not employed either. In the 1950s, tens of thousands of people were moved to these settlements in the promise of a secure future. Today's youth aimlessly loaf around among the sets of the bygone world. Their wider home is already the European Union insuring the freedom of the individual and the market, but their narrower home is the refuse dump and the corroding factory. The mistake of history left nonfunctional towns in Eastern and Middle Europe for hundreds of thousands. The life of the young people in these settlements is touching and grotesque at the same time. The trapped fates are sorrowful, and they remind us of the importance of being born at this or that kilometre mark. From a distance it seems absurd that the kids following the western fashion and values try to live a normal life among the rotting props of a system denying freedom and rationality.

Miklós Surányi: Közös képek (Common Pictures). Surányi's latest sequence depicts a fictitious gathering of the Hungarian art life. He relates such a community as an artistic group, that produces relations in its details, though the connection is merely virtual. The photo sequence inspired by curator Judit Angel documents a group, its members and the details of its living space as if they were real, suggesting a coherence that might as well exist. The introduction of the group on pictures is fictitious in many ways, to which the artist's reflection added further fictive layers about the combination of the members and each other's images. This group is not a classical art group, rather, a subculture founded on friendship and similar mentality, that does not create common works, but selflessly help each other's work. Surányi, considering the power of the photo as a documenting instrument, records his models and objects in a way that they do not leave a trace due to the photos; they strengthen the boundaries of the community and people's places in it. He creates his portraits without preconceptions, in a frontally neutral light, inside the environment that connects them. He focuses on a member of the community until he feels that the picture is the best, the most expressive.

Gallery Night

The aim of the GALLERY NIGHT is to introduce the local galleries, similarly to the other cities arranging art fairs.

Today in Budapest, there are nearly thirty contemporary galleries participating in the popularization of modern art with the contemporary art institutions, and most importantly, taking part in the consistent and long-term professional headway of the artists.

It is fortunate that the contemporary art scene had significant successes in the field of international representations as a result of the Visitors Program, the support of the NKA and the private galleries bearing of burdens, among others.

Ágnes Szépfalvi and Emese Benczúr are in the MUMOK

We are pleased to announce that the works of Ágnes Szépfalvi and Emese Benczúr are exhibited as well on the Gender Check in MUMOK, Vienna. The exhibition is open until February 14, 2010. Congratulations to the artists!

During holiday

We are closed between 24.12.2008. - 01.01.2009.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

contemporary american art

Spengler Katalin

AICA Prize for Ádám Szabó

Balla, Zsófia poet