Budapest, A38 ship, exhibition space
Budapest, A38 ship, exhibition space
STAY OR GO?
2011 - 2012
"In school we squezze eachother until we form a community. We eather succeed or not. Success greatly depends on the rules. Although the institution of school is constant rules are changing from time to time. It is quite bizarr and occasionally its been tragic. Common and compulsory. Complying with the rules while trying to costumise them to your personality requires creativity.
The object on my paintings are cold and rigid and yet we continue live among them. The objects whose portraits I have painted are familiar, everyday things you can see around us. At first sight there is nothing interesting about them.
The picture of a classroom, school caffetaria or gym bag mean something to all of us because of the shared experiance. They make up our communal landscape we inhabit. The positioning of the stowes and fridges, the linoleum floors, the familiar colors of high-endurance paint on the walls evoke the institutional sturcture of knowledgetransfer.
These images bring back memories of infallible teachers, as the guardians of knowledge pouring the rules of order and social consensus into their pupils’ heads."
Kata Soós 2011
The work entitled „Lujza” was the outcome of a four year community project.
It was an open experiment, and creating a work of art as a result was not planned at the very start. We were shooting situations planned by teenagers, based on their own stories, with settings created and characters impersonated by them.
Lujza was a completely open program. We held events int he street and at the local squere, and anyone could join. We prepared the props made of paper together. Two cameras recorded the events: the camera of the kids, which was in their control and focused on the scenes, and the camera that served to document the whole event. Several edited versions were made from the video recordings.
The resulting work (the video piece and the documented events) are based on participation, they are dialogical works. They do not focus on problems, but they face us with a number of problems, without offering solutions. AS the participants of the creative piece and the overall work are the same, the result is highly reflective. It reflects on the characters and participants as well as on the viewers.
The work places the emphasis on the dialogue, and final product is less important. It is based on participation, it does not allow the artist to take an outside perspective: instead, it offers the opportunity of participating in a dialogue. The role of the artist is defined within, and not outside the work. However, reaching consensus on the way participants are represented is not a requirement. The scope of cooperation is the whole project, not the end result.
My works rely on and operate with personal interests and experiences. In this case, I was interested in the ways in which the ideas and forms that are created in the interaction are intertwined and layerd on each other.
I assumed that, similarly to the creative process of an individual, continuous feedback will also be part of the practice when we go beyond the self and the arts.
Budapest VIII. ker.
I am working in Budapest with young Roma people between the ages of 16 and 21, all coming from dire backgrounds. Together, we are still working on a fi lm based on their everyday life. Every chapter was written and created by the partcipants with the help of fine artists. This project originated in the media educational programme of a foundation supporting equal opportunities for young Roma people. At the beginning of the programme the chapters were funded by the Hungarian Open Society Institute (OSI). The project’s documentation and parts of the end product have been exhibited and screened at numerous art shows and festivals ever since. The fact that in the area where these young people came from other similar projects have been launched as local initiatives in recent years shows how succesful the project has been.
DIVERS WORKING UNDERNEATH THE CITY…
Public space intervention ( fi ve pieces in diff erent streets)
We are strolling in the heart of the city. Our attention is captured by humps on the pavement and the road. They seem to be sewer covers that do not fit smoothly in the surface of the road But something is not right here. Stepping closer we can see that instead of the iron covers expected, the sewer is covered by transparent plexiglass. We can see inside the sewer, the video shows divers swimming slowly in dark caves. The diver videos shown on the plasma screen are underwater shootings taken in uncovered caves or other subterranean systems of Hungary. The divers record their discoveries with cameras secured on their helmets in order to be able to map and analyze them later. Cave diving is the most dangerous diving job. The divers spend weeks, months underwater, fi ghting falling debris, but get about in the sewers similarly when fulfi lling industrial tasks. My goal is to put off passers-by from the everyday task of strolling on the street. While creating my concept I concentrated on directing the attention of passers-by on an ordinary segment of the city they might fi nd insignifi cant and of no interest. The sewer is a functional item in their sight, its cover hiding something serving their everyday comfort but not normally shown directly. The video work shown through the sewer cover provides insight into a special lifestyle and a real but in the same time extraneous space. The real sound of the diving videos appears to come from the sewer, forming a bizarre compound with the noise of the street. The peculiar atmosphere of the visual world ensures the foundation of the relationship and the identification of the actors of the two diff erent worlds without any verbal means and storytelling. Another interpretation of the work is the interchangeability of the worlds divided by the surface of the water, thus changing the proportion of above and below. It is important that the work appears in public space in a space-time relation where the spectator is moving and does not expect the turnover of his basic correlation systems, moreover the allegoric opening of the earth beneath him.
Propéra (Next) Project, Idensitat
Mataró, Catalonia, Spain
This project was prepared and carried out in the town of Mataró in Catalonia. The Propera project is carried out with the collaboration of a group of youngsters. All pupils are members of the same community, they attend the same high school, the majority of them is living in a well-identifi able area of the town of Mataró. Most of the parents work in the factories and shops near the scool, many of them are immigrants. The goal of the creative team made up of the teenagers and me was to refl ect on the city’s everyday life and to reveal the thoughts, dreams and aspirations of these children living there. The research-video aimed to discover the peculiarities of those emotions and observations and the fi nal video project used the motives found during this experiment. The main topic was an investigation into how teenagers look at work and working and how they view certain professions. In the fi rst phase of the production the group shot a 13 minute video where the teenagers came up with the storyline and also performed those. The making of the video functioned partially as a way of getting to know the issues, it was part of the preliminary research as a means of information gathering. Eventually, after the whole project was done, the video itself became an integral element of Propéra to be shown at the fi nal screening. Evaluating the interviews, conver-staions and the many observations I had made during the creation of the video helped me reach the topics that I explore further in my video piece (Pros) in the second phase of the project. The two videos were presented in the Can Xalant. This is presentation was important not only for the initiators of the project but also to the young, not much more than one-year old institution, as the local kids, families and the professional public were all invited.
video 1.: „The Boys, the Girls and the two Wealthy”, 17 min.,
video 2.: „Professionals”, 16 min.
SPACES TO EXPLORE
My paintings display various constructed spaces and particular details of these spaces. These paintings have always grown out of a long process of preparatory collection work. For me, the collecting phase has become an indispensable component of the creative process. The medium of this collection is the photo and the video. The important thing is that the elements are then forged into an organized vision. Here the medium is just a tool. I combine and mix elements from my collection into new patterns by seeking out those narrow conceptual seams along which these elements touch upon one another. I make these proto-images myself, since they must fit the requirements of my specifi c designs and they must serve as appropriate building materials for the fi nal compositions. I have conducted collections in a number of European cities in the past few years. (Valencia, Wien, Rome, Budapest) Mostly, I tried to capture the milieu of construction sites, buildings, street fixtures, public artifacts and interior spaces. I superimposed photographs on one another, or I placed elements and characteristic objects taken from diff erent scenes into a unifi ed space in one picture or frame. In the end, I produced paintings from these preliminary compositions. The final paintings should be seen as a kind of visual essence distilled out of “collecting”, that is, exploring the city’s landscape.
Images and spaces are structurally different from historic linearity, in which nothing is ever repeated and everything is part of a causal chain. In the meaning-complex of a visual image, one element interprets another, and that element, in turn, also comments on the fi rst. Spaces reconstructed in such a way are infused with multiple meanings that mutually refl ect and comment on one another. While viewing an image, we might fi nd that our gaze jumps from one detail to another, skipping some contiguous elements and creating connections between details that are spatially far apart. The space surrounding us can also be explored in such a free, non-linear manner if “read” it by moving our gaze non-linearly across it. However, when we do not read the surrounding space with our gaze but physically pass through it ourselves, we impose a necessary linearity on our “reading”-though we are still free to choose our direction. Looking at a painting or visual image, we see the full content as a whole, while in the case of a spatial structure-like a building, an artifi cially constructed space-, we can explore it only through physically changing our position in space.
Exploring the spaces around us through various different media will lead us to deeper and deeper understanding and recognition. While the medium is simply a tool, its use gains meaning and signifi cance through the creative design of the artist and the intended message. The role of painting is reinterpreted by the close interplay of the diff erent media. If the painter creates photo- or video-like images, we must see this as a deliberate choice of medium. Choosing the medium with such a conscious conceptual approach is very important in my work. Going through and passing beyond “collecting”, I produce works that capture our directly experienced constructed environment in such a way that the images resonate with the perceptions and sensibilities of those reflecting 21st-century viewers whose lives are surrounded by modern technology. The paintings also raise fundamental questions about our relationship with our immediate environment.
EXHIBITION: GROUP PHOTO OF THE GYPSY COMMUNITY IN LAK
Liget Gallery, Budapest
This exhibition presented the history and the making of a huge group photo. It consisted of three parts that complement each other in order to give a comprehensive picture of a year-long process. Between 2000 and 2006, I conducted visual anthropological research in Borsod county. The focus of my research was the small village of Lak. In 2005 with two professional photographers we took a group photo of the members of the Gypsy Community in Lak. Our goal was to take a picture of every single inhabitant and so the photographers took the picture riding up high in a crane. Then, as we had planned, we printed out the huge group photo and exhibited it in Lak at the and of the only one main street. The material exhbitied at Gallery Liget in Budapest consisted of these three parts: a huge print of the group photo; a video showing the process of making the picture and the party that followed the event; texts I had compiled that attempted at putting the picture into context. These texts partly consisted of stereotypes belonging to the literature of visual anthropology, partly my own words as well as a list of quotations concerning the afterlife of the photo. I asked potential visitors of the exhibition to look at the picture and choose someone from the group to write a few imaginary lines in the name of that person. Most of them were not aware of the story of the picture and did not know anything of the life of the people in it. With this mix, I intended to explore– the interaction of anthropology with the traditionally contemporarycontext of fi ne arts, especially among the white walls of a gallery,– how to present a work like this in its pure essence, without any artistic appropriation.