We are not as naive as to believe that what we would call the new generation is something that can be in any way anticipated or evaluated by a certain language or in a key that is already academized and therefore dead. What interests us in this context is to draw the boundaries of a battlefield, of a fighting ring, to set the (impossible) framework for a revolution to come. For we are certain that it would do nothing else but end something that has not been yet started, or repeat that which is already well known. The artists we call established do not look for intelligible things or people but rather persevere in placing their finger on something that burns, even if it would do nothing but announce their own demise.
Artists like Ciprian Mureșan, Șerban Savu, Matei Bejenaru, Mona Vătămanu
and Florin Tudor, Monotremu (Laura Borotea and Gabriel Boldiș), Miklósi Dénes and Miklós Szilárd, Ágnes-Evelin Kispál and Attila Kispál are letting themselves be challenged by the curatorial team of the Paintbrush Factory and engaged in an act of working with the stakes and local communities, by selecting artists from younger generations and curating an exhibition featuring their works. – Răzvan Anton and Mihai Iepure-Górski
The Future Perfect #5 edition presents, in the exhibition area on the first floor of Tranzit House, works and series of works by young artists whose artistic practices have photography as their primary medium or where photography is an important component. At the same time, these artists are all interested in the idea of home either in a larger personal-historical context, or as it manifests itself in the intimacy and profession of the artist, or through a sociological approach, relating to the history of architecture.
The four invited artists are Kincső Bede, Bernadett Fejér, Júlia Kusztos, and Mihai Șovăială, who all come from different cities of the country; most of them started their careers in universities at home, in Bucharest or in Cluj, and went on to continue their studies abroad, where they all currently live and work. – Ágnes-Evelin Kispál & Attila Kispál
The event is part of the Living the future program – ways to support artistic creation in an impossible time.
The exhibition presents a selection of cameraless and experimental photographs by Tibor Várnagy (Budapest, 1957).
Várnagy, as a representative of “alternative” endeavours, has been a determining figure in the Hungarian art scene of recent decades. He is a founding member of the Hejettes Szomlyazók, one of the most important artists’ groups of the 1980s (he participated in the group until 1990); besides photography, he draws, occasionally paints and makes collages, objects and installations. From 1991 to 1994, he worked together with Ágnes Eperjesi, and then he organised occasional exhibitions with Gyula Várnai, Zoltán Ádám, Dezső Tandori and Andrea Hajagos. Between 2001 and 2004, he edited the (quasi) periodical Manapság with Miklós Erhardt. He has been running a photo blog since 2006 and a video blog since 2009. Besides his creative work, he is also active as an art writer and gallery director & curator, and also as director of the Liget Gallery, which has been running exhibition programmes focusing on traditionally experimental genres (performance, experimental photography, intermedial endeavours) since its foundation in 1983. Besides experimental genres, his work occasionally also includes socially engaged activist projects.
Since the mid-1980s, Várnagy’s works have been regularly exhibited in Hungary and internationally (including the Mała Gallery in Warsaw and the Fotogalerie in Vienna, as well as at several exhibitions in the US), making him one of the most original representatives of creative/experimental photography. Várnagy’s photographic works, with their numerous references from Robert Heinecken’s videograms to Miklós Erdély’s photographic experiments, are closely linked to trends in performative genres, action art, but also new wave visuality and expressive gesture painting.
The title Photoessential? refers to the specificity of the series presented at the exhibition: the works that explore and build on the basic properties of light-sensitive materials bear the essential, elemental characteristics of the creation of the photographic image. This is reflected not only in the displayed photographic works but also in the exhibited cinematographic material, including the documentation of the 1990 action Photococktail, which ironically and provocatively questioned the rationale behind traditional expectations towards photography.
The largest group of exhibited works are the TV Contacts, created between 1985 and 1987 by directly making negative copies of images broadcast through the television screen. His first luminograms were made on docubrom paper, and later the artist also used black and white and colour photographic paper to create them, occasionally ‛reversing’ the original images into positive ones. Among the specific brûlage images that evoke the surrealist working method there are the Fire Contacts (1987), in which the light source illuminating the photographic paper is not external, but flames directly created by lighting the photographic paper illuminate the photosensitive surface and create the image, while also partially destroying the substrate. The artist used the empty frame of the enlarger and the expressive power of denseness caused by the strong light effect to create his series of luminograms, Black Squares (1988), which echo Malevich’s Black Square. The exhibition also displays chemical photographs – chemograms – such as the photographic tableau Budapest 02 (1986) or the series Portraits and Group Portraits (1990), which places the questions of the relationship between language and image in a sensual yet ironic post-conceptual framework, also including the carving that is the starting point of the series, work entitled I by Balázs Fekete, who worked together with Várnagy in the Hejettes Szomlyazók group. The exhibition also includes works from 1989, created by transilluminating everyday, almost banal materials (sugar, eggs) and various bodily fluids (urine, saliva, semen), as well as Polaroid photograms of the artist from the early 1990s, which are based on the experiences resulting from the Black Squares. The two parts of the Self-Portraits, which constitute the starting point of the works created in the spirit of the new wave aesthetic, by painting over photographs printed on canvas (with which Várnagy was accepted into the Studio of Young Artists in 1985), were created by re-painting with tempera under illumination, which links them to a process characteristic of Várnagy’s graphic work. The exhibition’s moving image material includes a montage of archival footage presenting the events of 1989, determining for the artist, a video presenting a graphic series closely linked to the photographic experiments, and a recent interview, which can be also be regarded as a “guide” to the exhibition.
Visiting the exhibition is free of charge, but is subject to compliance with the epidemiological regulations in force, i.e. the presentation of a valid vaccination/recovery certificate or a negative coronavirus test.
Wearing a face mask and keeping a safe distance while visiting the exhibition is compulsory.
The event is part of the VISOR Photo Festival of Szeklerland program series.