an exhibition by József Bartha
2024 Apr 25, 19:00
On view:
2024 Apr 26 2024 Jun 07
11 a.m. – 7 p.m., except Mondays and holidays

The event is part of 31th Saint George Day’s.

Bartha József’s installation projects work with symbolically charged objects in a poetic universe. This world is constructed through a dream-like logic: objects meet in strange visions, but these visions hit us in the stomach with their political allusions and the mature treatment of complex connotations.
The installations In Search of Paradise and Lost Paradise are object manifestations of the collective imaginary of the present, fragmented and reassembled according to new, as yet unrecognised models…
Nostalgia is a recurring element, whether it appears in the handcrafted coloured glass vases or surprises us in the presence of cut pine trees. It seems that even space takes on the character of dreams: we are locked in and out at the same time. And among the multiple and complex dynamics of power hang the bones of ideals – of beings created with care, by the vibrations of the spirit and the workmanship of the mind.
Although the iron and barbed wire elements are very real, the structure they create is somewhat two-dimensional, like a scribble, in addition to the solid presence of the pine trees, which fill the physical space and at the same time open up mental space. The same goes for the shape of the arrows in the oranges. The sets of human intention and human violence almost completely overlap, and this is exposed at the societal level: the threat of dictatorship and the constant presence of repression shape the thematic realm of the entire exhibition: in Bartha’s work we see realities stifled, blocked, segregated, exhausted and disconnected in their coherence.
The nostalgia of the objects, the signs of decomposition processes and the natural presence of organic elements lend the spaces a specific aesthetic that is familiar, almost intimate to the viewer – but what breaks its “spell” is the strict and clear order present in the compositions in many forms. The notion of dictatorship, mentioned verbally and suggested by some props, is thus also present in the positioning and system of objects. Each installation packs a particular analysis of the human (societal) condition into a mentally compact and deeply affective vision.

József Bartha (1960, Odorheiu Secuiesc) Lives and works in Târgu Mureș. He is a visual artist, scenographer, curator, lecturer at the University of Art in Târgu Mureș where he teaches scenography and visual arts. Initiator and organizer of several national and international contemporary art projects. He is the founder and president of the ARTeast Foundation and of the contemporary art space B5 Studio in Tg. Mures. Studies at the Institute of Fine Arts in Cluj (1987) and at the University of Art in Budapest ( DLA, 2012). In addition to other international grants in 1996 he was an ArtsLink Fellow in the United States and in 2005 he received a grant from the Boswill Art Committee in Switzerland. Bartha József’s conceptual works include photographs, installations, video installations and art interventions, with solo exhibitions in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the USA. Since 1992 he has created more than 90 stage designs for theatres in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Serbia. In addition to several national and international stage design awards, he has been nominated four times for the UNITER award for best stage design, which he won in 2014 for the stage design of Hamlet directed by László Bocsárdi at the Tamási Áron Theatre in Sfântu Gheorghe.

Ungvári-Zrinyi Kata