With Heart and Mind
Opening: 3 September 2021, 7-10pm
You can download the exhibition guide from here.
Tamás Kaszás's solo exhibition creates a space in which different fictional narratives are interwoven with disturbingly realistic elements, and in which we can look back from a future moment on a world that no longer exists at that time. This is the inverse of oblivion; a retrospective recollection of the antecedents and consequences of the economic / political / technological / ecological collapse from the future. At the same time, it is also a kind of nihilistic agitation that opposes revelation and active action, and that does not want to alter neither the occurrences of the future, nor the memories of the past.
Associated with his working method called sci-fi agitprop, Kaszás examines the fictitious material and pictorial memories of a post-collapse society embodying the role of the anthropologist, granting him an outsider position. In the middle of the exhibition space stands the remains of a burnt object with an uncertain function complemented by a video piece as well as a reconstruction animation. The antecedent of the object is a plan for an agitation stand by the Latvian avantgarde artist Gustav Klutsis from 1922. Kaszás's piece entitled Propa Dharma is a propaganda tool that features a quiet, poetic montage of texts instead of advertising- or agitational messages, the aim of which is not to persuade or to set a right direction to follow, but to divert our attention to the raison d'être of layers beyond time and understanding. The text is based primarily on the writings of the Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher Jiddu Krishnamurti. Krishnamurti, considered by the leaders of the Theosophical Society to be the reincarnation of Christ, after rejecting this role and dissolving the order established for him, he became a spiritual teacher; he refused to have followers, and he proclaimed a movement of radical social change that would take place without any political, religious, or other external leaders, and would develop from the revolution taking place in the psyche of the individuals.
Passing by the wheel, smaller, dark spaces open up one after the other, in which the artist’s latest paintings can be seen and an audioplay can be heard. Taking the transcripts of parts of Paul Auster’s novel Moon Palace as a starting point and also using other sources and articles, the audioplay further reinforces the fictional narrative that serves as the framework of the exhibition, blending different time planes and pointing to a different manner of perception. Sitting in front of each painting, it is as if we were eavesdropping on the conversations of other visitors, who are trying to interpret a withered world represented by a few paintings depicting the ecological and social prognostications and the consequences of a collapse.
These different interpretations, the way the images are installed, their significant (sometimes animated) illuminations or the recurring instructions in the audioplay — that are calling for the focused observation of a single painting for more than an hour by shutting out the surrounding reality — are simultaneously directing and liberating the viewers’ attention. In doing so, they provide space for individual approaches that rather than following exclusive truths, solutions to sub-problems, or answers propagated from above, they turn towards a different kind of observation and a more complex perception. Tamás Kaszás's solo exhibition creates a space in which different fictional narratives are interwoven with disturbingly realistic elements, and in which we can look back from a future moment on a world that no longer exists at that time. This is the inverse of oblivion; a retrospective recollection of the antecedents and consequences of the economic / political / technological / ecological collapse from the future. At the same time, it is also a kind of nihilistic agitation that opposes revelation and active action, and that does not want to alter neither the occurrences of the future nor the memories of the past.
Tamás Kaszás (1976, Dunaújváros) lives and works in Szigetmonostor. He graduated at the Intermedia department of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts in 2003. His artistic practice is centred on ecological, economic and social issues. His approach is characterized by the relationship between the autonomous individual and the community, collaborative approaches and solutions, the reorganization of experiential and theoretical knowledges, marginal perspectives and aspects of sustainability. His works and installations can be interpreted as imprints of an alternative social model, that are confronted with the global world order and all kinds of oppression.
He had solo exhibitions at De Appel, Amsterdam and Netwerk Aalst in 2018; Kisterem Gallery, Budapest (2014, 2017), Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon (2017), Museum Sztuki Łódź (2016); Krinzinger Galerie, Vienna (2014), Museum Folkwang, Essen (2007). His artworks were exhibited in group exhibitions in such institutions like Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; the 19th Biennale of Sydney; the 12th Istanbul Biennial; Künstlerhaus – Halle für Kunst und Medien, Graz; Edith-Ruß-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg; Frei–raum Q21, Vienna; SMAK, Ghent; Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Arts, Budapest.
At Trafó Gallery he participated at the exhibitions Like a Bird; I think sixteen hours a day before going to bed; Travelling without Moving. His two most significant group exhibitions especially dedicated to the genre of painting were also presented at Trafó Gallery; Tömérdek in 2002 and Dear painter! Paint for me, with heart and mind in 2007, which the title of the current exhibition also refers to.
Supported by: National Cultural Fund, Káli Kövek