Kalifornia – exhibition of Sándor Bodó, János Fodor, Tibor Horváth and Csaba Uglár
Exhibiting Artists: Sándor Bodó, János Fodor, Tibor Horváth, Csaba Uglár
Curated by Áron Fenyvesi
Details from the opening performance by Szacsva y Pál:
This group exhibition introduces works that suggest new and cheeky subjects from four “unruly”, genre-defying Hungarian artists, who work through shared (neo)-conceptual positions. The exhibitors’ experimental ethos has a crucial significance in terms of the style of Hungarian contemporary fine arts, even though the artists themselves mostly operate on the peripheries of the institutions, in a forced, rather than chosen “shadow-like” role.
The central motif of Kalifornia is the conceptual language used by contemporary visual arts – the works are exposed in the confrontative dynamics between the comprehensibility and the incomprehensibility of this language: the deconstructive artistic operation of the exhibitors accumulates a mass of visual and verbal signs, nominators and meanings in their works by snuffing out the reassuring, comprehensible messages. At the same time, the works which were tactically disseminated in their unraveled forms throughout the exhibition space create an interaction in an entirely new and liberating way, according to a new code of shape, language, and method and whisk away their recipients to an entirely uncharted terrain.
The latent Americanism in the title of the exhibition refers to the myth of California, according to which California is still the “modern” land of promise and opportunities, the widely used symbol of the hope and freedom of self-realization. Through conjuring up the utopian image of California, the exhibitors also reflect on the reality of Hungarian contemporary art and the opportunities for breaking free of this reality, as well as accumulating the self-defining mechanics of the domestic visual arts scene. The new works created for the occasion of the exhibition continue the attempts to renew the language of visual arts, with the help of ironic and psychedelic megalomania and institution-critical titanism.
The variable basic set of Sándor Bodó’s installation entitled Men, Women, the Living, the Dead, Equals are the names of astronauts and cosmonauts who went to the space, and left the orbit of Earth until the present day. The artist unfolded every astronaut’s name to separate letters of the English alphabet, and arranged the various letters again in an alphabetic order. The index-numbers seen in the installation show the number of the occurance of the letters in the basic set. The spine of Sándor Bodó’s artworks is based on conceptual gestures of quantitative quality, flirting both with „scientification” and poetry, making an attempt to calculate uncalculable phenomenons at the end of the „Space Age”, when the american space shuttle, Endaveaur started it’s last journey, symbolizing the political rearrangement of the world what is happening at the very moment.
The visitors of the Kalifornia exhibition can get an insight into multiple perspectives of János Fodor’s versatile activity in visual art. His playful prints based on simple manipulations turn out the meaning of visual signs and logos of trash and pop culture. Besides Fodor’s several objects and installations you can see his 22 minute-long video work, entitled Outbreaking Attempt II. and his plexi object, entitled Monolith, whose three-dimensioned silhouette bears reminissence of the Rosetta Stone with which mankind was able to decode the egyptian hieroglyphs. There is a runic written English quote on the surface of the artwork from the film 2010: The year we make contact. Fodor’s object Supplement quotes the form of a Mesopotamian roll, featuring a sentence written with „klingon” (militant-humanoid lifeform from the series Star Trek) typography referring to the right of „resisting lethal actions”.
Tibor Horváth is one of the most critical hungarian visual artist of the present days. His works are almost naked artistic, social and political critics, reflections based on poetic minimalism; in one of his sound-installation he has processed the brand new constitution of Hungary. He’s also showing two of his drawings which accumulate ideas, and gestures through their „exercise book”-aesthetics reflecting on the actual social stress of Hungary.
Csaba Uglár in his new video entitled Flow of Alien Conciousness concentrates on the issue of the awakening of artificial intelligence. In his piece, images of fractals, and cell-automats appear – manipulations, which are based on mathematical formulas, which do not require visual inputs beside the computer. The text edited and perfomed by the computer also reflects on the emotional and harsh arousal to conciousness of the machines.