Sights and Sounds: Cambodia
November 8, 2013 – January 30, 2014
Sights and Sounds: Hungary features new work by Katarina Šević and Tehnica Schweiz, László Csáki, Anja Medved, and Csaba Nemes, selected by Tijana Stepanović.
In contemporary society, any kind of professional activity is a transdisciplinary articulation of complex relationships. In my curating I emphasize openness, rigorous criticism, and reflexivity. I create exhibitions (I prefer to call them situations) based on these principles. I focus on socially charged issues, expressed through multiple perspectives, combined in innovative ways. My Serbian and Hungarian origins have given me valuable insights into diversity, as has my experience in activities independent of curatorial work, such as social psychology, screenwriting, teaching, and even digital technologies.
The video medium allows a very immediate artistic reflection, which flows directly to the audience. After the end of the Soviet Union, in the nations formerly behind the Iron Curtain, video art became an effective, relatively cheap tool for documentation, analysis, and critique. Video artists continue to use a range of means to comment on political, social, economic, and cultural context and change—performances, edited and moderated documentations, puppet shows, and animations, among many other approaches. This selection shows the diversity of which the medium is capable, in works that deal with personal doubts and social conflicts related to national identity, exile, family, and history.
Tijana Stepanović (b. Budapest, 1980) is curator of the first OFF-Biennale Budapest (2015). Previously, she was artistic director of acb Gallery in Budapest (2013–2015) and head of ACAX, the international projects department of Budapest’s Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Arts (2006–2013). She was one of the curators of Transitland: Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe, 1989–2009, an archive project that focused on video art of the post-socialist countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Stepanović holds degrees in art theory, literature, and psychology.
Katarina Šević and Tehnica Schweiz, Gasium et Circenses (Gas and Circuses), 2013, video, sound, 17 min., Artwork © Katarina Šević and Tehnica Schweiz. Since 2004 the artists Gergely László (b. Budapest, 1979; lives in Berlin) and Péter Rákosi (b. Budapest, 1979; lives in Budapest) have been collaborating as Tehnica Schweiz. This video documents a tableau vivant performance on an open-air stage in the workers’ housing project of Budapest’s now-defunct gasworks. From the 1950s to the 1990s, the stage was used by the Cultural House, a socialist institution for workers’ education and entertainment. Today, the Cultural House serves as an informal storage unit for lesser archaeological finds collected by the Aquincum Historical Museum at an excavation site on the grounds. The performance details the artists’ frustrated attempts to gain access to the facility and, by extension, the history of the place.
László Csáki, My Name Is Boffer Bings, 2012, chalk animation, sound, 19 min., 50 sec. Artwork © László Csáki, provided by Umbrella.tv and NextArt Gallery, Budapest. Are there things that should be kept secret forever? Is there a limit to human greed? This darkly humorous thriller, drawn in white chalk, is based on a grotesque short story by Ambrose Bierce. It is the contemporary version of a timeless tale of avarice and obsession.
Anja Medved, Memory Clinic, 2010, video, sound, 13 min. Artwork © Anja Medved, provided by the artist and Kinoatelje, Gorizia and Šempas. Memory Clinic, a public event aimed at collecting family photographs, was organized at a former customs post and border crossing between Slovenia and Italy—where the “East” met the “West” during the Soviet era. The inhabitants of both cities were invited to select personal photographs shot in this border area and share their memories.
Csaba Nemes, Stand Here!, 2010, puppet film, sound, 6 min. Artwork © Csaba Nemes. A white woodsman accidentally meets a young Roma man in the forest. The psychological process of victimization unfolds through their dialogue: the person accused of a crime gradually accepts and takes on the role of offender, and succumbs to the pressure to confess to a crime he has not committed.
November 8, 2013 – January 30, 2014
January 31 - February 27, 2014
February 28 - March 27, 2014
March 28 - April 24, 2014
April 25 - May 29, 2014
May 29 - June 26, 2014
June 27 - July 31, 2014
August 1 - 28, 2014
August 29 - September 28, 2014
September 29 - October 30, 2014
October 31 - November 25, 2014
November 28 - December 25, 2014
December 26, 2014 – January 29, 2015
January 30 - February 26, 2015
February 27 - March 26, 2015
May 1 - 28, 2015
May 29 - June 25, 2015
June 26 - July 30, 2015
July 31 - August 27, 2015
August 28 - September 24, 2015
September 25 - October 29, 2015
October 30 - November 24, 2015
November 27 - December 31, 2015
January 2 - February 4, 2016