Curated by: Áron Fenyvesi
Galeria Plan B is pleased to announce the opening of the group exhibition Haunting Monumentality, curated by the Budapest based curator Áron Fenyvesi.
Haunting Monumentality is a group show which examines the relation of contemporary object-based art practices with monumentality, and the notion of the monument. The exhibited works rooted in conceptualism and neo-conceptualism recreate a connection with sensuality. This is an important feature not only because the so called "sensual conceptualism" (a definition used by the Hungarian art critique Gábor Andrási in the early 90's) could be understood as a new local tradition of Hungarian, and in a broader sense, Eastern European art, but this tendency might also bear the potential to surpass the increasingly static aesthetics of political and critical art, which depends too much on the notion of the document and on the didactic use of the documentary as practice.
The art practices of the exhibited artists analyze the function of memory and the way in which it becomes manifest in space. Considering that all the exhibited artworks question the existence of a collective memory based on consensus, they ultimately evince that, without the latter, monuments become vehicles of the hysteria of history. Tackling the visual aspects of monuments results in various manipulation strategies and interventions on the monumental form, which thus becomes an ephemeral, ghostly presence reenacting the function of the monument.
Manipulation and irony become central to the exhibition. In the conceptual works on show such as Tamás St.Turba's Centaur's and Imre Bukta's photographs, or in the manipulated objets trouvés of János Fodor and Svätopluk Mikyta, everyday objects of mass production become absurd uniqalias and mini-monuments. The recontextualising practices of Little Warsaw and István Csákány have a more obvious relation with the history of monuments which they document and manipulate in order to represent the degree to which their functions are deconstructed.
These aforementioned tendencies also have a common denominator with contemporary photography concentrating on meta-narrative structures. The latter are edited and manipulated documents of temporary scenes and nuances monumentalized by Miklós Surányi's and Thobias Fäldt's still cameras. Ádám Kokesch's geometrical abstract art based on unique objects could also be understood as an excavation in the forms of modernism, and in the aesthetics of science, as the artist is analyzing and manipulating the viewers' sub-level perception.
These rather individual art practices are combined together in the exhibition not only from a thematic standpoint but also on another practical basis: the group show is dedicated to artists who participated in exhibitions at Trafó Gallery during the past year. This horizon is also expanded with important figures of the Hungarian conceptual art scene.
Artists and Curator's Biographies
Imre Bukta (b. 1952) is a self-educated artist, active since 1970. As of 1975, he has lived in Mezőszemere, where he started his agricultural art-projects, initially involving photo-performances. Ever since his first solo-show in 1978 in Budapest, he has been perceived as an active and appreciated figure of the Hungarian art scene. Imre Bukta has been a member of the Studio of Young Artists' Association since 1975 and has become the president of thereof in 1987.
Beginning with 1978, he has also partook in Vajda Lajos Stúdió, which was an important neo-avantgarde group based in Szentendre, and active in various fields of art. In the 80s he created agricultural installation art with a touch of private mythology inspired by arte povera. He participated three times at Venice Biennale, in 1980, 1988 and 1999. His latest retrospective exhibition was opened at MODEM in Debrecen in 2007.
István Csákány (b. 1978, lives in Budapest) graduated in 2006 from the painting department at the University of Fine Arts in Budapest. In 2012 Csákány was invited to participate in Documenta 13 in Kassel. Previous group shows include:
BWA SOKÓŁ Gallery in Nowy Sacz, Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, and Prague Biennale in 2007.
Csákány had a great impact with big installations exhibited in group shows in Budapest at the Ludwig Museum, the Ernst Museum, Trafó Gallery and Kunsthalle Műcsarnok. He was nominated for the Aviva Art Prize in 2009. He had solo shows at Studio Gallery and Budapest Gallery in Hungary. He has produced a public statue project in Zilina, Slovakia.
Thobias Fäldt (b. 1978, lives in Stockholm) received the Swedish Photographer of the Year Award from Scanpix in 2006.
His projects have been shown worldwide and he is represented by the art agency Tinker Street in New York and by GUN Gallery in Stockholm. Thobias Fäldt has published four books: 581c - vol 1 (Own Books 2009), 581c - vol 2&3 (B-B-BBooks and Own Books 2010), Croissant de Queue de Cheval (JSBJ 2010) and Year One (Steidl publishing 2011).
János Fodor (b. 1975, lives in Berlin) graduated from the Intermedia Department of the University of Fine Arts in Budapest in 2004. Previous group shows include: Kunsthalle Műcsarnok, Ernst Museum and Trafó Gallery in Budapest, and Museum of Contemporary Art in Roskilde, Grimm Museum in Berlin, amt_project in Bratislava, Bregenz Kunstverein and Bucharest Biennale 2. His recent solo exhibitions include: Lothar Albrecht Galerie in Frankfurt, and Kisterem Gallery in Budapest.
Ádám Kokesch (b. 1973, lives in Budapest) graduated in 2003 from the painting department of the University of Fine Art in Budapest. He was recently part of various group exhibitions: S.M.A.K. Ghent, Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie in Regensburg, and Künstlerhaus in Dortmund. He received the Strabag Art Award in 2006, and in 2009 he was nominated for the Aviva Art Prize. His previous solo exhibitions include Stúdió Gallery, Budapest (his first exhibition), W139 in Amsterdam and more recently Kisterem Gallery Budapest, Paks Art Gallery and Tanya Rumpff Project, Haarlem. Previous group shows include: Skuc Gallery, Ljubljana, Raster Gallery in Warsaw,and Ludwig Museum, Kunsthall/Műcsarnok and Trafó Gallery in Budapest.
András Gálik and Bálint Havas have worked under the name of Little Warsaw since 1996, and their latest solo exhibition, entitled The Battle of Inner Truth in 2011, was put on show at Trafó Gallery Budapest. Their previous project, Ship of Fools, created together with Miklós Erhardt was part of Manifesta Biennale in Rovereto in 2008. In 2009 Little Warsaw had a solo show at Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach and in 2010 they had their first mid-career retrospective exhibition in Münster. In 2010 they participated in the residency programme of IASPIS, Stockholm. Little Warsaw's artistic career is highlighted by projects such as The Body of Nefertiti which was exhibited in the Hungarian Pavilion on the occasion of the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. Little Warsaw was also featured in Berlin and Prague Biennials, and their works were included in group shows at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, S.M.A.K. Ghent, at the October Salon 2011 in Belgrade and the Bunkier Sztuki in Kraków.
Svätopluk Mikyta (b. 1973, lives in Banska Stiavnica, Slovakia) is the co-founder of Banska Stanica art project. He gratuated from AFAD, Bratislava and further studied in various German institutions. In 2011 he won the Strabag International Art Award and in 2008 the Oskar Cepan Award for emerging Slovakian art. His latest solo exhibition was held in Strabag Kunstforum, Vienna in 2012. Previous solo shows include: Galerie Emmanuel Walderdorff in Cologne, annex 14, Bern and Galerie Dana Charkasi, Vienna. Recent group exhibitions include: the Prague Biennale IV in 2009, Kalmar Konstmuseum, BWA SOKÓŁ Gallery in Nowy Sacz, Space Gallery (ex-Priestor) in Bratislava, and Slovak National Gallery. He participated in the ISCP residency programme in New York, in 2009.
Tamás St.Turba (Trustee in bankruptcy of IPUT - International Parallel Union of Telecommunications and Agent of NETRAF - Neo-Socialist. Realist. IPUT's Global Counter Arthist.ory-Falsifiers Front)
Tamás St.Turba founded the IPUT in 1968. In 1972, he started dealing with the topic of strikes that led to the Subsistence Level Standard Project 1984 W in 1974. Not only was he censored because of his "non-art-artistic" radicalism, but was charged with political subversion mainly on account of his participation in the Samizdat-movement.
He was arrested by the pseudo-communist authority and was exiled in 1974. The new headquarters of IPUT opened in Geneva in 1975 and, while the SLSP1984W-operation continued, he established the Near-East-European Free University for Western-European Jobless People (Ast.Ronomy-, R'n'R- and St.Rike Departments). After the fall of the Iron Curtain, he returned to Hungary in 1991 to check the restoration of capitalism and participate in it for status and profit. In 2001 he opened the NETRAF. In 1991 he was invited to be a lecturer at the newly established Intermedia Creche of the Hungarian Mercantile-Military Prison-University of Fine Arts, where he has been active ever since. Since 2002 IPUT has organized organizes referendums against free sex and in favor of the Subsistence Minimum Allocation for the Eternal Jobless People financed by the military budget. DOWN WITH THE ELECTION! LONG LIVE THE VOTE!
Miklós Surányi (b. 1977, lives in Budapest) graduated from the Intermedia Department of the University of Fine Arts in Budapest. His recent group exhibitions include: Three Walls Gallery, in Chicago, Trafó Gallery in Budapest and the amt_project in Bratislava. In Hungary his works were shown in venues such as: the Ernst Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art - Dunaújváros, Studio Gallery and Lumen Gallery.
Áron Fenyvesi (b. 1983) is a Budapest based curator and art writer. Since 2011 he is the curator of Trafó Gallery, Budapest. Previously he has been executive secretary of Studio of Young Artists' Association, and was nominated for the Lorenzo Bonaldi EnterPrize in 2009 hosted by GAMeC, Bergamo. Fenyvesi curated exhibtions in Hungary and abroad focusing on the local and the regional emerging art scene - including shows in Budapest at Trafó Gallery, at the Ernst Museum, at the Art Gallery in Paks or at the the Institute of Contemporary Art - Dunaújváros. In 2010 he curated in Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie in Regensburg, Germany.