Patrick Tayler Tearjerker, eye bender, fall over! Figures moving about, minding their business in their world filled with thingamajigs and overall tomfoolery. In the work of Joakim Ojanen brouhaha and hahaha echo around the endless stage of existence. The snakes and ladders of fortune take us from happy, uplifting moments to tragic seconds of light misery. Fiddlesticks! One is always only a second away from breakdown or total catharsis.
Patrick Tayler As a sample of many years of research, Gábor Ébli published in 2020 an English-language book intended for an international audience. The multifaceted suggestions of the volume shed light on the possible personal motivations behind collecting art and the dialogue with collection strategies at national and regional levels. A shorter version of this interview appeared in the 6th print issue of Új Művészet in Hungarian. This extended discussion aims to provide insight into some of the key issues covered by the author.
Patrick Tayler An internationally significant exhibition of Sean Scully's work opened in the October of 2020 at the Hungarian National Gallery. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition titled Passenger was closed for several months, but now the visitors have a chance to look at it for a few more days. Walking among the paintings emitting a radiant presence, the viewer involuntarily focuses on the physical act of looking at paintings and the enthralling, direct experience of the artworks. Following the curatorial narrative formulated by art historian Dávid Fehér, the exhibition presents the thematic chapters of the artist's consistent painting practice in a complex manner. In my interview, I talked with the artist as well as the curator of the exhibition. The following discussion was published in Hungarian in the print edition of the journal in November 2020.
Kovács Kristóf (Sajnos Gergely) "In 2020, because of my captivity (for about seven months), I was forced to rent a room in an apartment in Slovenia and work in a new studio. I bonded daily with the same five people. It was significant to me that I became so close with these strangers. We together created a community that felt like a family – deep human relationships when relationships were prohibited. As for 2021, I read a few days ago that the USA passed a special bill to authorize domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to analyze and monitor "domestic" terrorist. Sounds like some hardcore Stasi shit to me."
Andrea Palásti Why are invisible infrastructures invisible? As I mentioned in New Extractivism, invisible technical infrastructures are constructed of multiple opaque layers and built mostly by ghost work or invisible labor. The bricks of this planetary-scale structure consist of black boxes, closed code, and hardware. They are covered with layers of corporate secrets, patents, and copyrights. There are many reasons why those infrastructures are opaque, nevertheless, we can probably cluster these reasons into two groups. The first one is political-economical, the other is technical. On one hand, technical infrastructures and processes embedded within these infrastructures allow an immense concentration of power and wealth. People that accumulated these powers and wealth are not interested in losing it or sharing it.
Orsolya Lia Vető The traditionally slow genre of painting is capable of challenging the inhumanly fast circulation of digital imagery. Painting interacts with the digital by appropriating, and formally codifying its heterogeneous and ephemeral visual experiences. While utopian notions of the correlation between the human and the machine are becoming blurred, the digital is restructured as something increasingly real and thus permeating the nervous system of contemporary painting.
Patrick Tayler In this series of interviews, Új Művészet presents non-profit, for-profit, commercial and internationally relevant galleries. These conversations reveal how certain institutions were affected by the pandemic, and what kind of online and offline strategies were developed to confront current situations. Today we are asking Péter Bencze, founder and organizer of the hybrid institution Everybody Needs Art [ENA].
Takács Lívia The Budapest Art Factory welcomed Californian photographer John Chiara for the second time since 2017 for a two-months artist residency. In the beginning of the summer 2019 Budapest Art Factory presented his residency-end solo exhibition titled ‘Dust of Angels’: a series of the street scenes and landscape photographs in portrait format bustling with color.
Patrick Tayler Painters, like Botond Keresztesi, bring back distant visual triggers, for those who still have some unfinished mission in the virtual sphere: a save slot left unopened for too long, an uncaught apple, a motorbike levitating since the last millennium. Instead of recreating previous experiences – and the resulting emotional-cognitive reactions – on a technically more advanced platform, Keresztesi deploys the ancient practice of painting to recontextualise digital and non-digital fragments.
Patrick Nicholas Tayler Ádám Dallos exhibited three large-scale oil paintings – Boy with Crying Dragon (2019), Mercurius with Crying Dragon (2019), Bleeding Eye Bull Begins to Cry (2019) – that each show an individual male nude in the company of a monster. The mythical beasts complete the human figures as attributes of an awakening power, as projected spirits of testosterone, or in other words, a guarding presence hovering above the exposed bodies.
Tayler Patrick Nicholas Zooming in on flowers and fruit in the series Plantscape, Orsolya Lia Vető is not squeamish concerning the alluring, the decorative in her painting practice. The communicative urge that drives the aesthetics of kitsch is condensed into individual signs, that cease to denote separate morphological units and instead hook-up in a hybrid inflorescence, merging in a despecific corporality.
Tayler Patrick Nicholas Sekrestye is a Budapest-based, loosely defined group of artists whose collective movements are centred around a series of exhibitions and events arranged predominantly in private places, introducing a fresh, off-track attitude to the art scene of the Hungarian capital. Surfacing gradually from the depths of social media and appearing sporadically in different venues, the group’s fifth exhibition was installed in the two visually transformed exhibition halls of Art9 Gallery and presented a visual jam session, that contextualised personal voices within a common vision.
Tayler Patrick Nicholas There are places in suburban Budapest where artists tinker around in weird hours, working on pieces that can be described with a collection of contradictory terms: edgy, ephemeral, toy-like, pseudo-scientific, Blade Runneresque, sacred, sacrilegious, modified, recontextualised, assisted, remixed, etc., deploying tactics that unsettle the norms of art. They sometimes utilise the tools of the film industry, of fine mechanics or of any other area connected to the construction of illusions and palpable realities.
Tayler Patrick Nicholas The self-portrait reveals traces of an impossible distance – an out-of-body experience, that proposes selfhood through a kind of informed schizophrenia. If “presence is impossible except as co-presence”, who is this other I share myself with? Is the dichotomy of artist and model relevant in this case? Is the mirror or camera – the technical facade – the real eyewitness to this emergence of the self?
Tayler Patrick Nicholas There is a pre-programmed quality in Batykó’s work, it operates on the border of the visual culture of digital technology, the logic of picture editing software and process art. Instead of a file’s invisible transformation, Batykó’s work deploys an organic substance and not a binary system. The image is fixed onto the hard-drive of easel painting: hitting ctrl+alt+z doesn’t work here, neither is there space for any further modification. The interface is frozen.
Tayler Patrick Nicholas Due to the personal iconography of Pinczés (that he has been consistent with in the years), there is always a conversation between the discernible temporal layers. A giraffe, a balloon, a magpie can appear as a symbol of the artist's presence: connecting the oeuvre not only on stylistic grounds but also symbolically. In the painting Master and Student (2018), Pinczés depicts a robot mouse – the exact object that served as the starting point for Zsigmond Károlyi's painterly investigations in 2005 - in the company of a slightly asymmetrical, playful toy monkey.