Reconstructing Eden at Art Capital


This year, the video art review organized annually by the French-Swiss curator duo of Paul Ardenne and Barbara Polla is held at the ArtMill in Szentendre, within the framework of Art Capital 2018. As their central theme, the featured video works focus on the relationship between the human being and nature: the global effects of – and ecological questions raised by – human interventions, as well as the rediscovery and possible rebuilding of Paradise Lost.

The exhibition is characterized by an atmosphere of deep harmony and serenity. The screens hanging at eye-height on the walls of the Mill space, which is filled with nooks and crannies, show majestic, pristine landscapes uninhabited by humans: the icebergs of the polar region, the depths of the ocean and seemingly endless forests. Fish swim in sync with the slow movement of the water, we catch fleeting glimpses of animals appearing and disappearing in harmony with the pulsating rhythms of the forest. Human beings who seek to penetrate as pioneers these realms ruled by nature – be it by boat or motorcycle – have no choice but to act in a cooperative manner and regard themselves as tiny particles surrounded by immenseness. The artistic expressions of ecological awareness range from surrealism and minimalistic beauty to practicality. We see Miguel Angel Ríos’s transparent cubes levitating in a red-sanded, desolate plateau and Janet Biggs’s Mars simulation with a graphic artist wearing a space suit in a desert in Utah. The stream of water, projected onto the stairs of the ArtMill as it trickles upward in the direction of the Fountain of Life, is a sight specific installation by Gianluigi Maria Masucci. Ursula Biemann’s video presents a researcher’s measurement results pertaining to a period of the Subatlantic Age, twelve thousand years ago, at the end of the last ice age. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we can sneak a peek through Ali Kazma’s camera into the Safe where samples are kept of every single type of seed known to humanity. While the exhibition reminds us of the power and self-destructive forces of nature, it also offers us various paths out of this frightening situation: Eden can be rebuilt.

The exhibition, just as all other exhibitions of Art Capital 2018, is on view until 2 September.

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Art Ante Portas


Pop up exhibition on 24 June 2018, in the public spaces of Szentendre

 

Half a century ago, young self-taught visual artists decided to create an exhibition space for themselves and for their peers out in the open, on Szendendre’s Church Hill. This was one of the most important gestures of the period: as the Hungarian term for “plein air” (“szabadtéri”) incorporates the words “free” and “space”, a real perspective for freedom was thus established in a single-party state dictatorship by turning the term into a political slogan while completely stripping it of its original meaning.
For us, Art Capital organizers, this tradition is of special importance as it signifies the common thread that connects freedom and art. We believe that, whatever restrictions are imposed on us, we can always create freedom within the space we still have, and that the expression of this freedom is of fundamental value. We have asked numerous visual artists who share our views to bring to Szentendre a work they deem important and exhibit it under the open sky on this day – thus paying homage to the tradition of the Szentendre Plein Air Exhibition.

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Night of Museums


This year, we once again welcome our visitors to our Night of Museums special edition. We will offer late night exhibitions and a wide range of programs with museums staying open until midnight. Our Night of Museum programs include a flashlight-lit exhibition tour and garden walk for children and adults, a reading theatre session on the relationship between Imre Ámos and Margit Anna featuring Krisztián Nyáry’s book entitled Painterly Love, a string concert and a musical exhibition tour, a Garden of Eden souvenir- and flower-making workshop with Kyrú and Eszter Borsódy, a ceramic workshop and some gardening. Visitors can enjoy Krisztián Gergye’s performance If We Shadows … once more, as well as a must-see pantomime performance by Csaba Méhes. A new exhibition entitled Fairy Hopes (“Tündér remények”) will open at the Ferenczy Museum, which presents the adventurous fate of a letter handwritten by János Arany.

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Night of Museums


This year, we once again welcome our visitors to our Night of Museums special edition. We will offer late night exhibitions and a wide range of programs with museums staying open until midnight. Our Night of Museum programs include a flashlight-lit exhibition tour and garden walk for children and adults, a reading theatre session on the relationship between Imre Ámos and Margit Anna featuring Krisztián Nyáry’s book entitled Painterly Love, a string concert and a musical exhibition tour, a Garden of Eden souvenir- and flower-making workshop with Kyrú and Eszter Borsódy, a ceramic workshop and some gardening. Visitors can enjoy Krisztián Gergye’s performance If We Shadows … once more, as well as a must-see pantomime performance by Csaba Méhes. A new exhibition entitled Fairy Hopes (“Tündér remények”) will open at the Ferenczy Museum, which presents the adventurous fate of a letter handwritten by János Arany.

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Posters, pattern poetry, ligatures


The exhibition showcasing the artworks of the Students of the Department of Arts at the Patrium Christian University of Oradea has something exciting to offer both to young professionals and to more seasoned museum goers: visitors can catch a glimpse into the workings of university education and the types of exercises and tasks students are required to complete. The walls are covered with reimagined book covers, as well as posters operating with minimalist solutions, promoting films or portraying celebrities. Visitors can leaf through an Alice in Wonderland book that seeks new directions, and – through poster-sized pattern poems and grandiose ligature designs – they will find themselves wondering on a myriad of paths into the forest of type design.

Read more about the exhibition here.

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Reconstructing Eden


Janet Biggs ▪ Ursula Biemann ▪ Shaun Gladwell ▪ Ali Kazma ▪ Clare Langan ▪ Violaine Lochu ▪ Gianluigi Maria Masucci ▪ Miguel Angel Ríos ▪ Frank Smith

A French and a Swiss curator – Paul Ardenne, art historian and author of an authoritative work on the art of the Anthropocene epoch, and Barbara Polla, writer and initiator of the Environment and Health Program of the University of Geneva – have been organizing yearly video reviews since 2011 for showcasing the most progressive works of video art. This year, exceptionally, the event is held in Hungary, within the framework of Art Capital. In terms of thematics, the works share in common references to the relationship between the natural and built environments, to the global effects of human interventions, as well as to the memory of Paradise Lost and the idea of creating a new Eden.

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Surveillance System


About the artist

Balázs Deim (1987) is a Hungarian photographer. He studied applied photography at the Novus Art School in Budapest, later graduated as a photographer from Kaposvár University in 2013. He primarily focuses on the relationship between people and the urban environment and is excited about concepts such as scarcity, memories, controlling, surveillance and space. He regularly exhibits since 2008 in prominent Hungarian galleries. As a selected participant of the Hungarian Month of Photography, he presented his “Surveillance System” project – now exhibited here – in 2016 at the MUSA (Vienna) and in 2017 at the Cercle-cité (Luxemburg). He is a regular exhibiting artist of Art Capital in Szentendre (Hungary), the most important art festival of Eastern Europe.

 

About the exhibited works

The project presented here is a kind of revision of the traditional surveillance system. There are no people or vehicles on these long exposure photos, only empty squares that are actually well-known places of Budapest. These photos, shot over months, are prints of consolidated space and not images of everyday life.

The artist observed the eventful squares, intersections of Budapest with pinhole cameras, several ones per square, made of beer cans. He fixed the cans on electric pylons, traffic lights or in similar heights so that they could well cover the given square. He placed black and white photo paper in the cameras on which he exposed over months.

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ART CAPITAL 2018 – IN PURSUIT OF EDEN


The Art Capital programs take place between the 9–24 June.

The Art Capital exhibitions are open from the 9th June till the 2nd September.

 

Please see the detailed program on our website: www.artcapital.hu
and here

 

Photo: Passage. Courtesy of Mohau Modisakeng, Ron Mandos and WHATIFTHEWORLD.

 

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Hortus conclusus – Enclosed Gardens


Imre Ámos ▪ Margit Anna ▪ József Bánáti Sverák ▪ Tibor Boromisza ▪ Béla Czóbel ▪ Antal Deli ▪ Béni Ferenczy ▪ Károly Ferenczy ▪ Noémi Ferenczy ▪ Lola Gálffy ▪ István Ilosvai Varga ▪ Piroska Jávor ▪ Gyula Kandó ▪ János Kmetty ▪ Imre Kocsis ▪ Pál Miháltz ▪ Mária Modok ▪ Ernő Schubert ▪ Piroska Szántó

The first essential element of a garden is its wall. Since the garden is a fenced off transitional area or frontier between where we live – that is to say, human culture – and the unknown wilderness, its function is twofold. On the one hand, it offers protection for the ordered sphere of the garden, and, on the other, it shuts out the rest of the world with all its nuisances and disturbing aspects, sparing recreation seekers from the sight of hard work.
The concept of hortus conclusus or enclosed garden also emphasizes the fact that it is through being fenced off that the garden is made separate from the landscape and can become an environment of autonomous composition. The phrase comes from the Song of Songs: “You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.” This garden motif, as it appears in the Bible, can be interpreted as an attempt to reconstruct Eden – to create a kind of Paradise on Earth. The cloister-enclosed horti conclusi of medieval convents – which, next to the strict rules and regulations of monastic life, served the purpose of recreation, relaxation and meditation – were probably also created with the aim of recreating paradisiacal conditions.
The garden remains a symbolic, “in between” kind of place, where the autotelic activity of cultivating the soil has no useful biological purpose; it simply serves to create a pleasant environment – a place where we can enjoy spending time, engaging in contemplation and working together. It is for this reason that the garden has become a timeless theme of – and source of inspiration for – works of art.
The exhibition presents both well-known and rarely seen works from the Art Collection of the Ferenczy Museum Center, which conjure the theme of the garden in its dimensions reserved for carefree happiness, sensuousness, creative work and even grief. Szentendre and the garden of its Artist Colony served as one of the main inspirations behind the displayed paintings.

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Organika


The exhibition draws parallels between gardening and artistic creation, considering the two as forms of retreat or escape—but certainly as something that facilitates freedom. The artificially created reality of the garden is in fact the most ancient way of life: the cyclicity of its flourishing and decay is a symbol of man’s life and artistic-creative nature, as is the fact that it is cultivated and does not burgeon freely like nature. At their joint exhibition, Petra Klára Szabó and Tamás Szvet look at the abstract layers of the garden simile, the concept of the inner garden.

Though everything seems paradisiacal in Tamás Szvet’s endless pseudo-garden, nothing is real; Klára Petra Szabó is the heroine of her own aquarelle animation, engaging in the Sisyphean task of digging. Their joint, interactive work becomes perceivable only if the viewer is willing to participate.

An artist with a conceptual bent, Klára Petra Szabó (1981) has been making self-reflective aquarelle animations for years. She is always experimenting with the possible artistic use of the most diverse materials, and keeps searching for ways to transfer the traditional aquarelle technique to other media.

The chief interests of the art of Tamás Szvet (1982) are the workings of light and optical phenomena, and their influence on visual perception. He is an artist with a holistic approach and a complex mindset, who is convinced that systematic scientific research and studies in the history and theory of art are part and parcel of the process that leads to the artwork.

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