Marcell Esterházy: vnp v2.0, 2004

Anikó Loránt: Tales under the Crown, 2005

Prague Biennale 3

Glocal and Outsiders: Connecting Cultures in Central Europe

24 May – 26 September 2007
Hungarian curators: Gergely László, Kati Simon

For the Prague Biennale 2007, we have been selecting artworks by young artists from Hungary using different media: video, photography, drawing, installation. The scope of selected works ranges from those motivated by intimate, personal stories to politically and socially inspired pieces. They investigate basic human questions about the perception of time, transiency, personal memories, and examine the problematics of moral values and tolerance from various aspects. Embracing the complexity of our everyday realities the selected works – either focussing on the intimate, private sphere or on the wider social/political context – share similar sensitivities and rather personal approach.

The poetic works of Marcell Esterházy and Aniko Loránt are documents of everyday events. With a poignant sense of observation, they capture particular moments of everyday life.

In Marcell Esterházy’s film, we see a Sunday family lunch with the grandfather presiding. His perfect tranquillity is in extreme contrast with the hasty style of the others. The family lunch on Sunday is an important interface for interaction, which the grandfather approaches from the position of eating and the artist from that of communication.

Anikó Loránt’s sensitive drawings document the events, happenings, observations of everyday life while several subjects keep returning in the playful narratives. They are often complemented by diary-like texts as well as drawings made for, or together with, her little son.

Focusing on self-cognition gained while contemplating nature, Zsolt Fekete and István Csákány deal with landscape reconstruction on different levels.

Zsolt Fekete recaptures photographs of Transylvanian landscapes taken by Balázs Orbán and Ferenc Veress more than a hundred years ago, to indicate the barely visible configurations of change, by contrasting past and present.

A compelling installation by István Csákány, the Peak Search, is a reconstruction of a simplified drawing of an emblematic landscape. In shape, it resembles the characteristic ridges of the Tatra Peak Lomnic, while in structure, it reminds us of the diagrams used for the visual representation of statistics and tendencies.

A wide range of questions of personal and social responsibility are evoked by the exhibited photo and video documentations of public space interventions.

Miklós Mécs, Borbála Sárai and Csaba Vándor planted tomatoes on graves, which had been neglected by the relatives of the dead. After months of care, they harvested the vegetables. The documentation of this public art project follows the process of this seemingly simple activity/gesture, while triggering ideas of transiency, feelings of melancholy and intentions of being economical and recycling…

The busy underpass of the subway at Karlsplatz, Vienna served as the location for Andrea Schneemeier’s intervention in 2004. Three men in ski masks were quoting thoughts by philosophers, thus reanimating the atmosphere of the ancient agora and at the same time contrasting fear in the modern society and the stereotypes of the stranger with ideas of tolerance, diversity, rights and moral of society, drama of the political discussion. From 2004 onward, the performance took place in different cities in Europe (Berlin, Budapest, Belgrade, Vienna).

Prague Biennale