from the series Public-Private - Private-Public
Solo exhibition of Matthias Megyeri
LudwigInzert is Ludwig Museum’s new external project space, housed by the legendary Józsefváros Gallery starting June 2010. The new contemporary art platform endeavours to carry on the legacy of the different consecutive experimental art circles and forums that once resided at the locale which had substantial influence until the mid-eighties.
LudwigInzert first of all presents such progressive and experimental artistic practices that reflect on the most current and pressing issues of contemporary culture, with special regard to the urbanistic and sociocultural conflicts bearing down on the radically changing neighbourhood of the 8th district locale. Its mid-scale spaces provide an ideal location for solo exhibitions as well as experimental workshop-based collaborative projects. By launching LudwigInzert, the Museum endeavours to liven up its relationship with the surrounding city and its residents, while expanding the spectrum of artistic practices represented by its collection and temporary exhibitions.
LudwigInzert’s first public event, the solo exhibition of Matthias Megyeri entitled Budapest Hangings reflects on this new and inspiring situation. The artist turns the gallery space inside out, reinterpreting the relationship between private and public space, downtown and suburb, centre and periphery. He covers the inside walls with the bleak blue backsides of giant posters as a restrained gesture of intervention into the Józsefváros locale, which has been operating as a community centre since years. As an offset, he covers the front with a colourful mosaic from a selection of his private photo collection comprising thousands of items. Passers-by can freely pick from the snapshots displaying scenes from – among others – their own city, through the eyes of an artist with Hungarian origins, living and working in Stuttgart, Germany and London, UK.
Megyeri prefers taking snapshots everywhere he rambles, mostly pressing the shutter while in motion, racing his scooter. He likes the authenticity and broadly understood medium expressing personal values and memories. However these photographs are more than just imprints of personal memories. By exposing them in public space, the project attempts to reinterpret the relationship of strongly controlled public space and private sphere.
Originally coming from a political poster design background, Megyeri established his company and brand called Sweet Dreams Security® in 2003, which produces and sells functional security equipment, while itself being an art project. They manufacture padlocks, grates, razor-wires and chains, but in an extraordinary way: each piece is complete with some lovely and gentle detail, such as bear cubs, hearts or butterflies. Each of them is a unique work of art while some of them grow purposely into serial production, products and permanent installations visible in the public space.
The protection of our home and private sphere, physical and existential safety and the anxiety surrounding these are becoming ever more important issues around the globe. With the objects manufactured by Sweet Dreams Security® – five of which are present in the permanent collection of the MoMa, New York –, Megyeri reflects on the conflicts of the tension-ridden 8th district and in a wider sense on the paranoia dominating our entire society.
Matthias Megyeri graduated at the Royal College of Art and at HfG/ZKM. He lives and works in London and Stuttgart, where he has been recently granted a studio fellowship at the Künstlerhaus.