Comment This week I want to comment on a very ambitious project which needs all the support it can raise in Hungary and abroad. First rate modernist sculptor István Ézsiás has not only designed a variegated uplift in true modernist spirit for Olaszliszka, a far-flung village in North-East-Hungary with rich Hasidic traditions, but has also chosen it for his future domicile with his equally adventurous wife, Mária Muha.The 6th of October will see the launch of no fewer than four installations in Olaszliszka, and also the announcement of a fifth. There is going to be a Modern Gallery of Art displaying works of contemporary Hungarian and foreign post-geometric artists, while an International Sculpture Park of works created at summer workshops by sculptors from many countries will also be inaugurated. Highlighting local history and ethnography, another show called a Repository of Historical and Ethnographical Spectacles in another venue will give full credit to the rich interchange of Hungarian, Jewish, Ruthenian and Slovak popular traits that has marked the village and its region for centuries. The fourth installation is perhaps the most fitting to the massive expulsion of Olaszliszka’s Jewish population. First-rate artists from several countries including Claire Szilard of Israel/Switzerland, István Gellér B. of Pécs and Ézsiás himself have donated their remarkable works in memory of the 242 Hasidic Jews deported from Olaszliszka during the Holocaust. The compositions will occupy a special corner in the International Sculpture Park becoming operational from 6 October onwards.The fifth project István Ézsiás is intent on accomplishing is the raising of an East-European Wall of Mourning. The sparse, newly restored remains of the local Synagogue will be joined by a monumental modernist sculpture, and the two will hopefully give a glimmer of hope to all those who want to remember the fate of Olaszliszka’s Jewry and wish to confront future generations with the lessons of the Holocaust.
ReviewJobcentre East – A Show by Szilárd CsekeAni Molnár’s Gallery4 October – 30 November Every year Eastern Europe supplies an increasing part of the West’s workforce, a trend in which Hungarian employees are represented quite heavily. They are people who try to find their luck in countries that can claim higher GDPs than their own countries. In London they live in each other’s proximity, in quarters where they have their common cafés, and they even have comedians to entertain them in Hungarian. The connection with the family in most cases is provided by the internet – skype is such a utensil through which, though virtually, the workers abroad can keep in touch with their families at home. This type of migration differs from the one in the past because in this case the employees go abroad as citizens of EU member countries following the possibilities provided by their rights, and many of them do this as commuters.Since the beginning of the 20th century the UK has operated offices for those seeking employment. In the branch offices of Jobcentre Plus we can browse with a lot of technical support among the various job adverts. These offices became emblematic after the recession in Britain in the 70s, but nowadays they still serve as the starting point of the new life of a guest worker. The job seekers who left their former life behind and are standing on unstable ground arrive to Jobcentre full of hope, and they spend hours here searching, in the meantime they discuss with each other their personal fates, in the end this place works for them also as a social forum.Szilárd Cseke who has for a longer period dealt with the subject of identity and social state of the employees in his art, uses and twists the brand of Jobcentre and the meaning of the place, to reflect on a major problem of our society – the currently more and more common migration of the workers. The exhibition, on view in Ani Molnár’s Gallery, offers new interpretations for the social, psychological layers and also several layers and readings of identity. The artist’s interactive installations leave the explanations of the theme open but they present a thought-provoking situation for the visitor. PreviewPaper – A Show by József BullásNeon Gallery (in co-operation with Erika Deák’s Gallery)5 October – 31 October To be opened by the artist himself, the show promises to offer a new vantage point from which we can view noted painter Bullás’ rich play with colours and tones.
NightfallNew tendencies in figurative paintingMODEM Museum of Contemporary Art, Debrecen7 October 2012 – 3 February 2013MODEM is preparing for yet another significant international exhibition. Nightfall presents the works of the best known and most exciting figurative painters in the region, most of whom have not been exhibited in our country yet. Thus, Nightfall has a good chance to become a major exhibition of the year in Hungary. On loan from 9 countries, 50 galleries and private collectors, the artworks have arrived from all over the world. In all, 106 works from 28 artists will be exhibited in the halls of MODEM. The list of the loaning institutions spreads from the White Cube Gallery London, through Eigen and Art Leipzig/Berlin to Mihai Nicodim Gallery Los Angeles. The insurance value of the artworks exceeds HUF 1.5bn. The main topic of the exhibition is insecurity, a theme for which the short story by Isaac Asimov (Nightfall, 1941) has served as an inspiration. The curator of the exhibition is Ms Jane Neal, independent art critic and curator, leading expert on the contemporary art scene in Eastern Europe.The George Economou Collection, a private collection of a Greek ship magnate cooperates in the project by covering the full price of shipment of their artworks from Greece. Karin Mamma Andersson’s Night Guest is an emblematic work of the exhibition, also featuring on the cover of the catalogue. Nightfall features the works of the following East-European artists: Ellen Altfest – Karin Mamma Andersson – Hernan Bas – Marius Bercea – Zsolt Bodoni – Oliver Clegg – Martin Eder – Nicole Eisenman – Tim Eitel – Adrian Ghenie – Cantemir Hausi – Chantal Joffe – Victor Man – Justin Mortimer – Ryan Mosley – Ahmad Moualla – Daniel Pitín – Vitaly Pushnitsky – Neo Rauch – Daniel Richter – Serban Savu – David Schnell – Mircea Suciu – Attila Szűcs – Alexander Tinei – Caroline Walker – Matthias Weischer – Hugo Wilson.