The Space of Desire – Eszter Csurka’s Works in the Church Ruins | Postcards – A Show by Dezső Szabó | Burdens in Boxes – A Show by Rita Koralevics | Say it Out Loud – A Show by Marge Monko | A Door to the River – A Show by Péter Somody
Réka Kovács: The Space of Desire – Eszter Csurka’s Works in the Church Ruins
Her pier extends far into the darkness marked occasionally by slim strings of light only. One has to mind one’s step lest one falls off. I hold on to my handbag and look fast ahead so that I do not splash into the big, black water beneath, glistening gloomily in the church interior. Our movements are uncertain as we discover the odd painting hung into small niches of light.
We also try to discern the shapes of sculptures floating in obscurity like so many distant buoys, or get somewhat nearer to some unreachable treasure troves hiding jewellery, only to get to the pier’s end with some relief where we can ponder the physics of wax being shaped in bubbling water.
„Could we possibly have more light in this place”, I ask Eszter Csurka herself as I recognise her among silhouettes of hardly discernible visitors. „No”, she replies.
„It’s great stuff”, I overhear two visitors whispering to each other’s ear. Meanwhile, friends pass each other without recognising each other, and perfect unknowns throw greetings at each other. A familiar face long not seen emerges in the twilight right by my side, she expects me to greet her but I can remember who she actually is after she has turned her back on me in resignation.
I find it hard to preserve my calm. It takes some determination for me to walk around again, and again while I ponder about the depth over which we are made to walk. Could it be an illusory surface only? Or some complicated plasma holding seemingly independent objects and thoughts together? Or perhaps just a means of keeping distance?
I can see a woman and a man standing helplessly on the edge of the boardwalk as near a glistening object in a glazed-over niche as possible. Because of the distance, one cannot discern the glistening object which sends out occasional lights as a lighthouse. Someone almost heads out to reach it, but stops short, for the stuff beneath looks both slippery and incalculable. To get over is impossible.
The tense but oblique figures on the paintings, the peculiar castings shaped by water could well look familiar, but they are offset by the sheer act of installation as well as the jewellery placed next to them. The jewels look accidental like plumb figures cast during love magic, and also highly artificial like chefs d’oeuvre of a master jeweller. The show-cases are placed so high up that even tall men on tiptoes cannot make heads or tails of the objects exhibited in them.
What we see does connect with the theme of the show perhaps, but does not tie up with earlier works at all. The paintings and shapes presented here tend to adjust to the general idea, but it is not at all clear why those particular works, and not some others, are presented. There is no opening speech and so we lack any semblance of guidance. All we can do is roam in silent awe around the darkened interior of the church extending several storeys upward.
„This is no cinematic experience”, I hear someone say close by doubtless referring to the unfathomable social relations of those present. On the other hand, the cinema does work just like this. The lighthouse effects of those boxes of jewellery, the channelled lighting, and the magic of moving pictures in a darkened space all tend to deter us from everything that is mundane or routine.
Municipal Gallery – Kiscelli Museum
27 January – 20 March
Postcards – A Show by Dezső Szabó
1 February – 4 March
Dezső Szabó executed his Postcards series in 1992, a series which reflects his concern with the comparative exploration of painting and photography while studying with Zsigmond Károlyi at the Academy of Arts. Technically speaking, his painted-over picture postcards are eminent cases of a synthesis of panting and photography.
Burdens in Boxes – A Show by Rita Koralevics
4 February – 6 March
Holder of the Year’s Graphic Artist Award for 2009, Koralevics now takes some distance from her usual serigraphic procedures. This is her second one-man show with NextArt Gallery, a show presenting a series of private room interiors, using the relationships of pieces of furniture and other objects to indicate the profiles of the persons living among them. Another novelty is her use of wallpaper: a subtle reference to the absurdity of privacy shown publicly.
Say it Out Loud – A Show by Marge Monko
3 February – 25 March
Lengyel Intézet Platán Galéria
Set in the focal point of the Estonian artist’s interest is the female society of Estonia. Above all, she makes series of photographs and videos. Merge Monko graduated from the photography department of the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallin, where she now teaches. Hungarians could previously see her works at the „Kunst macht frei” group exhibition of contemporary Estonian artists in Pécs.
A Door to the River – A Show by Péter Somody
2 February – 18 February
Abstraction as an endless river is the product of Modernism, but it survives as a relevant means of expression even today. Owing to Péter Somody’s dripping method of painting traces of matter put on the canvas result in so many visible signals of the interior workings of his mind. He also presents lit boxes and plexiglass-pictures at his latest show.