A Noisy Journey – Silhouettes by Bianka Dobó | Private Mazes – Autistic and Professional Painters | Floodplain – A Show by Rita Süveges | Close for Comfort – A Show by Gyula Várnai | TRANSPORT – The House Entrained – Holocaust Memorial Design by András Böröcz and László Rajk
András B. Szilágyi: A Noisy Journey – Silhouettes by Bianka Dobó
Graphic artist Bianka Dobó’s exhibition has just been opened in D2 Gallery in Budapest’s Ferencváros district. The place is not a much-frequented one since it is far from Tűzoltó Street’s busy part. But it is close to SOTE Medical University’s huge experimental block, and very close to an underground station which makes for a continuing experience as you leave the show.
The world Dobó evokes is a busy city environment of streets, subways and the rest. As we pass through those city locations, there is music in our ears, problems in our head or our mobile pressed to our ear – we pay very little attention to fellow passers-by. Many thousands of paths, stories, fortunes run together without so much as becoming noticeable. We carry on with our itineraries with all the others remaining mere patches or shadows.
Pavements, grey walls, concrete structures blend together into a unified background against which those shades, including ourselves, are moving along. I as a spectator am only different from all those others marching on in a Grey Crowd because I am myself.
Bianka Dobó has been creating pictures of that Grey Crowd lately. It is mere shades that march through that Grey Crowd conjuring so many almost geometrical compositions. The directions those shades take tend to become vector signs, the shades themselves, frozen patches. Interestingly, they hardly ever communicate with each other. They cross each other’s paths very rarely; they pass by each other or just stand aloof without speaking, almost dissolving into the grey background if it were not for the alternating densities of their figures’ texture.
The noise accompanying our journeys is noise only for us observers; for others, it is the sounds that go with the activities they are immersed in. The sounds of a transistor radio or a headphone for example are necessary requisites for others to accomplish their journeys.
We put on our best clothes for a visit to the exhibition –as soon as we leave the Grey Crowd we become spectators. Rather than others watching us, now it is us who are watching all the others as they have transformed into pictures based on snapshots made by the artist in busy city locations or just made up by her. (One can still identify such busy locations as Moszkva Square or Rákóczi Street for all their conscious greyness.)
The question remains: why on earth should we visit this exhibition of grey-black-and- white patches? The answer is simple: because it seems to work; because the pictures are beautiful. Their surfaces are exciting. We often just brood into nothing as we tread a street or a subway with music in our ears. We look at nothing in particular. And then, suddenly, we find something in Dobó’s pictures as we try to imagine who those shades actually are, where they come from, and where in particular can they be heading?
26 May – 23 June
Private Mazes – Autistic and Professional Painters
3 June – 18 September
Hungarian National Gallery
Put on jointly by HNG and the Smile Home Foundation, this exhibition couples paintings by autistic patients with those painted by important professional contemporary artists. Featuring all works on an equal footing does not suggest their identical worth, but the show does want to stress certain similarities, and the scope for a dialogue among them. As a result, both contemporary professional art, and the mental state of autism may well shed some of their respective stereotypes.
Floodplain – A Show by Rita Süveges
2 June – 9 July
Graduated only last year at the Hungarian Academy of Art, Süveges employs both the scientific and the everyday meanings of the title she had given her show. More particularly, she paints on several interlocking fibreglass nets stretched out freely across space, creating very subtle light effects.
Close for Comfort – A Show by Gyula Várnai
2 June – 28 November
Park Gallery – MOM Park
Born in 1956, Gyula Várnai has made an installation for the central enclosure of MOM Shopping Mall. Its messages are the relativity of comfort, the contradictions of a consumer society, and the ecological viewpoint. For all its technology-bound execution, the effect of the conceptual work is very poetic.
TRANSPORT – The House Entrained – Holocaust Memorial Design by András Böröcz and László Rajk
1 June – 15 June
Started in 2004, the project includes a rail carriage made of walnut timber upon whose floor some wooden boots begin to knock about as we turn round a special crank. Blown up into real-life proportions, the project should be realised in a one-story house and an adjacent park in the former ghetto area of Budapest. At certain intervals, the wooden boots should make noises of reminiscence before going silent again.