A Truly Heavy Schoolbag | „I am not here either…” – A Show by William Kentridge | The Nudelman Collection | An Illustrative Device – A Show by Tamás Tibor Kaszás
Erika Baglyas: A Truly Heavy Schoolbag
The artists’ group We Weren’t the Ones – Crew is holding an extraordinary PTA meeting in the premises of Studio Gallery presently fighting for its survival. No sooner had I crossed the threshold than I found myself in a “practice garden” fenced in by iron bars, then I stumbled into a knapsack made of concrete, and I also received a disciplinary notice which pushed me right into one of the few broken chairs around. I was sitting with my back to the wall, since there were schoolbooks remade into handguns sticking out from the wall.
The group made up of undergraduate artists was launched two years ago. The group’s sarcastic irony works very well with school motifs we can easily decode. One half of the exhibition space resembles one half of a classroom with the benches and the schoolbooks literally sticking out of the wall. The benches are only fit for dwarves filled up with anxiety to the brim. The other half of the exhibition space tells us about the misbehaviour of today’s young artists with its iron grid outside the window with a stork stuck in the middle suggesting a censored panorama. The doctored world atlas helps one get his/her bearings right while the schoolbooks in disarray and the copybooks on sale for HUF 300 apiece (you must buy them on the headmaster’s orders) all try to liberate our notions of visual culture.
Almost all of the six contributing artists are drastically funny which does a lot of good to Hungarian contemporary art which is presently in an extremely sensitive position both socially and commercially. Studio Gallery is the ideal venue since its back rooms are full of garbage to be disposed of anyway. Bankruptcy is just around the corner threatening not just the gallery but the entire organisation of the Young Artists’ Studio Association. The reason? Officials funding culture have missed sight of the Association in spite of all its maturity and importance.
It may well come back into the horizon of those officials but until it does we have ample time to ponder the mysteries of the prolonged youth of the group’s artists. Steve “Horror” embarrasses his parents with his wicked drawings. The heavy essay written by Emil Tóth Márton is literally very heavy since it’s made of concrete. From some educational schoolbook illustrations Csaba Czékmán has combined some utterly insane pictures, while Máté Fillér treats the sad and sudden axing of a cartoon series. The guns securing school discipline have been mounted by Ottó Szabó from his own schoolbooks.
János Brückner, for his part, has made an interview with former students of the Éva Janikovszky School recently kicked out of existence.
His interview helps us get back into our adulthood in no small way. The sincere disappointment of the kids reminds us of the vulnerability and defencelessness of most houses of learning, and also of the ease with which authorities can do away with schools, hospitals, or galleries for that matter, first temporarily, and then finally. And then simply say: We weren’t the ones.
Studio Gallery – Young Artists’ Studio Association
13 September – 8 October
„I am not here either…” – A Show by William Kentridge
20 September – 16 October
Museum of Fine Arts
World-famous South African artist William Kentridge presents his video-installation treating Gogol’s story entitled “The Nose”. On 4 October he will talk publicly to András Szántó, a writer and consultant based in New York City. Along with work by Kentridge, some installations composed of works by György Kovásznai are also on view.
The Nudelman Collection
21 September – 12 October
Kieselbach Gallery and Auction House
An almost unrivalled, personally imbued selection of post-1945 Hungarian painting can be studied in the showrooms filled with such major classics as Jenő Barcsay, Endre Bálint, Dezső Korniss, Lili Ország, Béla Kondor, and Lajos Vajda. Along with other contemporary painters some choice pieces by Ilona Keserű, Endre Tót, István Nádler, Gyula Konkoly, János Fajó, and László Lakner can also be relished.
An Illustrative Device – A Show by Tamás Tibor Kaszás
23 September – 16 October
King Saint Stephen Museum – Friary
The politically active young artist enjoyed a grant in 2008 at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany. It was here that he started work on a special series of drawings inspired by the kindred drawings of Lajos Vajda. Having found the philosophical foundations for the series, he has remade his everyday sketches made during excursions or gardening with the aid of a digital computer software – all in keeping with Vajda’s legendary “transparent montage” method.