Futurist Overture – A Musical Video in Three Movements | Nuda Veritas. Gustav Klimt and the Makings of Viennese Art Nouveau 1895 – 1905 | Point, Line in Movement | Disobedients | A Brave New World – A Show by György Jovián | Constructivism Packed in a Suitcase – A Show by Károly Halász
László Najmányi: Futurist Overture – A Musical Video in Three Movements
The digital composition dedicated to Italian Futurists Luigi Russolo (1880–1947) and Francesco Balilla Pratella (1880–1955) also contains shots of the concert launching the exhibition at MODEM of Belgian artist Panamarenko (Conquering Gravity) as well as those taken of the exhibition itself.
The musical piece composed for theremin and electronics evokes the spirit of Futurism, a movement speaking loudly even for our own times.
The birth of Futurist Overture was preceded by decades of research. The composer’s interest had been first aroused by Russian Futurist poet Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893–1930). In the late 70s he got to know Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s (1876–1944) groundbreaking Foundation and Declaration of Futurism first written in French for a 1909 issue of Le Figaro.
Around that time the composer had also acquired a closer insight into Futurist music through his research conducted at Pompidou Centre, but it was not until the early 90s that he began to explore in earnest the activities of Lev Sergeyevich Theremin (1896–1993), a Russian scientist, musician, and intelligence officer who had regarded the musical instrument invented by himself to be the instrument of the future. (One need not touch the instrument to play it, sounds are created and controlled through mere hand movements made near the device’s double antennae.)
Theremin, whom we can call the very first multimedia artist, first met and befriended Luigi Russolo at his own theremin concert given at the Paris Opéra in 1927. Russolo by then had applied noise generators for 14 years.
The first movement of the digital composition commissioned on 9 September, 2010 by MODEM, and finished in six days, is based on Russolo’s 1913 Declaration suggesting that noises should also feature in musical compositions. The new industrial revolution, Russolo had argued, lend modern man the chance to produce musical sounds far more complex than before. The noises made by big cities, motor vehicles, factories, various objects, and nature can all be integrated into music in a direct way – as opposed to the imitational ways practiced by earlier composers.
A pioneer of electronic music, Russolo was also the first to apply sound recordings in his pieces often performed amid scandalous skirmishes.
The second movement has been inspired by Pratella’s 1912 Declaration aimed at improving the quality of Italian music-making. A pupil of Pietro Mascagni, and a distinguished composer himself, Pratella had advised young composers to leave the academies and learn from their own efforts. He called for them to abandon „well-written” and sacral music and write the librettos to their operas in free verse.
Italian Futurists, who had joined Mussolini’s Fascist movement en masse, glorified movement, dynamism, energy, machinery, vital force, violence, and youth. They also proposed to bring down museums and libraries, institutions that they regarded as cemeteries of culture.
The third movement is based on a musical piece composed by Pratella to his own verse cycle, and performed in 1909, i.e. in the very year when Marinetti’s Futurist Manifesto was published. The composer of the digital piece wanted to dissolve the disquieting and painful moods of the previous two movements by referring to a Hindu mantra praying for man’s ability to create. The „singing” sounds of a Tibetan bronze vessel used in this movement in conjunction with the sounds of the theremin all add up to a very harmonious and pacifying effect to finish off with.
Nuda Veritas. Gustav Klimt and the Makings of Viennese Art Nouveau 1895 – 1905
23 September – 9 January 2011
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts is staging an exhibition of the outstanding works dating from the early period of the Vienna Sezession with Gustav Klimt as its emblematic figure. The core material of the two hundred or so pieces, mainly drawings and prints, is formed by the works from the collection of the Albertina in Vienna, complemented by drawings and some excellent paintings from Austrian, American and Japanese public and private collections. The exhibition will also include pieces from the Museum of Fine Arts’ own collection: works by the various members of the Sezession group and pieces by foreign contemporary artists who once exerted a great influence on them.
For much more in English:
Point, Line in Movement
14 October – 6 January, 2011
Vasarely Museum, Budapest
At this exhibition, artworks that have never been presented together enter into a surprising – but valid – relationship with each other. Jenő Barcsay’s late, dark images and Gábor Bódy’s experimental film, Miklós Erdély’s “sacred line” and Katalin Haász’s curves that return into themselves, István Harasztÿ’s wandering magnetic points and the laborious stabilisation of Ladislav Galeta’s ball are all, for example, very different works in terms of genre, style and technique, but nevertheless share something in terms of their essence. They all work with fundamental units of the visual arts, with the time and memory of a point in movement, with the birth of the real and virtual line, as well as the nearly infinite and non-systematisable possibilities of the non-representational line. While the exhibition raises the notion of returning to elementarity, it does not endeavours to equate the various artistic intentions or to present all imaginable possibilities. Nor does it venture to pair up related works; this is left to the discretion of the viewer.
24 September – 15 October.
HattyúHáz (Swan House) Gallery, Pécs
Polish culture is presented here from the angle of women rebelling against universally accepted cultural and social norms. The show presents works specifically commissioned for the occasion in the media of performance, installation, photograph, video, sculpture, or painting. It is part of the Temporary City Festival staged by the Approaches Art Association of Budapest.
More pictures: http://www.pecskep.hu/logic/pages/showdoc.php?id=780
A Brave New World – A Show by György Jovián
22 September – 15 October
Jovian György has been at work for years on a series documenting in a still and enlarged form all the waste, whether living or lifeless, produced by human civilization. His paintings are at their most shocking when he portrays himself or homeless persons in real, but psychologically disturbing, situations. His photo-realist style coupled with a reduced colour-scheme both work for powerful effects.
Constructivism Packed in a Suitcase – A Show by Károly Halász
23 September – 14 October
Paks Gallery, Paks
Károly Halász’ activities spanning several decades can be said to typical of recent Hungarian art history. In contrast to his Western-European or North-American colleagues supported by a highly developed art infrastructure and considerable tolerance from their public, Avant-garde artists based in East-Central Europe have had to carry on a struggle for the legitimacy of their activities while facing a total lack of tolerance from the general public, the net result being that they have had to occupy an outsider position in relation to the official institutional infrastructure of art.