|Sep 11 – Oct 20, 2009
It has been exactly twenty years since we left behind the last form of government that felt obliged to hold moral expectations in reference to our relationship to money. Since then, instead of moral restrictions, at best, legal regulations, practical considerations, and economic possibilities have determined the extent to which we channel funds into our own pockets. The system has transformed into a complex playing field. Rather than pondering the sinful nature of money, most of our energy has been directed at learning the rules of the game and developing survival strategies. This intense work, which constantly aims at keeping pace, however, often fragments creative energy in an indirect manner; in positioning and repositioning ourselves one day to the next, it unnoticeably robs us of our disposition for criticizing the system, especially now, when the flow of economy seems more obstructed than ever before.
In a favorable scenario – which, in reality, is quite rarely the case – cash and creative energy flow in the same direction, strengthening each other. The cessation of flow can prevent the birth of creative works of art, while, paradoxically, also putting the mind into motion and inspiring works that respond to the unsustainable situation that has developed.
This September, the acb Gallery is organizing an exhibition, which has manifested from the tensions between the interests of economic and mental functioning, and which reacts to our present economic situation. The participating artists showcase works that are either brand new or have been produced in the past couple of years.
The exhibition is introduced by the lined-up, idling figures of Eszter Szabó’s new animation. The works featured in the rest of the exhibition space are divided into three thematic sections. Some of the artists utilize money itself as the object and raw material of their work. Money cannot only be spent but also compressed under high pressure (Tibor Horváth), hammered on an anvil (Lajos Csontó), cut into small shreds (Anna Lénárd) or used as a medium for growing microbes (Gyula Várnai). As for the necessity of the general availability of the Universal Subsistence Level Allowance, Tamás St.Auby makes his proposition by introducing his design for a bank card. One of the entrances is blocked by Tamás Komlovszky-Szvet’s money curtain.
The second group consists of works that react to the psychological tensions induced by the economy. The featured pieces include Erika Baglyas’ fakir bed marked “RELAX”, Miklós Mécs’ video work, which plays Three-card Monte with art collectors, and Rudolf Pacsika’s Endre Koronczi installation.
The third group of artworks opens various ways out of these tensions, some in a practical (Csaba Uglár), others in a spiritual direction (Gábor Tóth). The beggar in Szabolcs Süli-Zakar’s video installation treads a compulsively narrow path.
In addition to new works, the exhibition also brings to visitors a project from the period just after the regime change, from a time when we were just beginning to acquaint ourselves with the concept of money familiar to us today and the possibilities hidden in the discrete charm of the bourgeoisie. This is the first exhibition where Csaba Nemes – Zsolt Veress ‘ years-long project, which was created more than 15 years ago, and which resulted in a number of art objects and exhibitions, is placed on display in its complete form.
The title of the exhibition is taken from the graphic work of István Madácsy.
Curators: Anna Lénárd, Gábor Pados
Exhibiting artists: Erika Baglyas, Lajos Csontó, Tibor Horváth, Tamás Komlovszky-Szvet, Endre Koronczi, Anna Lénárd, István Madácsy, Miklós Mécs, Csaba Nemes –Zsolt Veress, Rudolf Pacsika, Szabolcs Süli-Zakar, Eszter Szabó, Tamás St. Auby, Gábor Tóth, Csaba Uglár, Gyula Várnai