acb Gallery presents its second online exhibition, taking place both physically in a former storage turned into an impromptu showroom, and in the virtual online space. Similar to our previous exhibition that celebrated the freedom of creation and unbridled imagination of artistic acts, our current presentation featuring the works of eighteen artists connects again to the themes of confinement and isolation.
The title Gymnastics refers the subject of the works, from the relation to the body, to movement or eroticism, and reflects on focal points of our transformed life. The strive and need to be fit, healthy as well as the longing for sharing pleasure becoming ever so significant even in regard to mental well-being. Meanwhile, the metaphors borrowed from physical movements (virtual „tours”, „jumping” to the top of a webpage, „following” a link) are bitter reminders of the primacy of digital space and their detachment from their true meaning.
The body-representations of Gymnastics also reveals this duality: they resemble the disciplined exercises of this sport where movements are intense yet static, and the postures tense, flexible but confined to a limited space. In the broader sense of the word (as we understand it in Hungarian) and as a concept denoting preliminary exercises independent from specific sports, gymnastics could mean warming-up and preparing ourselves physically for collective sports and social life, this in the hope of a reassuringly near future where bodies can fulfill their true potentials.
The exhibition featuring works from acb Gallery’s storage as well as fresh works created during the time of quarantine gives an account of body-representations through multiple media (photo, sculpture, painting, drawing). In many ways, they reflect on the common origins of sports and eroticism as the Greek word for gymnastics (meaning to train naked) suggests it. Although the works tend to expose the body in imbalance, seeking equilibrium by abstract or theatrical exaggerations, it seems as if they captured the gesture of breakthrough, the transitional state which precedes social life and the experience of freedom.