Igor and Ivan Buharov: Spiritual Civil Disobedience


At their latest exhibition, the artist duo Igor and Ivan Buharov (Kornél Szilágyi and Nándor Hevesi) present their multimedia installation originally conceived in 2018 for the Steirischer Herbst in Graz, now adapted to the space of acb Attachment. Furnished with cinematic and installative elements, the environment can be considered a preliminary study for the duo’s new feature film currently in the making, evocative of the dreamlike, Surrealist-Dadaist narrative, imagery and aesthetic of the Buharov-films.

The current work focuses on the same image of humanity and society as outlined in the duo’s previous works. Their previous blockbuster feature film, Most of the Souls That Live Here, also addressed the crisis of the individual in a world where an intangible yet omnipotent authority paralyzes people by means of oppression and surveillance. The answer proposed by the Buharovs to this crisis is anarchy, resistance to the state and cryptic communication. The unsustainability of systems and the impossibility of communication are also emphasized by the at once metaphorical and ironic-satirical cinematic language built on fragmentation and inconsistency, which characterizes the cinematic work of the author duo from the start of their collaboration.

The current exhibition’s thematic unity is comprised by a sort of psychedelic natural atmosphere in the form of an intimate, eco-erotic relationship with plants and communion with the plant world that develops in the inextricable stories of the presented short films. The pieces on display at the exhibition Spiritual Civil Disobedience reveal a world where plants seem to be interlinked with an invisible communication network, the last remaining escape route not only for encrypted information transfer, but also for the authentic capturing of one’s own existence in the post-anthropocene. Turning towards nature in this case is not bucolical, evident and naïve: on the contrary, union with the plant world is achieved through the escape routes of psychoactive substances, sorcery or magic. The exhibition of Igor and Ivan Buharov is composed of these concepts, but it is also an attempt to escape conceptuality. Comprised of of films projected onto walls and inside cabinetry, lightboxes and ritual installations, this environment is imposed on the spectator as a total work of art, which – similarly to the Buharovs’ feature films – prompts the spectator to assume an unusual receptive attitude.

Igor Buharov (Kornél Szilágyi, 1971) and Ivan Buharov (Nándor Hevesi, 1974) have been collaborating on experimental short films, films, animations, documentaries and feature films. Their work has been represented at Manifesta 8 in 2010 in Murcia, Shedhalle in Zurich, Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin, MNAC in Bucharest and Moravská Galerie in Brno. They have also been represented in group shows at prominent institutions in Hungary, such as the Hungarian National Gallery, MODEM in Debrecen, Trafó Gallery, Art Gallery Paks and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Dunaújváros. As regards their filmography, their latest feature film, Most of the Souls That Live Here, excels with its complexity and aligns with their series of feature films Rudderless, Slow Mirror and The Triumph of Sympathy, which have been screened at several festivals and won a number of awards.


The exhibition was supported by NKA.