Opening: December 16, 2005, 6 p.m.December 17 – February 26, 2005 Curators of the exhibition: Lívia Páldi, Edit Molnár, Zsolt Petrányi, József Készman
Artists: Emese Benczúr, Ákos Birkás, Mária Chilf, Gabriella Csoszó, Marcell Esterházy, Anna Fabricius, Pál Gerber, Gábor Kerekes, Zsolt Keserue, Szabolcs Kisspál, Ádám Kokesch, Anikó Loránt, Gergely Magyar, György Orbán, Szabolcs Pálfi, The Randomroutines, Márta Rácz, László Rétháti, Gábor Roskó, Bori Rutkai, Attila Stark, Pál Szacsvay, Attila Szűcs, Zsolt Tibor, Gyula Várnai, Júlia Vécsei
Under new management, Műcsarnok introduces a new strategy that concerns not only internal and outward communication, but also exhibition organization, the general practice of which in Hungary would benefit from reform. Műcsarnok wants to be a more effective promoter of contemporary art.
Using several earlier exhibitions as its points of reference and models, Private Matter? – the first joint project of the new team of curators – is a statement, which both tries to integrate the new strategies and professional experience of the individual curators, and use revitalizing approaches and concepts in the organization of exhibitions, as well as to offer, with an awareness of the tried-and-tested practice of the institution, a new interpretation of the distinctive traits and qualities of Műcsarnok as a public space and mediating interface.
Originally focusing on works whose motivations were intimate, sensual or personal, and concentrating on drawing as the preferred medium, Private Matter? has grown to be a project which models the passages, and ambivalent relationship, between the notions of the “private” and the “public.” In this sense several of the works presented highlight and rely on the proximity of the viewer, his or her personal experience and involvement. Through arranging various artistic positions and creative strategies into clusters, the exhibition also investigates what possible functions self-reflection in a cultural context may have, beside the definition and description of an artist’s position. It hopes to see how the current state of the artist – the self-image – may become apparent, beyond the intimate process of creation-thinking–conceptualization, in the social space of the exhibition hall.
Divided into “chapters,” the exhibition attempts to create a working model, by presenting a small cross-section of available creative strategies. The attempt involves a reinterpretation of the exhibition space of Műcsarnok (its physical and symbolic context), and the introduction of a new curatorial approach and exhibition organization process. (From the beginning, cooperation with the Balázs Béla Stúdió Foundation and the Hungarian Academy of Art was a high-priority part of the project.)
The “backbone” of Private Matter? is the “LEGO” designed by Gábor Kerekes, a labyrinth that uses surplus and waste material found in the storage rooms of Műcsarnok, temporary elements and objects designed by the Retextil group. The spaces – varied in shape and function – whose succession runs through the halls, are usually built from dilapidated objects which carry the impressions, layer upon layer, of earlier exhibitions and concepts. The other artists’ works inhabit these site-specific installations, which also function as social and presentation spaces. The resting places built for the benefit of the viewer also encourage a non-habitual attitude on the part of the exhibition-goer.
The media of choice are various graphic techniques, installation, film, photo, video and painting. The technique most adequate to the representation of the ephemeral is probably drawing, what with the minimum of tools it requires, its fastness, and the fact that it lends itself to the most varied intensities and concentrations—which also allows for a slow, gradual development of the image, much in the vein of painting.
In Private Matter?, the exhibition itself becomes a medium, a surface for projection, where works and artistic practices can appear which would otherwise remain hidden parts of the oeuvres.