The exhibition Monument/Negative/Positive/Fountain by David Wilkinson, London-based artist presently residing and working in Budapest, has been organised under the auspices of the Budapest Month of Architecture. Wilkinson discovered while walking in the streets of Budapest buildings with riddled walls, full of holes left by bullets during the Second World War and the 1956 Revolution. Envisioning architecture as a human body or as a sculptural form serving and surrounding the body, one might speak of wounded, punched, or injured buildings. In a sense, a building is a collection of mementos; the names of streets and squares remind us of figures and events of the historic past. Wilkinson views the bullet holes in the plaster and bricks of these buildings as clues in construing a map in space, in an urban landscape. Fundamentally, both landscapes and cityscapes are living representations of the past. If these particular remnants of a landscape vanish, they will soon become obliterated from memory as well.
Monument/Negative/Positive/Fountain on view at Dorottya Gallery is a functioning model of an imaginary public sculptural work, a symbolic fountain constructed from positive casts of the bullet holes' negatives, completed with a series of photos, texts and drawings - the documentation of research done by the artist. This work by David Wilkinson inevitably calls to mind a sculpture by Ferenc Callmeyer, situated at Budapest's Kossuth Square. The sculptor was also present at the Kossuth Square demonstration during the 1956 Revolution, from where he had to run together with the crowd gathered there to escape the burst of gunfire. The memorial Callmeyer sculpted is a monument raised to the memory of those events, a memorial to the emotions and fears experienced at the site. Rather than intending to create a war memorial, David Wilkinson has concerned himself with reconsidering the past and investigating the functions of remembrance as well as the current possibilities of making references to these remembrances. Taking the tangible memory-traces as a point of departure but using a very different vocabulary in his planned artwork, Wilkinson attempts to address the broader issues of power, the thirst for power, and subordination.