[artinfo] Time Out Budapest - art news and reviews (February 2012)

art art at timeoutbudapest.hu
Thu Feb 2 14:28:12 CET 2012

FEATURE: Heroes of the Basic Law (Heroes, Kings and Saints and the Illustrations of the Basic Law at the Hungarian National Gallery > 26 August)
‘The habit of using art to dictate a political message has a long and colourful history in Eastern Europe. Back in the Stalinist 1950s, artists were given a list of approved themes for state-run exhibitions, from Life is Good on the Collective Farm to portraits of socialist heroes from the national past. Echoes of such practices can be felt in the decision to commission Ft20 million worth of new paintings from contemporary artists dealing with approved topics from the last 150 years of Hungarian history as illustrations for the controversial new Hungarian constitution or Basic Law.’

FEATURE: Just Say No (Tibor Horváth at ACB Galéria > 10 Feb)
‘The pun in the title of Tibor Horváth’s exhibition, in common with the humour that underpins this rebel artist’s work, is mostly at the expense of patriarchy and chauvinism. Domináns nem can be read either as ‘the dominant sex’, referring to dubious assumptions about the inherent leading role of males, or as the ‘dominant no’, pointing to the problem of denial in Hungarian politics. The many twists and turns in Hungarian political life over recent months have galvanised the artist to respond through intelligent visual commentary and energetic conceptual actions that range from word play and sketches to ideas materialised as crafted objects.’

REVIEW: Natalia LL, Opus Magnum (Ernst Museum > 18 Mar)****
‘Billed by the museum as ‘one of the world’s most important feminist artists’, the hot topic of conversation among post-feminist critics at the opening was whether her most famous images were originally meant to be erotic and whether they still have the power to shock audiences. A favourite eye-catching cover picture for books on Polish conceptual art of the 1970s, the film and photographic series Consumer Art, show the artist fellating a banana, in a work that is usually explained in terms of a critique of the lack of consumer goods in communist Poland, with the tropical fruit representing the unattainable object of capitalist desire.’

REVIEW:  Planet Display (Trafó Galéria > 26 Feb)****
‘While the Miklós Surányi uses photography to creative a highly subjective visual diary, full of fleeting moments and poetic references to the sensuality of the natural world, as illuminated by the changing light conditions over time, Swedish artists Fäldt and Källström take a specific and more human-oriented situation as the focus for their photographic series. In other Trafó news, a campaign website has sprung up to collect views and opinions from international collaborators about the government’s decision to oust long-time director György Szabó at the helm of Hungary’s only ICA-type cultural institution. http://solidaritywithszabostrafo.blogspot.com/’

REVIEW: Retrospective (Videospace Galéria > 29 Feb)****
‘Eike has organised an intelligent ‘retrospective’ of the life and times of Videospace, consisting of a wall of photographs taken at openings of artists, curators and friends of the gallery, an informative time line wall display of the exhibition highlights over the last five years, as well as a selection of recent works by gallery artists. Extra poignancy to news of the impending gallery closure comes with the realisation that Videospace is the first major casualty among the small community of contemporary art galleries in Budapest of the economic downturn and general instability.’ 

REVIEW: Gruppo Tökmag (NextArt Gallery > 4 Feb)***
‘The essence of their approach to the problem of graffiti is to transfer original images from the street to the intrinsically opposite medium of knitwear. Discarding in a moment the psychological baggage of the macho graffiti artist, with his hidden identities and aggressive tagging of public property, the group has moved into the utterly apolitical and passive field of knitting.’

Art Editors / Time Out Budapest
Maja and Reuben Fowkes
art at timeoutbudapest.hu

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